BUGALLON – Poverty was not an obstacle for a 20-year-old student who worked as a house-helper to earn her college degree with flying colors – cum laude, no less – at the Pangasinan State University – Lingayen Campus.
Donalyn Maneclang who initially doubted if she could finish college, was among the 1,700 plus graduates who received their diplomas during the 40th Commencement Exercises held on June 24 at The CSI Stadia, Dagupan.
After graduating in high school with honors, Donalyn was afraid that she might not continue her college education because of her family’s financial constraints.
“Si tatay ay nag jue-jueteng lamang na alam kong hindi legal na trabaho, ngunit kung hindi niya papatulan ito ay wala kaming kaning isusubo, habang si nanay naman ay pa-extra-extra sa pagla-labada at kung anu-ano pa.”
She initially went to Manila to take a job as babysitter to save for her enrollment but she quit her job on learning that the municipality was giving scholarships to deserving students who pass the qualifying tests. She took the exam, unfortunately, she failed. But armed with her dream and brave spirit, she decided to find work in a canteen else where
one of her high school teachers, Mrs. Evangeline S. Tandoc offered her to employ her as a house-helper with a promise to pay and send her to school. Donalyn gladly accepted.
As a working-student, she had to wake up 3 a.m. every day to review for her classes, and complete household chores before rushing to school, and return to do house chores upon her return from school. On weekends, she helped the church clean premises.
And when her mother died, “Parang gumuho ang mundo ko, parang ayaw ko na. Nawala ang isa sa pinaka-importanteng tao at inspirasyon sa buhay ko,” she said.
She quickly turned the tragedy into another motivation – to make her mother’s image proud. She consistently landed on the Dean’s list from her freshmen to senior days.
“Half tuition lang at may pa-isang libo,“ she said. ”Minsan, naiinggit ako sa iba kong mga kaklase dahil hindi nila pinoproblema ang pera sa kanilang pag-aaral,” she added. On her fourth year, Fr. Eric Estrada sponsored her daily allowance.
Donalyn is now a degree holder of Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education major in Filipino, cum laude and is preparing for the 2019 Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) this September.
Donalyn said she couldn’t have accomplished what she has today were it not for the love and support of her family and the special people who offered her the opportunities to make her dream come true. (Melody Valenton)
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