Five OWWA Southern Mindanao Scholars graduate with honors. They are children of 3 OFW domestic workers and 2 OFW engineers.
The full report:
For School Year 2018-19, five outstanding scholars of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) – Regional Welfare Office XI under the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) graduated as Magna Cum Laude (2) and Cum Laude (3).
Portia Aioel Aine M. Dalangin
A 20-year old daughter of an OFW and a housekeeper made her family proud for graduating Magna Cum Laude among 1,598 graduates of the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU), Davao City. Portia Aioel Aine Dalangin from Catalunan Grande, Mintal, Davao City passed the exams in 2015. She took up Bachelor of Elementary Education Major in General Education and consistently obtained high marks in her academic subjects.
In 2005, her father Bovet Dalangin worked as a Supervisor in a company in Qatar which lasted for fifteen years. “I applied for the scholarship program to ease the financial burden of my parents. To be in ADDU requires bigger amount of money that’s why I strived more to get this scholarship”, Portia said. She added that when her name was included in the top 200 passers of the qualifying exam, she found hope in achieving her dream.
According to Portia, being an OFW dependent needs a lot of patience and perseverance. “My two sisters and I indeed missed our father for years, but it did not stop us from anything. Rather, it served as our motivation to do our best in our studies. With our mother by our side, we were guided with love and support despite the absence of our father,” she said. Aside from graduating Magna Cum Laude, she also received a school award, a recognition to students who excel in academic leadership and services, spiritual maturity and social involvement. As an achiever, she offered her accomplishments and awards to her parents who did their best raising them. She likewise dedicated her success to her two sisters who always supported her. “My sacrifices and hardships paid off as I marched with honor and distinctions. I will forever be grateful for these blessings,” she added.
Portia’s desire to take up an Education course started with an admiration for her gradeschool teacher. She said that it slowly became a calling as she grew up. With her achievements now, she is happy and motivated to put her childhood dreams into a reality. “As a future educator, I would say that one’s path will surely be filled with a lot of challenges and I have learnt from them. One must remember that such path could be the way towards one’s goal to have a secure future,” she added.
“The OWWA’s scholarship program has given me and the rest of the scholars the opportunity to reach our dreams. It was a great help to the OFW parents who want their children to earn a degree through the fruits of their labor. I would like to commend the agency’s initiative to support and guide the OFW dependents. I hope many deserving dependents will also avail of the benefits as I had,” said Portia who feels happy to be counted as one of the outstanding scholars of OWWA.
Presently, Portia is preparing for the review of the 2019 Licensure Examination for Teachers. “I will strive more to pass the exam and hopefully start my career as a professional teacher,” she ended.
ANGELICA J. SUCAYAN
An OWWA scholar with strong determination and dedication marched the stage with pride and honor as she received her recognition as one of the students who graduated Magna Cum Laude at the Ateneo de Davao University.
Angelica Sucayan is the 2nd of the three children of Roy and Arlene Sucayan. Her father worked in Dubai, Oman and Singapore as a chemical engineer from 2007 to 2014 while her mother managed their farm in Koronadal City. Though she was born and raised in Koronadal, South Cotabato she preferred to take her college education in Davao City.
Upon knowing the scholarship program of OWWA, she applied for the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) in 2014 and passed the qualifying examinations. She enrolled at the Ateneo de Davao University and took up Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. “I chose to take up this course because of the wide range of career opportunities and job security, especially when you become a CPA,” she said.
Because of her
desire to be enrolled in the university, she looked for a scholarhip
program that will help her in fulfilling her dream to become a CPA.
“When I took and passed the qualifying exams in 2014, I felt so lucky
and grateful to be given this very rare opportunity. When I became an
OWWA scholar, the financial burden of my parents was lessened.
Being left behind by their father was the hardest part of their lives. “It’s so difficult to be apart from our father. It was not easy to feel that our house is not a home without him. Being the closest to him, there were days that I would even wear his clothes just to feel his presence. Ever since he left to work overseas, our life was tough and we thought that we could not survive. But our mother was strong and she surpassed all the challenges being the only one who guided us,” said Angelica. She added that everytime they received a call or e-mail from their father, they were relieved from their longingness.
Unforfunately, the family of Angelica faced a great challenge and struggle when her father passed away on June 30, 2014 due to lung cancer. “We never knew that the longingness we felt for our father will be now forever. We missed our Papa so much. Wherever he may be now, I’m sure he is so happy with my achievements. Though he was not around during my graduation, I felt his presence and he was with us. I would also extend my great appreciation to our mother who took over all the responsibilies in raising us since Papa left. For us, she is the strongest woman for she conquered everything to protect and raised us to become better persons,” she relayed.
Angelica is determined to become a CPA so she can help her mother in providing the needs of her younger brother who will be enrolled as 1st year high school this school opening. Her older brother is now a nurse who also extends support to them. Her mother felt so blessed for having responsible children. “They were my strength when their father died. I had to make lot of sacrifices just to make sure that all of them could go to school. I wanted them to live a life free of financial worries and focus on their studies that’s why I do many side jobs. Likewise, I can’t thank OWWA enough for the scholarship granted to my daughter. Without it, Angelica might not have been able to finish her course,” Angelica’s mother enthused.
“The OWWA’s scholarship program is a great blessing to our family. It made our life and my studies much easier because it lessened the pressure of my mother. We also thank OWWA for encouraging the OFWs to pay and renew their memberships because the benefits will be thousand folds of their membership fee if they will avail of it. I heard about my classmates’ scholarship program, but none of them could compare to that being offered by OWWA. Every time I share and talk about this program, they would always say how great it is and wish they could also avail of it,” said Angelica.
Apart from being the Magna Cum Laude, she ranked No. 4 in the university’s CPA Mock Board Exam. While waiting for the 2019 CPA Board Examination, Angelica tries to look for a job that will help sustain her needs and spends more time for her review.
As a daughter of an OFW, she learned the value of hardwork, patience and understanding. “Life is not easy being left by a loved one. I can’t count the times that I wished my father was with me on every special occasion and even on a regular day. But, this made me more independent and helped me become a better person,” she ended.
RABBINALD A. SANGCAL
“Keep smiling, stay positive and be contented” is the guiding principle of Rabbinald Sangcal to survive and complete his Chemical Engineering course at the Ateneo de Davao University. “Everytime I encountered hardships and challenges, whether in my studies and family, I always look into the positive things so that I will not be affected,” said the 21-year old bachelor from Talomo, Davao City.
His 55-year old father, Ronaldo Sangcal worked as a Head of the engineering projects in Saudi Arabia for 10 years while his mother Evelyn, 54, worked as a salesperson. “Through the modern technology in communication, we did not find hard to communicate with our father while he is working abroad. We constantly communicate through e-mails, messenger and video calls. The longingness and loneliness we felt during his absence is bearable,” Rab relayed.
As a qualified OFW dependent, he availed of the Education for Development Scholarship Program in 2014 after passing the qualifying examinations. Like other scholars, Rab applied for scholarship to ease the financial burden of his parents. “It was my dream to enroll in this university and I know that we will need much money to be in this school. When I learned about the OWWA’s scholarship program, I readily applied because I believe this will help me in reaching my dream,” he said.
Because of his passion for Chemistry and Mathematics, Rabbinald chose to take Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. “Though I heard from others that chemical engineering is the most difficult of all the engineering courses, I still pursued my dream. Having high marks in all of my academic subjects and getting motivated by my teachers to take chemistry related courses made me more determined to enroll the course,” he said.
Rab added that despite pressure and difficulty of some of his major subjects, he was able to survive because of the guidance of his parents and the financial support extended by OWWA for the whole five years in college. With determination and perseverance, Rabbinald graduated as Cum Laude among the 1,660 graduates of the university. “It is indeed a great honor to be an OWWA scholar because it added confidence and security when it comes to our financial obligation to the university. For me, it is the best scholarship offered to all OFW dependents. It is not only a financial assistance to the scholars, but it also helped us to have self-confidence and be more mature through the capability building seminars given to us yearly,” he said.
Rab considered his family as his source of strength and inspiration to become an Engineer. “My dream is to travel around the world and follow the foosteps of my father. I want to have a stable job so that I can repay my parents’ sacrifices just to provide me and my sister the best education. With the achievements I have right now, I am one step away from my dreams. I offer all of these to my parents who struggled much for me to march the stage with high honor and to my sister who supported my long journey in the university,” Rab said.
The family of Rab expressed their healtfelt gratitude to OWWA for all the support and for always inspiring all the scholars to reach their goals. “We are so proud and happy for the great achievements of Rab. We have nothing to ask for but for him to become a successful Chemical Engineer,” said Rab’s father who is now managing their own carenderia after retiring from his work abroad.
Right now, Rab is preparing for his travel to Laguna to have a review for the Licensure Examination for Chemical Engineers which will be held on November 2019. “I will do my best to make my parents more proud of me. I am strongly praying that my exam would give positive results that may change our lives,” Rab ended.
CHERRIE MAE D. JANOG
Cherrie Mae Janog, 20 years old, from Brgy. Salvacion, Panabo City, Davao del Norte is one of the outstanding scholars of OWWA who graduated as Cum Laude at the St. Mary’s College of Tagum, Inc., Tagum City.
She is the eldest among five children of Christopher (deceased) and Siera Janog. Her mother worked as a domestic worker in Singapore from 2011 to 2018 while her father was a tricycle driver when he was still alive.
She availed of the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) in 2018 when she was already in her 4th year college. She was encouraged to apply for the scholarship when her father died as she needed financial assistance to finish her course. She took up Bachelor of Science in Accountancy because of her dream to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Pursuant to Memorandum of Instruction (MOI) No. 006
series of 2017, those OFW dependents who are already enrolled in the 2nd
to 5th year in college are qualified to avail of the program provided
that they have a general weighted average (GWA) not lower than 85%.
When her father died on March 17, 2018 due to refractory septic shock, her mother decided to no longer go back to her employer in Singapore. “Aside from the loss of my father, my younger brother is undergoing dialysis. He needs proper care and attention that’s why our mother decided to stay. I will try hard to pass the CPA Licensure Exam and find a stable job because being the eldest, it is my responsibility to support my mother and my younger siblings, especially in the continuous medication of my sick brother,” said Cherrie who is now preparing for her CPA review class.
Cherrie stressed that, the scholarship program of OWWA don’t just give the scoholars adequate financial support, but it also helped them understand why their loved ones went abroad. “They provided us seminars and workshops that will guide us and strengthen our relationships as OWWA scholars and OFW dependents. I am so grateful to OWWA for giving me the chance to become one of their scholars and able to finish my course. Thank you for trusting my potentials and capabilities. I could not make this far without your help,” she said.
Cherrie considered the loss of her father and living without a mother by her side as a great challenge. “It made me stronger and it inspired me to keep doing things which are beneficial to my family. I will never quit and feel down. Instead, I will use this experience as my weapon to achieve my dreams. We also survived with the help of our relatives. Everytime we need financial support, they are just a call away. I hope that my story will inspire other scholars and OFW dependents who experience downfalls and difficult situations,” said Cherrie who is determined to do everything she can to help her mother. In addition to her achievements, Cherrie passed the short-term Bookkeeping course from TESDA and acquired a National Competency (NCIII) Certificate.
RUELYN M. RIZALDO
“To become a teacher has always been my dream since I was in my kindergarten. I always admired my teachers who exemplarily performed their teaching professions that’s why I took up education course,” said the 20-year old scholar of OWWA who graduated Cum Laude among 1,880 graduates of the University of Mindanao, Davao City.
Ruelyn Rizaldo, the seventh among eight children of Bernardo (deceased) and Constancia Rizaldo, took up Bachelor of Secondary Education – Major in English at the University of Mindanao. Her mother served as a domestic worker in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 2016 up to present while her father was a farmer. When her father unexpectedly died in 2015, her mother decided to work overseas to sustain the family’s needs. “My mother wants us to finish our studies and have a better future that’s why she was forced to leave us. Being away from her makes us sad. This feeling is inevitable but suffering is always optional. Whenever I feel sad, I always think of my mother’s purpose of working abroad,” she said.
When her mother learned about the scholarship program of OWWA in 2018, she advised Ruelyn to go to the office and apply. With a general weighted average of more than 85%, she qualified and continued her last year in college with less financial burden. “Financial problems urged me to find a scholarship program which can sustain my remaining years in college. I am really grateful to OWWA for giving me the chance to avail of the scholarship. It provided me not only financial security, but it also helped me to become emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually developed through the seminars and workshops conducted by OWWA for the scholars. They gave us opportunities to bond, share, build relationships, and help one another to cope with the challenges we faced as OFW dependents,” she further said. Her mother likewise extended her gratitude to OWWA for the financial support granted to her daughter. “I was worried that Ruelyn might not be able to finish her studies because of my financial limitations. The scholarship was indeed a blessing to us.”
Aside from being an achiever in school, Ruelyn is also an active student leader. She is the current Secretary of the Association for Future English Teachers (A.Y. 2018-19) in the university. Likewise, she actively participated in various extra curricular activities like Story Telling Competition (1st Placer), Spoken Word Poetry Competition (3rd Placer), and Jazz Chant Competition (2nd Placer).
Despite the loss of their father and being away from their mother, Ruelyn together with her four brothers and three sisters, remained strong and kept their faith in God. “With prayers, perseverance and determination, we were able to survive and surpass the challenges. One of my elder sisters also graduated with the same course I completed and is now teaching in a public school. My other siblings are also in college and the rest are in junior high school,” Ruelyn said. She offered her awards and recognitions to her mother who came home to attend her graduation day last April 24, 2019. “I feel blesssed and proud that I was able to march with my mother. My day was filled with joy and excitement. At last I made it and I will make myself ready for another challenge to face which is the licensure exam,” she added. Presently, she is preparing for the review of the 2019 Licensure Examination for Teachers. “I will pray more and do my best to pass the exam because I want my mother to stop working overseas and be with us. It’s my turn to work and support my family,” Ruelyn ended.
The stories of these outstanding OWWA scholars are similar to others who graduated with high honors and are now successful in their respective careers and undertakings.
This year, OWWA-RWO XI has a total of eighty-one (81) availees uder the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP). Of this number, 33 are new scholars while 48 are currently enrolled in different universities and colleges in Davao Region. (END)
Source: Hans Leo J. Cacdac