Monday, September 7, 2009

From the Philippine Countryside to an International Degree in Thailand

Almost five years ago, I dreamed of pursuing my post-graduate studies in another country. I knew that such dream was so ambitious for a man whose parents' fickle income only depends to a very little farm in the remote area away from the Philippines' irrigation program. If pursuing bachelor's degree in a state college through a government aid was that tough back then, how about an international degree in another country? Such dream was so pathetic for a struggling part-time crew in a fastfood chain.

Not minding the resources that we have, a very strong lesson on valuing one's dreams (whether big or small) has been taught to us by our parents. As a child, whenever I told my parents about my dream of becoming a teacher, a lawyer, an owner of a nice vehicle and a beautifully landscaped concrete house and other things that an innocent child could think for the future, my parents would usually answer back with the word "POHON" which means "in the future". For sure, they knew what they could only afford. I understood that they did not try to give me false hope. Instead, they instilled an inspiration and strong conviction that with patience, hardwork and faith I would be able to achieve all my dreams. My mother, a religion teacher, used to tell me, "Iampo lang." (Just pray for it). Her statement inspired a resounding faith to me.

Bragging aside, me and my four siblings were able to finish college not because my parents had all the resources to send us to college but because they all had the desire and the vision to see their five children finishing a college degree no matter what. As students, we were always reminded not to indulge ourselves into unnecessary things because all of those could be enjoyed by us in due time. If we want to achieve our dreams, we need to sacrifice for nothing is instant in this world. Everything that comes to life, you have to work for it.

Last year, I have embarked for an international master's degree in Educational Administration here in Thailand, still, with my parents continuous encouragements. Although trials came along the way and some are still coming for sure especially for a self-supporting student like me, I still believe that no limitation could hurdle a determined dreamer. Right now, I am on the final stage of my study -- thesis writing. While working as full-time Mathematics teacher, I also have to work for my research study which will be hopefully scheduled for internal panel defense soon.

I could not imagine how I came this far. From a simple dream woven by a poor man from the Philippine countryside, thoughts are gradually turning into reality. I know it's not something that I could brag about but I am sure that this story of a dreamer could be an inspiration to hopeless individuals who think that we could do nothing with our present. Precisely, as my parents have taught me, we can always choose which path to trudge and do the best that we could to turn our dreams into reality.

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