When you are an achiever, people often expect you to excel in your studies all the time and even top the board exams to later succeed in life. But there are many times when so-called ‘over-achievers’ in their younger years become ‘just ordinary’ or ‘sakto lang’ students as they reach college.
Earl Joshua Alcantara shared on his Facebook account how he went from a high school valedictorian with lots of medals on graduation day to a ‘sakto lang’ college student who was only able to collect lanyards in college.
Instead of feeling bitter as others might, however, this young man shared how his college journey gave him a lot of lessons in life that are different from medals but were just as precious.
Photo credit: Twitter / @alcantaraearl
“I was really active in high school both in academics and extra-curricular. I was the president of the student council when I was in fourth year. I maintained my grades since I really enjoyed studying then. Sipag at aral lang (hard work and studies only). I really didn’t think about grades noon basta I enjoyed studying and doing service to other organizations,” the inspiring young man shared on Facebook.
He excelled in his studies as high school student at La Trinidad Academy in Imus, Cavite, and would graduate as valedictorian.
He received academic scholarship the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and was grouped among the students from science high schools and other valedictorians, yet college life had a different plan for Earl Joshua.
“Pumasok ng UST na Valedictorian, magtatapos na sakto lang. Hanggang lanyard na lang mga medal ko ngayon HAHAHA. Pero marami akong natutunan sa mga taong nakilala ko. Forever grateful for the 5 years’ worth of life lessons. Maraming salamat, UST!” he wrote in a tweet, sharing side-by-side photos of his high school medals versus his college lanyards.
Photo credit: Twitter / @alcantaraearl
He failed in tests and enjoyed other non-academic curricular activities and conferences. He earned a lot of lanyards from attending many events where he met a lot of people and experienced a lot of things. Thus, while he eventually end up graduating in college without medals, the life lessons he learned from his experiences in college were still valuable to him.
“It’s okay to fail sometimes. It’s part of the learning process. Without having to experience failure, I wouldn’t be able to have the courage to stand up again and fix myself,” the young man shared as he graduated with a degree of Chemical Engineering from UST.
Congratulations, Earl Joshua!
Couple Inspires with Savings from Ukay-Ukay and Other Businesses
How much were you able to save up, especially during the pandemic? Most of us would say “not much” or even “none”, but a couple managed to save Php154,000 from doing various businesses in 10 months. Impressive, huh?
Couple Ipon Challenge Goes Viral
Almost everyone agrees that it’s really so difficult to save money, especially because there are a lot of things that we need to pay for, plenty of bills to pay, and other needs or even wants that we spend our earnings on.
But couple Chi Kai and Jazzely Ebarom impressed netizens after they saved a lot of money despite the pandemic.
In her inspiring post on Facebook, Chi Kai wrote that she and her partner managed to save Php154,000 from doing various businesses: selling ukay-ukay, top-grade bags, beauty products, and just about anything they could think of.
According to Chi Kai, she’s sharing this post to inspire other people to do the same, not to brag about what they were able to achieve. She added that their story can inspire others to try their best and work hard to achieve their dreams.
She also said that she’s lucky to have a partner who inspires her to work harder and also motivates her to save money.
So, how was she able to save so much money? Chi Kai said that instead of spending her earnings on luxury stuff and things that she didn’t need, she would save a portion every week. She folds the money and places it inside their shared piggy bank.
The couple was quite surprised to see that they were able to save that much money in a small piggy bank.
While many netizens pointed out that folding the money isn’t a good idea because it could damage the paper, more were inspired about the fact that she managed to save up.
Improper Handling of Money
Saving money is great but it’s important to keep the bills from getting damaged. The penalty for “willful defacement, mutilation, tearing, burning or destruction of Philippine banknotes and coins” is a fine of not more than PHP20,000.00 and/or imprisonment of not more than five years, depending on the gravity of the offense.
Badjao Girl Who Used to Dive for Coins at Pier, Now a Teacher and Master’s Degree Holder
A half-Badjao girl who used to dive for coins at the pier is celebrating her success now that she has become a teacher and a master’s degree holder. Who would have thought that she used to do that in her younger days, huh?
Badjao Girl Earns Master’s Degree
Life was difficult for half-Badjao Arlene Eje Alex while she was growing up. Despite being poor, her father refused to let her dive for coins at the pier or beg for money in the streets like other Badjao children.
But her father got sick while she was still young; so, she did those things so they can have some food. They lost their dad when she was just 12 years old.
“Eight years old po nag-start na akong manisid sa pier para lang po maka-survive sa araw-araw at may panustos sa pag-aaral,” she explained.
“Hindi ko naman po pinagsisihan kasi natuto po ako sa buhay na hindi ganoon kadali ang kumayod sa araw-araw sa murang kaisipan. Kailangan mong mabuhay, pero kailangan mong paghirapan.”
Life was difficult but she also knew that if she doesn’t go to school, she’d be stuck in the streets or the pier for the rest of her life. So, she found ways to send herself to school.
“Hindi pupuwede na hanggang dito na lang ako. Babalik na naman ako sa lansangan. Parang ang hirap mabuhay na nakadepende ako sa tao. Kaya kailangan kong mag-aral kahit hindi na ako makauwi, basta makatapos ako,” she said with determination.
Through hard work and determination, she was finally able to complete her degree in Education. But she didn’t stop there. She continued to work harder and study more – and has now become a Master’s degree holder.
“Ang dating maninisid ng barya sa pier noon, Master’s degree graduate na ngayon,” she proudly wrote in her graduation photos.
Why Badjaos Dive for Money in Pier
Badjaos live in the waters, originally in the Sulu Sea. But various problems forced many of them to travel to other places in the Philippines, diving the pier waters for coins that people toss.
It’s unknown how exactly this practice started but it’s common in many piers across the Philippines.
Badjaos are known to have the ability to hold their breath for minutes, making these dives particularly interesting.
Dad Who Returned Phone He Found in Jeep: “I Want to Be a Role Model for My Kids”
One dad who’s struggling financially and has a special-needs child didn’t feel tempted to keep or sell a phone he found in a jeep. He said that he immediately thought of his kids when he found the phone and wanted to do the right thing as a role model for his children!
Guy Goes Viral for Returning Phone He Found in Jeep
Some netizens argue that good deeds like returning money or a cellphone you found somewhere should not be something that should be in the news. After all, returning something you don’t own is one thing that people should do!
But with so many people taking advantage of others, and a lot of people losing valuable stuff and never getting them back, it’s really still impressive to hear stories of the honest ones who return items that aren’t theirs – especially valuables.
Christian Baluyot, 22, is a dad to two kids, one of whom is a special-needs 3-year-old child. Working as a merchandiser, Christian doesn’t earn much, but when he found a cellphone in a jeep, he wasn’t tempted to keep it.
Immediately after finding the phone (an iPhone), he made attempts to find the owner by posting about it on his Facebook account.
The owner, Patricia Tawat, didn’t see his post but was surprised when Christian answered the phone when she called it.
“‘Wag ka mag-alala, ate. Ibabalik ko po cellphone mo. Hindi ko po kayang gumawa ng masama,” the young man told her after picking up on the second ring.
Impressed, Patricia posted about the experience, praising Christian for being honest.
After the post went viral, Christian explained that he didn’t think it was a big deal and that he was only doing something that he thought was right. When he found the phone, his only thoughts were his children – and how he wants to be their role model.
“Ang turo po ng magulang ko sa’kin, kahit na po maghirap, basta ‘wag lang gumawa ng masama,” he explained. “Inisip ko po agad na may anak ako. Ayoko po kasi magaya anak ko sa masasamang tao.”
Inspired by this honest young man, Patricia wrote:
“Sa panahon ngayon, meron pa ring mga taong kahit hirap at gipit sa buhay, hindi pa rin sasagi sa isip nila gumawa ng masama mas pipiliin paring maging mabuti.
Saludo ako sa’yo kuya. Sobrang swerte ng mga anak mo sa’yo.”
Characteristics of a Role Model
The following are some characteristics of a role model:
- Honesty and integrity
- Self-awareness and self-focus
- Empathy and kindness