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The Success Stories of 2 SPES Grantees in R.T.Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay)
Fri, Aug 29, 2014 (Source: ZSFO)
MARY MAY CAHILIG: A Farmer’s Daughter to a Farmer’s Pride
“I almost stopped schooling due to lack of financial support.”

Barangay Tupilac is 10 kilometers away from the town center of R.T.Lim. Like most rural communities in the country, the area is heavily agricultural. Mary May Cahilig, grew up in this community. Her father is a hard working farmer and her mother is a Barangay Health Worker. Mary May graduated Salutatorian in elementary which earned her a high school scholarship grant from Mr. and Mrs. Rene Cabrera.

In the summer of 2009, before her 4th year high school, their family finances hit rock bottom. The meager farming income of her parents was allocated to the education of her 3 elder siblings who were already in college. Mary May, the fourth among the five siblings, understood that she was not the priority of her parents in terms of educational support. She started to doubt her future. To ease her woes, her older brother referred her to the PESO Manager of LGU R.T.Lim, Mrs. Susan G. Cabrera, for a possible availment of the DOLE’s SPES Program. She was accepted that summer and became one of the several SPES Babies until she finished college in April 2014.

Mary May continued her academic excellence and graduated Top 7 in high school. She got the Academic Scholarship at WMSU-ESU Tungawan and enrolled in Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (BEED). She knew that pursuing a bachelor’s degree would also entail more expenses. To cope with her other expenses which include her daily fare, school projects and daily allowance, she worked part-time in the household of Mr. and Mrs. Rene Cabrera and run errands for them.

Her hard work paid-off as she graduated top of her class by being the Cumlaude of WMSU-ESU Tungawan last April 2014. She applied for a teaching job at Marian College Elementary Department last May 2014 where she was immediately hired.

According to Mary May, SPES did not only help her financially but also instilled her good values towards work and prepared her to the real world of work.

SHEREMAY PABILLO: Poverty is not a Hindrance but an Inspiration
“I don’t want to stay poor. I want to improve our living condition.”

It was summer of 2008 when Sheremay Pabillo heard about SPES. She is about to enter her 4th year in high school and her parents are financially hard-up. She doesn’t want to be a burden to her parents so she personally applied in the SPES implemented by DOLE and LGU-R.T.Lim. She passed the qualifying exams and the background investigation conducted by the PESO thus making her a beneficiary in 2008. Since then she has become part of the SPES Babies of LGU-R.T.Lim.

Sheremay graduated second honorable mention in her high school thus earning her a CHED Scholarship grant at WMSU-ESU Tungawan. She took up Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Even with the scholarship grant and SPES salary, Sheremay still needs to look for alternative source of income to fill her needs for daily fare, school projects and daily allowance. As a result, Sheremay worked as a part-time nanny and tutor during day time and attend school in the evening.

Sheremay never considered poverty as a hindrance to education instead, she used it as a motivating factor to continue her studies and strive hard to excel in school. In April 2013, Sheremay Pabillo graduated ahead of her class as cum laude and she also passed the Licensure Examinations for Teachers the same year. She is currently serving as an Alternative Learning Studies (ALS) Volunteer covering four barangays in R.T.Lim. She is handling around 160 students with four classes every week. Sheremay was very grateful for SPES because she developed a strong work ethic which helped her in performing her current responsibilities as an ALS volunteer educator.

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