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FEATURE: A Tale of Two SGP-PA Grantees

Many inspiring stories have already been said and written which strongly negate the idea that only those born with a silver spoon are the ones who can live a bed of roses, while those born in a family who struggles just to make both ends meet will forever wallow in scarcity.

The world has heard lots of rags-to-riches tales conveying the message that as long as the determination continues to ignite within one’s soul, he can surely break free from the choking grasp of poverty.

Through the government’s Students Grants-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation or SGP-PA, its scholars are now climbing the ladder in the realization of their dreams- most of which aim to  have a more comfortable and stable living condition.

The SGP-PA is a scholarship program which caters to the beneficiaries under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Scholars are entitled to a P60, 000 grant per school year covering the tuition fee, book allowance, meals, boarding and school uniforms; and they can pursue any of the priority courses offered. With this scholarship, real and ordinary human beings have spoken to share how close they are in the fulfilment of their aspirations.

RISING FROM THE SCRATCH

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Edleen Joy S. Parinas of Diffun, Quirino is a 2nd year college student at Philippine Normal University- Alicia Campus in Isabela, pursuing BSED Major in English.

“The SGP-PA is a big help for me in finishing my college education especially that I don’t have to bother my parents for tuition fee and allowance,” Edleen started.

Edleen Joy S. Parinas of Diffun, Quirino is a 2nd year college student at Philippine Normal University- Alicia Campus in Isabela, pursuing Bachelor of Secondary Education, Major in English. And admirably, she is one of the students who gain grades of flying colors as Edleen, was an academic achiever last semester.

“I’m really hoping to be a Teacher that’s why I’m toiling hard in my studies so that I can achieve that dream. My family is what keeps me motivated to always excel in everything I do, especially in my studies,” she continued.

As eldest in the brood of four, Edleen gives way to the needs of her three siblings as she knows that her parents, Eddie, and Merlinda, are stretching all means just to make both ends meet.

“Back then, it was a challenge for me to comply with all the requirements since I don’t have extra money for those expenses. And every enrollment, there was the fear of the possibility that I might not be able to continue with my studies,” she shared.

Edleen also said that often were the times that she had to endure the twinge in her stomach because she doesn’t have a ‘baon’.

But now, Edleen is singing a different tune because everything she needs is already covered by the scholarship. She is also happy to be of help to her parents because they can now just focus on financing the needs of her siblings in school.

My family is very thankful for being included in the Pantawid Pamilya. Through its SGP-PA, I’m on my way in giving my family a better life. Little by little, we are rising from scratches, all thanks to the program,” said the 17-year old Parinas pride.

LITTLE STEPS TO A BRIGHTER PATH

Edmund Tiu, who hails from Sta. Ana, Cagayan braved the distance just so he could finish his college dreams. He is studying at Isabela State University-Cabagan Campus with the course Bachelor in Agricultural Technology. He endured the pain of living miles away from his family.

“Hindi biro ang mapalayo sa pamilya kasi pag may problema  ka, walang agad na sasaklolo sa’yo. Ito ang unang pagkakataon na nawalay ako sa kanila kaya sobrang nalungkot ako nung una,” he said.

But, the feeling of solace was replaced with a smile when he became a Dean Lister’s last semester. When he broke the good news to his family, Edmund shared that his parents were very happy and were proud of him.

“Pinagbubuti ko talaga ang aking pag-aaral nang makatulong ako sa aking Papa at Mama, maging sa mga kapatid ko. Laging nasa isip ko na ang sakripisyong ito ay para sa aking pamilya, at kahit nakakalungkot ang mapalayo sa kanila, ako ay hindi dapat sumuko,” he continued.

All of Edmund’s effort and hardwork continue to pay off when he was also among of the few who were qualified for the international course wherein, together with her classmates, they will be given a month to further enhance their skills and strengthen their learnings.

“Sa mga kapwa ko grantee, ‘wag na wag po tayong susuko sa mga problema at pagbutihin natin ang pag-aaral dahil maraming magagandang oportunidad ang darating ‘pag tayo ay nakapagtapos,” Edmund’s  inspiring words to his fellow scholars as he will already graduate next year.

Poverty- this harsh reality has put fear to some people, but it did not succeed in striking apprehension in Edleen and Edmund’s brave spirit. For them, poverty is a motivation to do and be better; and made it as a passport to enter the realms of a brighter tomorrow. ### Prepared by: MARICEL B. ASEJO, Information Officer II-Pantawid Pamilya

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