Hard work and faith: The secret to success

I am a product of a broken family.

My father left us when I was still young. I am with my mother, grandmother, and grandfather who raised and loved me unconditionally and whom I considered as my parents.

It's quite hard for me to grow up without a father. I sometimes felt envious of my classmates who had their father beside them but it hadn't been a hindrance for me to move forward and learn.

My mother is a plain house wife, my grandmother is a baker, and my grandfather is a carpenter. They might not have good professions, but I am proud that their upbringing resulted in the emergence of a responsible and grown man in me.

Way back in high school, I used to sell pandesal so that I could have a baon. I would wake up as early as 3:30 am to sell. It took me three hours till I run out of it. Then at 6:00 am, I would prepare myself for school.

I didn’t depend to my parents for that. They just earned enough for a living and I didn’t want to add a burden in our financial needs.

My mother doesn’t let me sleep without doing my homework and studying my lesson or else I get spanked. She's so smart and she's my best teacher. I couldn't have learned anything if it wasn't her effort. That was an everyday routine.

I even didn’t have enough notebooks for all my subjects. Nevertheless, I studied hard and gained honors in school. Luckily, I graduated as a third honorable mention in our class.

When I graduated in high school, I couldn't imagine the happiness drawn in my mother's face as I walked along the isle to receive my most awaited diploma. I didn't feel incomplete. I had my relatives especially my aunts who were always there extending their unconditional support and love to us. I am so grateful to God for giving me them. They are all my inspiration.

My achievements taught me that wealth doesn't promise you success. It's hardwork and faith that matter. You can’t prevent criticisms and failures. They're always there. You can’t resist them. God designed them to keep you even stronger.

It doesn't end there. I've got one more level to conquer—College.

I know that it demands a greater amount of money. A value that's quite challenging to earn by a family belonging to the lower class in the society.

I wasn’t hopeful that I could continue my studies. I knew its impossible for us to earn a huge monetary value for a shorter span of time. I prayed and prayed harder and God never failed me. There was a scholarship that time offered by HMC (Hinatuan Mining Corporation) and I was chosen as one of its scholars. They had qualifications for the slots and in God's grace, I qualified.

My heart danced for joy and so did my parents. I couldn’t wait for the opening of classes. I was so excited. I'll be studying in a private and prestigious school--how most describe it. I took Mining Engineering together with most of the scholars.

The company's level of assistance depends on our school performance. They term it "bracketing". Bracket A for a 100 percent tuition assistance if you have an average of 85 above. Bracket B for 75 percent tuition assistance if you have an average of 84. And bracket C for a 50 percent tuition assistance if you have an average of 83 below.

My standing for bracketing seldom differs.

My parents had to borrow money to my aunts to suffice my tuition fees in times I fell to bracket B or C. Still I'm so much grateful to the company which gave me an opportunity to go to college. That's more than what I deserve.

I was so thrifty (till now) and have to save money for some circumstances that demand it (t shirt contribution, projects, etc.). I seldom go out on a date with my girlfriend for that, I’m thankful she understands me. She's not demanding and was even supportive in my peaks and set backs.

And here I come, I survived.

In my five years in college, I have been through failures, struggles, and sometimes spiritual problems. I tend to lose hope but God held my hand, let me stand, and showed me the rising sun. Telling me that it's not the end. There's still tomorrow and it never dies. So did your opportunities and hope---it's always there. You just need to firmly grip at His hands and cling on His protection and love. Work with hope and perseverance. Surely, success will never be impossible.

Lastly, I just want to thank my family for always being there---my mother, grand mother, grandfather, my relatives especially my aunts. Also, to my girlfriend who has been with me through tough and momentous times.

Thank you and I love you.

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