Never feel content with the way things are, as they say, “the only thing that’s constant is change”, change is permanent, change should be embraced. This is my life story, these are the many changes in my life.
I am Jossah May G. Lime, 22-year old native of Delfin Albano. My father works as a carpenter while my mother is a laundry woman and a cleaning lady. Born the eldest of a brood of 7, I experienced firsthand how it was to be responsible for 6 other mouths besides myself. As young as primary school, I was already looking for ways to earn money, if not to put food on the table, it is to buy my own school materials.
Many times I desired what other children had. New school supplies, new clothes and shoes each school year, delicious packed snacks and lunch and parents who would be available each time there are school events. However, my parents needed to work doubly hard to earn such that I had to take on an even bigger role as caretaker of my siblings as well.
By highschool I was expecting more change, more improvements with the way we lived but for naught. I even started accepting laundry to help my parents and yet, there wasn’t enough money or food on the table. Sometimes I catch upon my mother walking door to door, borrowing or asking for rice to cook that day. It felt so undignified for me, I felt ashamed. But whatever my mother felt, she didn’t show, her determined brow would hide shame as she said, “You cannot eat your pride so we have to do what we have to do so that we can eat everyday.”
Through my secodary school, I pushed myself to do better. I assumed that if my parents saw how interested I am in studying that they would continue to support me till I graduate with a degree. How wrong I was! My parents informed me that they would not be able to afford to send me to college right after my graduation, so instead of celebrationg like the other students, I was crying.
Yet despite the news, I could not remain angry at my parents. I resolved that I would find a way to study again even if I had to work my way through it. I decided to stop schooling for a while to do odd jobs. I took on babysitting jobs on top of being an all-around nanny, laundry, sales personnel and assistant make up artist. The money I earned would be kept for my college but each time we run out of money at home, I would take my savings and give it to my parents.
My hardships did not go unnoticed. After two years of working, a relative helped me out in paying for arrears from high school and in securing the required documents for me to enter college. Another helped me out in paying for my college entrance fee. I was both ecstatic and fearful, happy that I finally have the chance at getting a degree but fearful that my education would entail more financial constraint to my family. I became determined to find a way to augment my expenses.
I applied for various scholarships, one of which is the CHED-funded Expanded Students Grants-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation that catered to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries such as myself and was lucky enough to get accepted. This has greatly changed my life in particular because I had more time to concentrate on my studies without having to think about where I would be sourcing out the money I needed to continue. In fact, I was even able to share some of the grants I received to my family to help my other siblings with school.
A couple of weeks from now, I will be receiving my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Isabela State University and can’t help but look back on all the difficulties I had to go through to finally get to where I am now. I still have to hurdle the licensure examination and the elusive search for a teaching post, but I believe that half the battle has been fought and won.
This is my life story. These are the many changes in my life.
###Story by Jossah May G. Lime