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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

Policeman Falls in Love with Transwoman, Shows Her Off with Pride

A policeman falls in love with a transwoman – and is so in love with her that he feels so proud to show her off, even bringing her to an event with other policemen and their significant others. Isn’t that sweet?

Love of Policeman and Transwoman Goes Viral

The LGBTQ+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and others) is more accepted these days compared to the past years.

However, that doesn’t mean that they’re already 100% accepted.

In fact, many parents still refuse to accept that their kids aren’t straight, and would actually force them to change or they get disowned. Many parents also disown or get furious when their kids choose to love someone from the LGBTQ+ community.

Also, society continues to frown upon these unions, no matter how open-minded people have become.

love story
Photo credit: Publiko

But it seems that many netizens are in full support of a policeman and transwoman that he has fallen in love with.

A transwoman named Louise shared her story via Facebook page PUBLIKO.

As what they said, love conquers all. Yes absolutely true,” Louise opened.

She explained that their love story started back when they were still students.

Just like other student lovers, the two didn’t have a lot of money and had to rely on their respective allowances to go out on a date.

love story
Photo credit: Publiko

We both conquer every challenges that comes, hindi madali pero kinaya. Our relationship is one of those extra special. Why did i say extra special? A pulis men fell in love with a transwoman,” she shared.

YES! I am a transwoman but he accepted me for who I am not because of my gender.

They also experienced difficulty in getting accepted – and she once doubted whether her partner will ever be with her forever. But the guy proved to be a keeper.

At first, nag hesitate ako if this man will love me unconditionally but fortunately di nya ko binigo sa mga expectations ko sa kanya.. HE TRULY LOVE ME UNCONDITIONALLY!” she happily announced, sharing their photos together.

As a transwoman, di madali makahanap ng sabi nga “totoong magmamahal at tatanggap” sa atin. May mga agam-agam na baka ganito lng ang habol, ganito ganyan.. sa mga kapwa ko transwoman lift your voice be heard, may karapatan din tayong magmahal at mahalin ng totoo.  Di lng natin namamalayan nandyan lng pala ang tinadhana sa atin ng Diyos.

They’ve been together for 6 years, and counting!

love story
Photo credit: Publiko

What’s the Difference Between a Transwoman and a Gay?

Both were born as boys, but people are confused between the two.

It’s actually complicated, depending on who’s making the definition. But here are the basics:

A gay person was born male but is more attracted to other males.

A transwoman is a person who was born as male but identifies as a female. Surprisingly, some transwoman still fall in love with a woman even if society expects them to now be more interested in men. Of course, many of them also end up getting attracted to men.

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Inspiring

Delivery Rider Walks to Bring Customer’s Food after Someone Took His Bike, Receives New One

After a delivery rider walks to bring the customer’s order when someone took his bike while he was picking up the food, his story went viral – and someone got him a new bike!

What a wonderful turn of events…

Delivery Rider Receives New Bike after Walking to Deliver Customer’s Order

It’s sad that there are people who take advantage of others for their own gain.

While that’s a reality that we face every single day, our faith in humanity was restored after learning about the story of a delivery rider who walked to his customer’s houses to deliver their food after someone took his bike.

It all started when netizen Danica Samson shared the story of FoodPanda delivery rider Paulo Tayam Pichay.

delivery rider loses bike
Photo credit: Danica Samson

According to Danica, she was wondering it took so long for her food to arrive from a Jollibee outlet in Malabon.

It was a good thing she didn’t cancel the order because the guy bringing her food was actually walking to their house.

delivery rider
Photo credit: Danica Samson

The rider (well, hiker now) explained that someone took his bike while he was picking up his customer’s order.

Despite losing his bike, he decided to continue delivering the orders because he felt bad about the money he could earn with the deliveries.

delivery rider
Photo credit: Danica Samson

A surprised Danica snapped some photos of the tired rider who looked so tired.

Paglingon ko sa kanya, napasandal nalang sya sa pader – hapong hapo at pawis na pawis,” she wrote.

Kinakamusta ko sya kung nakita nya na sa cctv yung nagnakaw ng bike nya, nagdedeliver padin sya kahit naglalakad nalang siya. Nanghihinayang daw sya sa pumapasok na orders sa kanya kaya dinedeliver nya padin kahit lakad nalang.

Photo credit: Danica Samson
Photo credit: Danica Samson

The sad story turned into a happy one after someone got Paulo a new bike. He now has something to use for his deliveries again.

delivery rider
Photo credit: Danica Samson

How to Prevent Someone from Taking Your Bike

A bike lock is the most common option for preventing someone from taking your bike. However, it can be cut or picked by pros.

Another option is to choose a tough lock, then secure the bike to something where it’s more difficult to simply move the chain to take the bike.

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Inspiring

Siblings Go Viral for Being #1 in Their Respective Board Exams

Siblings go viral for being #1 in their respective board exams – and we’re all quite amazed! Aren’t they impressive?

Siblings, Top #1 in Board Exams

It is said that certain traits or talents run in the family – and that’s exactly what the Ramirez family of Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental proved.

Recently, Abigail Ramirez ranked #1 in the November 2022 Nurse Licensure Examination with a rating of 90%. She completed her nursing degree from SPUD (St. Paul University Dumaguete) as magna cum laude.

That’s an incredible feat for this young lady. But what’s even more incredible is that her older brother, Alec Benjamin Ramirez, was also the #1 when he took the 2017 Geologist Licensure Examination. He finished his college education from NORSU (Negros Oriental State University), a public school in Dumaguete City.

Siblings
Photo credit: DuScian Gateway

It isn’t surprising that Abigail looks up to her brother.

I made him as my role model. I wanted to be like him, so talagang sumikap ako in my own way. Inspirasyon ko rin naman iyong ibang mga kapatid ko, pero dahil kami yung mas magkakalapit ng edad, siya ang mas nakita kong motivation,” the registered nurse said.

The two are from a family of achievers and had grown up receiving support from their parents, especially in everything relating to academics.

Since elementary, the siblings have been consistent honor students. They also graduated from the Ramon Teves Pastor Memorial – Dumaguete Science High School, a public school for advanced students.

siblings
Photo credit: Zachy Chito Jumawan

Abigail plans to teach at her college alma mater as a way of giving back.

Nursing is really a hard profession. It may break you a couple of times. But just the process, trust the hardships that you are going to face, because these will help you become stronger,” she advices aspiring nurses.

Have faith in God and trust in God. Offer everything to Him. Whenever you’re down, whenever you feel like giving up, just pray. God will answer all your prayers in one way or another.

What’s a Science High School?

In the Philippines, science high schools are public schools open to gifted, advanced students who take up subjects that are one or several levels more than what regular schools offer.

These schools also have stricter admission and retention policies than most schools, particularly in academic terms.

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