Aside from being a mixed martial arts veteran, Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang of the Philippines is also a licensed teacher. The Igorot MMA fighter training at Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines is a full-time ONE Championship athlete but he still considers himself a teacher.
“It’s a very fulfilling feeling when you see your students grow up practicing the principles you taught them,” Folayang shared. “My greatest teacher has been Jesus Christ. I always try to honor God in everything I do.”
In 2008, Folayang earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of the Cordilleras in Baguio City, Philippines. After passing the licensure examination, he became a Physical Education teacher to high school students.
“When you touch the lives of your students, even in the simplest ways, that was the most fulfilling for me, back when I was still teaching in school,” Folayang shared. “It’s such an honorable profession, even if it’s not easy by any means. Being a teacher is hard but we still do it with a passion because we want our kids to succeed.”
“In some ways, I’m still very much a teacher,” the Team Lakay fighter continued. “Now I teach the younger generation of martial artists, to help them navigate our industry.”
On October 5, 2020, National Teacher’s Day was celebrated in the Philippines where teachers are paid among the lowest salaries. Folayang said, “We need to take care of our teachers because they have a very important role.”
“They take care of our children when we are not able to,” Folayang continued. “They teach them how to be adults. This Teacher’s Day, let’s celebrate our teachers.”
“I think all work has its own unique set of challenges but as teachers, it’s such a worthy sacrifice,” the Team Lakay fighter continued. “The youth is very important in our society. They will go on to be leaders of our country in their own ways. It’s important that they be brought up with the right values and the right character.”
Many of the youth today follow Folayang and subsequently hold him in very high regard. As such, he ultimately tries to be a good example for the youth of today just as his life’s greatest teacher was.
“I like to inspire by giving a good example,” Folayang shared. “I try to be a good role model. In my position, I know a lot of people look up to me that’s why I try to conduct myself in the right way. I want to be a good influence on peoples’ lives.”