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Daughter of Jeepney Driver Graduates as Ateneo’s Valedictorian of Batch 2019

Studying at one of the best and most expensive schools in the country is something that many students could ever dream of, but for a daughter of a jeepney driver it was in impossible dream that actually came true!

But Reycel Hyacenth Bendaña did not just have the opportunity to study at the Ateneo de Manila University, she also graduates as the Valedictorian of Batch 2019! Wow.

Bendaña completes her degree in Bachelor of Arts major in Management Economics, minor in Development, as Program Awardee and Cum Laude. Who would have thought that the daughter of a poor jeepney driver who could barely put food on the table could actually be among the brightest, most brilliant students in this private school, huh?

Photo credit: Reycel Hyacenth Bendaña / Facebook

The young lady was also the President of the University Student Council (Sanggunian) and received the recognition as the Most Outstanding Student Group for Leadership and Service, St. Ignatius Award for Most Outstanding Scholar, and Most Outstanding Individual for Leadership and Service.

In her essay as part of the application for valedictorian selection published on Ateneo’s website, she detailed what she had gone through and how the school helped her, answering the prompt, “What has Ateneo done for you?”

Her study must have had the most impact to the selection committee because she was the one picked as Batch 2019 Valedictorian among the sea of other brilliant minds.

She shared, in part:

My father is a jeepney driver, whose example taught me to work harder than everyone else—not only because hard work is high dignity but also, while it is no guarantee of success, anything less than that for us would mean complete failure. I always worked harder than everyone else to get the same opportunities they had. It’s the least I can do to compensate for my lack of privilege. This is a reality of life I have long embraced: shouting as jeepney barker for my father to taking odd jobs in high school. I worked hard to be here.

Yet, I am aware that my full scholarship exists not because I simply earned it. All my work would have been for nothing if there was no slot on offer in the first place. I am here because someone, by the grace of their heart, gave generously to fund my education. I am here because a generous Ateneo exists, where someone like me who does not share the wealthier background of the common Atenean can be entrusted with the Presidency of the school’s Student Council.

She shared the hardships she had to face coming from a poor family.

Photo credit: Reycel Hyacenth Bendaña / Facebook

I was raised in poverty—there was never enough food on our table, my parents were not always regular employees, and as students, my sister and I had childhoods filled with promissory notes for delayed tuition fee payments. I was seven years old when I joined my first rally. I stood with my father at the frontline of a jeepney strike that aimed to raise the minimum fare. For some, the rising price of fuel meant less profit. For my family, it meant skipping another meal; it meant more debt and more promissory notes.

She expressed gratefulness for the opportunity the school had given her, also hoping that many others like her would also have a chance to be part of Ateneo…

Congratulations!

Read her full essay on Ateneo’s website here.

Inspiring

Taxi Driver Praised after Rescuing Stray Cat in the Middle of Highway

So many animals are getting hit by vehicles along the world’s busy highways, but one cat was saved by a taxi driver who stopped his vehicle to save it from the middle of the highway! Isn’t that wonderful?

Taxi Driver Saves Stray Cat from Highway

It is really so sad that there are millions of animals that get hit by vehicles along the world’s busy highways because these creatures have no idea that these fast-moving machines are heading to their direction.

But it is nice to hear stories of people who stop to help these creatures to safety.

Photo credit: Kenn Migan Vincent Gumonan / Facebook

Kenn Migan Vincent Gumonan was driving along a national highway in Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City in southern Philippines last January 13, 2021 at around 9:47 AM when he saw the taxi ahead of him stop all of a sudden. He was curious why the driver stopped.

Moments later, the driver of the said taxi went out of the vehicle to check underneath. Whatever it is under the car was not yet visible to Gumonan at the time, but the taxi driver drove the vehicle a bit forward and revealed a cat!

Photo credit: Kenn Migan Vincent Gumonan / Facebook

Gumonan watched happily as the taxi driver tried his best to catch the cat without spooking it. After all, if the cat gets spooked, it might suddenly run across the street and get hit by the other passing vehicles that might not notice the small figure moving in that highway.

Photo credit: Kenn Migan Vincent Gumonan / Facebook

It was a good thing that the taxi driver managed to catch the stray cat. He left his vehicle as he crossed the street, bringing the cat to safety. Unknown to him, Gumonan was cheering at his actions and would later share the video on Facebook where his heroic deeds went viral.

Photo credit: Kenn Migan Vincent Gumonan / Facebook

Kudos to this kindhearted taxi driver!

Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions (WVCs)

Increasing automobile speed has contributed a lot to the rapid rise in wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs). This is also due to many roads being created along places that have once been home to many animals. Moreover, a lot of drivers in recent years don’t pay too much attention to the road as they are distracted by their mobile phones or just want to move at higher speeds to reach their destinations more quickly.

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3-Year-Old Kid Wows with Savings of Php77k, Parents Claim They Don’t Spend His Gifts

It is a common joke that parents often ‘keep’ their children’s monetary gifts, but actually spend it for food or something else! But a nearly 3-year-old kid wows with savings of Php77k because his parents claimed that they don’t spend his gifts at all. Wow.

Kid Saves Php77k from Gifts

A lot of ninongs, ninangs, and even family members prefer to give monetary gifts instead of buying something because they have a hard time picking the right gift that the receiver might like. After all, kids (and even adults!) can be so picky when it comes to things they want.

But it is also a common joke (and reality) that parents tell the kids they will ‘keep’ the money but actually spend it for the household needs, such as food or paying for bills.

While that’s a worthwhile way of spending the money, there are also parents who disagree with this arrangement. After all, the giver had given the money for the child/receiver to buy something that he/she wanted.

Photo credit: Jarlo Manalad / Facebook

Jarlo Manalad recently shared how their nearly 3-year-old son has Php77k in savings because they don’t spend any of the monetary gifts that he received. The money came from so many people who love the kid – ninongs, ninangs, relatives, and family friends.

Even if someone gave them something for the child’s birthday or special event, the couple decided to keep the money as the child’s savings. Manalad promised that any money given by anyone in the future will also go to this savings fund.

Aside from this money, the couple also saves Php200 per pay day for the child’s future educational funds. They hope that they could fund the child’s college education with their salaries but might use the money they saved for it.

The post has gone viral, with many people expressing admiration to these parents for the kind of attitude they have for their son’s money.

Building an Educational Fund

It is a big reality that college education can be so expensive. That’s why it is best to start saving for it when your kids are still small.

First, set your tuition fund goals. Create a savings strategy such as setting aside the money for savings before budgeting the rest of your salary. Some would suggest investing the money to grow it but others believe it is best to put it in the bank. Make sure to track your progress to inspire you to continue saving.

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Teacher Goes Viral after Replying to Student Before Going to Her Wedding

We all know that most teachers are dedicated to their jobs and are often spending a lot of overtime work to finish lessons, grades, and various reports. But one teacher recently went viral after replying to a student before going to her wedding! Now, that’s truly dedication…

Teacher Replies to Student Before Her Wedding

It is said that teaching is a noble job because their work does not stop when they go out of the classroom.

More often than not, they still spend lots of hours after school is done because there are still a lot of lessons to prepares, papers and projects to check, assignments and seatworks to be corrected, grades to be made, reports to be submitted, and so much more. Even during weekends, teachers still have a lot of things to do.

Photo credit: Irish Jeanne Bautista / Facebook

Recently, a teacher showed that their work really isn’t done even outside their duties inside the school. Irish Jeanne Bautista wowed netizens after she replied to a student’s message even if she was busy preparing for her wedding.

The student was asking about something related to a submission of a paper; though it was not indicated whether the paper was an assignment, test paper, or project. Apparently, the teacher was able to check this student’s paper but the others were reportedly not there. However, the student was puzzled because the paper was submitted along with the others.

Photo credit: Irish Jeanne Bautista / Facebook

Though she was already busy at the time with wedding preparations, the teacher took time to reply to the student. She was not able to resolve the girl’s query, but the teacher made sure that the student did not feel that she was being ignored.

Wait lang, Larah… Ikakasal lang si Ma’am. Replyan kita later,” the teacher replied, with matching emojis.

What are Emojis?

Emojis are digital icons or images that convey an emotion, idea, profession, logo, animals, expressions, buildings and places, etc.

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