A SCHOLAR’S TESTIMONY
There was a poor man who was very industrious and worked hard for his own living. Because of this, a fairy awarded him with lots of money. The poor man became very, very happy. He can’t believe that he became a rich person. He didn’t know what to do with the money he had. He bought everything that is pleasant in his sight and everything he liked. He already had all the things he wanted. He spent all of his money in all expensive he saw. Until such time that he had a severe illness. The treatment for his sickness needed a huge amount of money. Because of his bankruptcy, the man asked the fairy for help. He asked, “If I won’t treat this illness as soon as possible, I will die soon. Please beg any amount for my survival.” The fairy denied his request and replied “You only cared about how you will spend your money and not how to use or spend it wisely. Now that you need it, it is out of your reach. You should learn to value things given to you.” A few days later, the man died.
Some things happen once in a lifetime. When we have this thing within our reach, all we have to do is use it for the betterment of oneself. Just like here today, we have received a privilege that seldom comes in our life. We are given the chance to pursue our studies in spite of poverty that we experience in our community. “Edukasyon ang susi sa magandang kinabukasan.” This is the line we often hear from our parents here today. In themselves they know how important education is for their sons and daughters. They also often say that education will lift our family from poverty we are experiencing right now.
All privileges are entwined with responsibilities we should be capable of doing. We, scholars, should give our full priority in studies rather than other things irrelevant with it. This opportunity will serve as our way towards the dream we expect ourselves to be. We are given the chance by Union Church of Manila Philippines Foundation Inc. to manage ourselves to a brighter future. We should do our duties as scholars for us to be benefited in this program.
In behalf of my fellow students, parents and teachers gathered here, I would like to thank UCMPFI for this wonderful gift to poor students who want to study despite of economic crisis in our families. Rest assured that we will cherish it and benefit ourselves towards success that we want to experience.
Thank you and Mabuhay!
Daniel John Legaspi,
GEESE Scholar Batch 2011-2012
Glene Carlo San Miguel, a graduate of the CENEP program in Mandaluyong, is determined to share the word of God in every possible way. His former teachers would always invite him as a motivational speaker during school programs. His recent talk took place at the annual United Nations Day Celebration of his pre-school in Highway Hills, Mandaluyong.
He was enrolled in CENEP in 2009, and now Glene is a 1st grader at Highway Hills Elementary School.
Glene is an only child. His father works as an all-around carpenter and repairman, and his mother Chanda helps Glene’s father when she is not busy taking care of her unico hijo. Chanda shares that Glene’s gift for sharing the gospel came from his uncle who happens to be a pastor. “He had a vacation with his uncle in the province. And when he came back, Glene was a totally different kid.”
She also adds that with her son’s new outlook in life, he has been able to influence his parents. “My husband and I couldn’t help but pray with him and study the Bible. We even started attending church.”
Glene tells us that he wants to be a pastor so he could work for the Lord—baptize people and share the Gospel.His favorite verses are Ephesians 6:1 (“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right”) and John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son. That whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life”). He shared these two verses during the recent UN Day Celebration.
It is through CENEP that Glene was able to read and write. “I learned how to count, to do my homework, and to pray,” he says. “I learned how to make friends as well,” he adds.
He is most thankful to his CENEP teachers for they have taught him about God. In return, he pledged that he will not grow weary in helping his pre-school to reach out to their young students.
OPENING DOORS FOR OUT-OF-SCHOOL YOUTHS
By Ricardo Bentabal
The opportunity to continue my education came 10 years after I first entered secondary level in 1996. I started as a first year high school student in a Chinese school in the province, but I was not able to finish for financial reasons.
I was practically an out-of-school youth during the intervening years and did menial jobs—as a helper in a carinderia, a factory worker, and a “barker” at a jeepney terminal in Pasig.
One day, I heard a radio announcement about a special education program called NFE-A&E, a Non-formal Education Accreditation and Equivalency for secondary level. I immediately reported to Makati Elementary School to see the possibility for me to finish the review classes in less than a year before taking the equivalency examination.
The day of the examination coincided with my birthday. When the result of the examination was released, I thanked the good Lord for giving me a passing score. Passing the equivalency examination meant I was qualified to enroll in the tertiary education level.
Since the 4-year course was too expensive, I opted to enroll in a 2-year technical course on Computer Hardware Technology at Datamex. At the same time that I was enrolled in the computer school, I also took the chance to take short-term programs like: Kitchen Management at Miriam College for one year, and Hotel Restaurant Services in TESDA.
After finishing my computer education and the short-term programs, I applied for a regular job as a waiter at Hotel Indah Manila, and then at Millennia Suites where I was promoted to Captain Waiter for the Banquet and Coffee Shop.
In my desire to expand my practices in hotel work, I transferred to One Tagaytay Place Hotel as a bartender and later I became the Steward Supervisor, or Chief Steward.
While working in hotels, I also accepted on-call repair jobs for computer hardware during my free time. And to gain more experience, I got employed in a fine-dining restaurant, the Via Mare.
My ultimate goal is to use my working experiences to put up a private food business. This dream of entrepreneurship is on hold, as I am saving for this investment. My alternative solution for lack of capital is to get a job abroad, particularly in Malaysia, where my mother is now living.
Government programs like the NFE-A&E, serve as a corridor for out-of-school youth to have a chance for a high school diploma and an opportunity for higher education in pursuing any field that they may desire.
If not for the NFE-A&E, I would not have a chance to finish tertiary level education; and perhaps by this time I would still be working in a low-paying job in some factory.