It is a sad reality in the Philippines that there are so many poor families who have difficulty sending their children to school, despite the availability of public schools in their locality.
After all, going to school still means needing uniforms, school supplies, and personal allowance so they can have something to eat for snacks and lunch.
This is one of the primary reasons why many poor students don’t make it past a few levels in elementary.
Moreover, a number of these children are asked by their parents to find a job to help the family with their financial needs, even at a young age!
But thanks to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), poor children now have the right to dream and to make it a reality.
As they say, if life does not give you an opportunity, then create it!
In connection to this, a 4Ps beneficiary shares his inspiring story after fulfilling his dreams and becoming an electrical engineer.
Amid the accusations that 4Ps beneficiaries only waste their money, Engr. Jericho C. Cancino and his family made a lot of people proud with his success story as they made use of the government assistance to improve their lives.
“Malaking tulong ang programa sa aming pamilya dahil ang natatanggap naming cash grants ay nakatutulong upang matustusan o madagdagan ang pambayad sa eskwelahan at sa panggastos sa araw-araw na pamumuhay namin,” Engr. Cancino said.
At the age of 23, Jericho, a former 4Ps beneficiary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Field Office 1 from Lilimasan village in San Carlos City, Pangasinan is already an Electrical Engineer and a Master Electrician.
“Hirap talaga kami sa buhay. Si papa ay isang traysikel drayber at ang mama ko ay gumagawa ng kaing para sa pangangailangan namin. Naging malaking kaginhawaan noong kami ay napabilang sa 4Ps,” he narrated.
Jericho earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at the Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation in San Carlos City.
By being a scholar of the Commission on Higher Education from 2016 to 2020, his financial burden to continuously support his studies was lessened.
Tried and Tested
“Ang pinakamahirap na parte ng paglalakbay ko tungo sa tagumpay ay noong nagpositive ako sa COVID-19 noong nagrereview ako para sa board exam kasama na ang pagiging panganay sa apat na magkakapatid. Hindi na ako nakadalo ng review classes ko dahil nasabihan akong manatili sa quarantine facility sa Baguio City sa loob ng dalawang linggo,” he shared.
During this trying time, he was battling his fears over his dreams for his family.
“Dumating ako sa puntong halos sumuko na ako pero inisip ko ang aking pamilya kasi lagi silang nandyan para sumuporta sa akin. Sa kanila ako humugot ng lakas ng loob. Ipinapanalangin ko ring sana ay gumaling na ako at makauwi muna ng probinsya para makapag-review online. Napaka-thankful ko rin sa review center at binigyan ako ng make up class online para makabalik sa pagrereview,” Jericho tearfully detailed his hardships during his stay at the quarantine facility.
He enjoyed the perks of being the President of the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines, Inc. as he was given a discount in the review cost.
It was a meager amount but this brought him a huge opportunity.
This is it!
“The best feeling ever noong nakita ko ang pangalan kong nasa listahan ng pumasa,” he joyfully shared when the result of the 2021 Electrical Engineering Board Examination was released.
“Simula noong pagkabata ko nakita ko ang aming sitwasyon sa buhay na hirap pero patuloy na lumalaban. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, balang araw masusuklian ko rin lahat ng sakripisyo ng aking magulang at aayon din sa amin ang panahon. Inspirasyon ko ang aking pamilya sa aking pag-aaral at pagiging Registered Electrical Engineer at Master Electrician. Ang lahat ng aking sakripisyo ay para sa kanila,” he added.
“Sa buhay, hindi magiging madali lahat pero ilaban mo lang ang iyong pangarap at ipagdasal mo lang lagi. Anos labat tan dasal (patience and prayers) ang formula sa matagumpay na buhay,” Engr. Jericho humbly preached.
After he passed the board exam, he was employed as project-based site engineer in a solar project in Pampanga in November 2021.
“Malaking tulong ang 4Ps para sa katulad kong may pangarap para sa pamilya. Sa pamamagitan ng programang ito, maraming mga pamilya ang matutulungang umangat at magtagumpay sa buhay,” he uttered.
His story proves that indeed, poverty is not a hindrance to success.
If you have dedication and faith to achieve your dream, there’s no such thing as unreachable and impossible. (JCR/AMB/PIA Pangasinan)