Published in the The GUIDON’s Graduation Magazine, March 2012
Photo by Ean L. Dacay
AS a child, she dreamed of being a farmer.
Today, Abigail “Abby” Marie Favis is a budding environmental scientist and a well-loved teacher. After foregoing the plan to study agriculture, she has graduated with an Environmental Science degree from Ateneo and a master’s degree in Environmental Sanitation from the University of Ghent in Belgium, going on to live a life way beyond her dreams.
In between her research projects, she effortlessly seizes freshmen and sophomores’ attention with her bubbly, cheerful personality in her environmental science and Science and Society classes. Her lectures are often of the practical, thought-provoking kind, reminding students how each of their actions, however small, have an impact.
For her, teaching is but a perk in her science career. She’d rather be a scientist who teaches, rather than a teacher who is a scientist. What she considers her daily high are her students’ “Aha!” moments during her interactive, open forum-type lectures. Meanwhile, as a researcher on campus, one of her future plans is to help the campus become a model for sustainability.
Beyond the academe, she enjoys reading books, traveling, and shares an unexpected interest with her husband of six years—playing video games. She likes plants, origami, embroidery, and crafts as well. The way she lives her life is a testament to how one can still tread the earth lightly and live well at the same time.
To her, in a world where many are more concerned with having, than with being, she hopes for people to step away from a materialistic perspective and instead try to remember what they live for. “It shouldn’t be because of money or things. While making life a lot better for you, try to make sure you don’t make it worse for somebody else,” she says. “Living a good life doesn’t have to cost the earth.”
The last lecture she would like to impart to students? One on the environmental footprint, she says. “If you’re aware of your consumption’s true cost, you can make better choices. In the end, that will make it better for the human race.”