MANGALDAN— Poverty is not an excuse for failing in life for this 18-year old who worked as construction worker to sustain his schooling and eventually graduate valedictorian of his senior high school class, the first batch of Gueguesangen Integrated School here on April 3.
Michael Español graduated with a 95 percent average for the General Academics Strand he took up and earned awards for Best in Business Ethics, Best in Contemporary Arts, Outstanding Student in work emission, and a Loyalty Award.
Español said he worked in a construction group by doing jobs from manual mixing of cement, doing finishing touches in cemented portions to carrying hollow blocks and cement, and other tasks for two months during summer in a shopping mall in Dagupan in order to save money not only for his schooling but to help pay for electric bills. He received P250 daily as his salary.
“Although it was difficult, I took the opportunity to work to help myself and to share in our home expenses,” Español said, adding that he is used to doing manual labor.
He recalled that there were many occasions when he walked to school and didn’t have money to buy food for the day.
Español is the second in a brood of four, all of them studying in different schools. The eldest is graduating in college, the third is in Grade 7 and the youngest in Grade 5.
His father, Marlon Español, works as office messenger in Valenzuela City while his mother, Rina Español, is a dressmaker. He said his salary as construction worker helped augment the income of his parents for the family.
Before he worked as construction worker, Michael also helped his mother cut remaining thread in the finishing stages of dresses she sewed.
He said he is ready to face another very difficult phase as college student due to financial constraints. He will pursue a course in Accountancy in Dagupan City and also hopes to enter the Philippine Military Academy.
Español advised fellow youth to “try your best to reach your dream, with the guidance from the Lord because without Him you can do nothing”.
He added it feels good to achieve something that you worked hard for. (Eva Visperas)
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