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FEATURE: The Wait is Over

Aurora

The pride of Ambaguio, Nueva Vizcaya! Aurora Dumapis during their graduation pictorial.

“Walang salita ang makakapaglarawan sa hindi matumbasang saya na nararamdaman ko ngayon,” Aurora started, with her eyes that beams of joy and excitement.

Aurora Dumapis, a 24-year old lass from Ambaguio, Nueva Vizcaya, is in cloud nine right now for finishing college at the top of her class. She was awarded as cum laude in her course Bachelor of Agricultural Technology at Nueva Vizcaya State University – Bayombong.

“Narating ko ang yugto na ito dahil sa tulong ng ESGP-PA. Kaya nais ko ring magpasalamat sa mga taong nasa likod ng programang ito. Ang aking pagtatapos ay ang pagsisimula ng pagbibigay katuparan sa aking mga pangarap, at ito ay ang mabigyan ng magandang buhay ang aking pamilya,” she continued.

At this time, her story maybe all about the triumphs and victories but just like any other success story, Aurora had her share of hardships and frustrations. And her eyes that shine with happiness at this moment, used to cry a river of tears. Then.

Aurora is a loving daughter to Carmelo and Herminia who earn a living through vegetable gardening and selling. As the sixth among the brood of twelve, she knows the financial challenges that her family faces. Although her family manages to survive every day’s demand, Aurora strongly felt the choking grasp of poverty when she finished high school.

“Batid ko na kami ay hirap sa buhay, kaya nung nagtapos ako ng hayskul, tinanggap ko ng hindi muna ako makakatunton ng kolehiyo,” she recalled with a heavy heart.

But because she really wanted to finish a college degree and help her parents at the same time, Aurora left home and began to hunt for job. She worked as a helper and as a saleslady for three years. During this time, she fell prey to inferiority thinking that none of her elder siblings finished college and she will end up like them too.

“Nawalan na ako ng pag-asa noon. Naaawa ako sa aking pamilya lalo na sa aking mga magulang. Kulang pa din ang aking ipon mula sa pagtatrabaho kaya tuluyan ko ng sinara ang posibilidad na ako ay makakatuntong sa kolehiyo,” she sobbed.

Aurora saw nothing but grey skies until one day, the sun suddenly flashed a smile and a beautiful curve emerged in her face.

In 2012, after three years, Aurora was chosen as one of the grantee for Student’s Grants-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation or SGP-PA.

SGP-PA is a scholarship program that caters to the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. It is a tie up project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Labor Employment (DOLE) wherein the student beneficiary is entitled to a maximum of P60,000 pesos grant per school year.

“Nung nalaman ko sa aming Municipal Link na napasama ako bilang scholar ng SGP-PA, talagang nabuhayan ako ng loob,” Aurora exclaimed.

“Dahil ibig sabihin makakapag-aral na ako sa kolehiyo at ni piso ay walang poproblemahin ang aking mga magulang, dahil libre na ang aking tuition fee, boarding, pambili ng libro pati na ang aking mga uniform,” she added.

Armed with the will and determination, Aurora enrolled Bachelor of Agricultural Technology in NVSU-Bambang. In her first day at school, she promised to herself that she will finish the said course and will reap grades of flying colors.

“Ang aking pamilya ang inspirasyon ko kaya pinagbuti ko ang aking pag-aaral. Naniniwala ako na pag ako ay nakapagtapos, mas maraming magagandang oportunidad ang kakatok sa aking pintuan at dun magsisimula ang pag-ahon sa hirap ng aking pamilya,” she cried.

And tears began to flow down her cheeks. Aurora knew that the road which led to where she is right now was not easy, but because the enthusiasm to get a college degree and to uplift her family’s condition continued to ignite in her heart, she did not succumb to those hindrances. Instead, she emerged victorious.

Aurora dedicates the victory to her family, and to her fellow grantees as well. “Walang pangarap na hindi natutupad, lalo at may mga programa ang gobyerno na tutulong upang makamit natin ito,” she tells her colleagues.

“At pag dumating ang pagkakataon, ingatan natin ito at magsikap tayo ng mabuti. Ilang taon man ang inabot bago tayo makapagpatuloy, ang mahalaga ay itinuloy natin ang laban ng buhay. Lahat ng ating paghihirap ay magbubunga,” Aurora ended.

Indeed, Aurora’s life now sings a different tune. But she knows that the fight is not yet over. Whatever life may bring, she will always have the upper card. ### By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Information Officer II – Pantawid Pamilya

This post was written by:

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