“‘Sa UB ka mag-aaral? Ni baon nga wala ka.’”
“A classmate told me this when I was in my last year of high school. I was aware my parents couldn’t possibly send me to college. My dad works as a security guard. My mom takes care of everything at home. We didn’t have a lot. But I knew I had to go to college.”
“UB has this program for working scholars – it’s more commonly called the student assistantship program – where those who couldn’t afford to go to college can pay their tuition and miscellaneous fees by working as student assistants while studying. I worked as a student assistant for more than four years. It’s not easy being focused on two things at the same time – working and studying – but you learn and grow deeply.”
“It certainly took a village for me to be able to march today. I have my siblings and my aunt to particularly thank. This is especially for my mom. I want her to be proud.”
“This one here’s a cliché, but it utterly carries great weight: Nothing can hinder you from accomplishing something as long as you have God in your heart and you have visions in your mind. You can't underestimate the power of a clear vision and faith.”
You recently trained in Thailand for your practice teaching. Tell us about the experience.
“It was sort of a struggle at first. I don’t speak their language. The most accessible way for us to get to understand each other is through the English language, but they don’t generally speak English. I had to come up with well-strategized at the same time creative methods to make it work; I had to make sure I considered their proficiency level without neglecting understanding. I think that this had the most impact on me during my practice teaching. It challenged me a lot. It definitely taught me a lot about my future responsibilities as a teacher.”
What lessons have you learned from the whole experience?
“Learning to adjust and adapt is really important, especially when you’re in a foreign land. Learning to be fluid, keeping a dynamic spirit – it’s your best weapon. Also, when you’re given a chance to do something, do it the best way you can. Be at your best all the time. It’s probably easier said than done, but just try to give it your best shot, ‘cause you’ll never know when you’ll be given the chance to do it again.”
Raul received the College Leadership Award, Student Assistant Service Award, and an award for being an international on-the-job trainee during the May 2018 graduation rites.
This is the second in a three-part series showcasing the stories of some of the graduates of May 2018.
Photo by RENE PASCUA
BLOG EDITOR: RONA LIN