Friday, April 24, 2009

A Daughter's Achievement - Her Father's Pride

Last April 5, my eldest daughter Winchell graduated from Davao Doctor's College with a B.S. Biology Degree! The hardships she went through to get the diploma makes this achievement not only memorable but truly, one which every father can be proud of!

With the rest of the family having migrated to the main island to look for greener pastures, Sheng, as we fondly call her, decided to stay to finish her studies. She was on her senior year and her last semester so she refused to bow down to the heavy financial pressures besetting the whole family. She simply didn't want to let the family's effort through the years to just go to waste! Left with barely enough to keep her going, she rented a small room in a boarding house near her school so she need not take a ride. She would often skip lunch and dinner just to get by, saving whatever money she has for transportation to and pro Davao's Crocodile Farm where she was doing a required research on reptiles as a pre-requisite to her graduation. Fortunately, she had some kind-hearted friends and classmates who willingly shared with her whatever they can. She would even swallow her pride and do some tasks for her classmates like do their reports and finish some research in exchange for them shouldering some research expenses for her.

Sheng spent Christmas 2008 all by her lonely self. She asked me to call her then which
I promptly did - but we both could hardly talk as we both were choking in tears! In between sobs, sighs, and flowing tears, she managed to tell me she won't quit despite the seemingly endless difficulties she was going through. she was hell bent to finish her studies! I could feel the pain and suffering she was going through then and I just found myself telling her to just follow her mom and her siblings back to the main island. But stubborn as she is, she refused. I could no longer go on with the conversations at that time because my tears were pouring like rain.

Her own siblings stopped schooling to find work in the main island to help her finish college. Fortunately, they were able to find work immediately as call center agents. In the next few weeks after that, Sheng's burden lightened. Her two sisters and brother started sending her money to pay off her school obligations and other graduation expenses. They sent her money for her food too and even bought her a dress and a new pair of shoes for graduation.

Finally, graduation day, April 5, 2009, came. She wanted her mom to be with her during this memorable event in her life! But alas, the airfare was too expensive and the family had no more money after paying off all her school dues and graduation expenses. So, I called up my cousin Ramon's daughter who also lives in Davao to stand up for us on her graduation day. She got more than what we wanted. No less than my cousin Ramon himself accompanied Sheng to her graduation - and even prepared a party for her at their house.

Today, Sheng is with the rest of the family in the main island! Her dream is really to proceed to medical school but we just won't be able to afford it. For now, Sheng will start to look for work and this time to help out her two sisters
finish college.

I am so proud of her for having the guts and the temerity to finish schooling despite the seemingly insurmountable difficulties. I am proud of her siblings for making sacrifices too. I am proud of my wife for holding the family together during those trying times. I am proud of this family which others thought will never succeed!

Sheng with Cousin Ramon's Family After Her Graduation
Sheng with her classmates inside the crocodile cage


  1. Congratulations, what an achievement, and honor.

  2. With tears in my eyes I'm typing this response. What a beautiful story. You have every reason to feel pride in your family and the fact that they put someone above themselves. If only more in this world would do things like this, what a beautiful world it would truly be.

    I share your pride in your daughters accomplishments. Next month, hubby and I will be in attendance when our daughter receives her Masters Degree. She too has made many sacrifices to obtain this. Living a very meager life style, working full time and going to school. She's applying now for jobs and we hope she'll have something lined up soon. She's worked very hard to achieve this and we parents have reasons to tell others about them.

    Beautiful post. Please give my congratulations to your daughter!

    Sandy in Ohio

  3. Hey my friend,

    Very touching story and what sacrifices were made for this wonderful accomplishment. I know your daughter will be helping others more that she will be helping herself. People who are selfless are the ones that truly know what this short existence is all about. You are blessed to have her as a daughter. I know because I have one just like her. She is blessed to have you as her father as well. How many times will we cry tears of joy and sadness for our children?

    Friends 4 Life!

  4. What a wonderful story. You and your family should be commended for the hard work and sacrifice you do so that your children can get an education. Very touching.

  5. Congratulations for this wonderful achievement! You're lucky to have a daughter who truly values education.

  6. i admire your daughter's persistence and dedication to finish school.i know the places that you mentioned coz i grew up in davao city too.i just migrated here in manila with my daughter last yr to join my hubby who's based here.congrats!everything paid off well.u must have instilled great values on your kids, that's why.

  7. thanks for sharing your very inspiring story, your daughter, her siblings, you and your wife all have to be commended for this cooperative achievement. you brought tears into my eyes, glad to know that there are still a lot of people out there who never gives up on life despite the challenges and keeps on going, working hard, and achieving. congratulations to your daughter, may she find a job and help her sisters, and may your family will always be blessed.

  8. You should really be proud of her. I mean everyone can start schooling, but not everyone can successfully finish it due to a lot of factors. She will have a great future ahead of her and that's also because she was raised by good parents like you. :)

    Have a great day!

  9. Congratulations! Her degree is something she will always have and hopefully it will help her to make a better life for herself and her family. That is so great.