S.Y. 2016-2017, BS Industrial Technology
I am Edessa, a daughter of a fisherman and a humble housewife on an island in Capiz in the Panay Islands. I am the eldest of five children. With meager earnings, at times, our family had barely anything to eat but rice porridge for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes, we would even have to go to bed on an empty stomach.
When I was in high school, my parents gave me 20 PHP a day, which I would save to have money for my boat ride to school and for food. However, after finishing high school, my parents could no longer afford to send me to college. Because of this, I decided to work as a household helper. At first, I was okay with it because I was able to support our family. But when I learned that my friends were off to college, I felt bad, seeing that this was probably the end of the road for me.
Surprisingly, I felt a glimmer of hope when my aunt offered to send me to school in exchange for being her helper. However, after just one semester, my aunt said she could no longer support me. Still determined to pursue college, I applied for a government scholarship which was granted but lasted only for a semester.
I was so determined to go to school and pleaded with my parents to support my education, even if I knew it would be hard for them. To my delight, they agreed, but that joy did not last long.
On November 3, 2013, one of the world’s strongest typhoons, Typhoon Yolanda, devastated provinces in the Philippines, including Capiz. During the rising flood, I had to go to the top of a neighbor’s roof with my ten-month-old cousin. We stayed there for over an hour, fear washing over me as I saw waves sweep over everything and as the strong winds beat against us.
When the floods subsided, we went to check on our house, only to find an empty lot. Not a single trace of our house was left. I felt so terrible and could do nothing but cry. We’ve lived there since I was a kid, and in one hour, everything was gone. I felt sorry for my parents, but I never questioned God. I still consider myself blessed because my family and I were alive and complete. I trusted that God was still in control of my life.
With nothing left to live on, I decided to stop studying and work as a house help again. I came to accept that that was all I would ever be.
The following year, I was granted a scholarship with Real LIFE through the help of a friend from Victory in Roxas City. Aside from the opportunity to finish my studies without having to worry about finances, I’m also grateful for gaining a spiritual family. I understood that faith is believing in something even if you don’t see it yet, and being confident that God is able to come through for you.
In 2017, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Education. I also passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers, and it is my desire to inspire children through teaching.