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Gaining something bigger. A future teacher’s journey to a better life

  • When the last of their animals had been sold, she thought it’s the end of her dream of a college
    diploma.
    Starting 2013, when she enrolled in Laguna State Polytechnic University for a Bachelor’s Degree
    in Elementary Education, Maria Lyza Dioquino’s parents would sell a carabao every enrolment
    period to pay for her tuition.
    Lyza, 19, a resident of Brgy. Masikap in Real town, Quezon Province, never thought she’ll enter
    college in the first place. However, her parents have always been persistent about their
    education.
    “Sa kagustuhan ng mga magulang ko na makatapos ako ng kolehiyo, gumagawa sila ng
    paraan. Lagi nilang sinasabi sa aming magkakapatid na dapat naming pahalagahan at isapuso
    ang aming pag-aaral,”
    recalled Lyza, who has four other siblings.
    Her parents’ persistence inspired Lyza to focus on her studies and ensure she’ll get a diploma,
    find a good job and help improve her family’s living condition. Through the years, it is only her
    father, Edwin, 46, who supports their family of seven through farming and being an on-call
    laborer in their far-flung barangay.
    “Pero dumating sa punto na kailangan ko nang tumigil sa pag-aaral dahil wala na kaming
    maibentang hayop,”
    she shared.
    Fortunately, Lyza’s dream did not end there.
    Creating opportunities for poor families
    Lyza’s family has been a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program since 2011.
    According to Jennifer, 40, Lyza’s mother, the program has helped with the needs on health and
    education of her children. However, it is the opportunity to help Lyza continue her dreams that
    make their family even more grateful.
    The Pantawid Pamilya program, through the provision of conditional cash grants to poor
    children, aims to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty through ensuring that children are
    healthy and in school. The DSWD, through the help of various stakeholders including other
    national government agencies, civil society organizations and local government units, promote
    convergence of efforts to help these family-beneficiaries improve their level of well-being.
    To ensure that at least one member of family-beneficiaries finish college and get better jobs in
    the future, qualified beneficiaries are provided opportunities for a college education through the
  • Expanded Student Grants-inAid Program for Poverty Alleviation(ESGPPA) of the Commission
    on Higher Education.
    The ESGPPA is a college grant amounting to PhP30,000 per semester that covers tuition, board
    and lodging and other school-related expenses such as textbooks, uniform and school supplies.
    Lyza became one of the 2,707 ESGPPA grantees in the CALABARZON Region enrolled in
    different state universities in the region’s five provinces.
    Dahil sa ESGPPA, hindi ko na kinailangang tumigil ng pag-aaral. Lahat ng pangangailangan ko
    sa school ay napunan na,”
    shared Lyza gratefully.
    Dreams within reach
    Today, Lyza is just a few months away from her college diploma.
    Being raised in a far-flung barangay where a high school education, much more a college
    education, seems distant, Lyza cannot contain her happiness that she’ll soon become a teacher.
    Isa lang ang school sa barangay namin. Nasa ibang bayan (Pangil, Laguna) na ang high school
    kung gugustuhin ng mga magulang at mga bata na magpatuloy ng pag-aaral,”
    said her mother.
    For Lyza, being given the chance to finish high school and now get a college diploma is a big
    blessing for their family.
    “Lagi kong pinagbubuti ang aking pag-aaral dahil ito ang makakatulong sa aming pamilya.
    Inspirasyon ko sila para makapagtapos at makahanap ng trabaho para matulungan ko rin ang
    aking mga kapatid,
    said Lyza.
    Her parents might have lost the animals that have become their source of income, but with her
    college graduation, Lyza is positive that they have gained something biggerwhich is an
    education that will open better opportunities for her whole family and their community.# with reports from ROJapor

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