Posted on 24 November 2016.
Rose Ann Dela Cruz, 10, from Brgy. Lakdayan in San Narciso, Quezon Province, is this year’s 1st runner-up in the National Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children.
Every day, right before she goes home from school, Rose Ann Dela Cruz visits her biggest inspiration.
Right at the entrance of Lakdayan Elementary School is a grotto of Mama Mary where she spends a minute or two daily to say her prayer of thanks for the day. Such habit is not typical among the pupils of the said school, but Rose Ann never forgets a day.
Once the prayer is said, 10-year-old Rose Ann walks her way home, her disposition so bright that people, young and old alike, in their neighborhood would never fail to notice.
Little did Rose Ann know that even with her smallest of gestures, she is being seen to get it ‘big’ one day in their small village of Lakdayan in San Narciso town in Quezon Province.
Big name in the community
At 10, Rose Ann is known by her teachers and neighbors as a model of good character.
“Talagang maipagmamalaki mo sa batang ‘yan na lagi s’yang may paggalang sa mga nakatatanda, mabait at lalong lalo na ay masipag s’yang mag-aral,” shared Lanie Mariño, 42, a neighbor who has known Rose Ann since she’s a newborn.
Her current class adviser, Ms. Kristine Clairon Dinglasan, who is also her neighbor, has been a witness as to how Rose Ann is more than just a bright and talented young girl.
“Pagdating n’ya ng bahay, talagang makikita mong nagmamano sa mga matatanda. Buklat agad n’ya ang mga aralin at gumagawa ng mga assignments. Masasabi kong isa s’yang huwaran ng kagandahang asal at katalinuhan,” Ms. Dinglasan said.
Mr. Arnel Marzonia, Rose Ann’s class adviser last year, also shares his admiration to his most talented student.
“Mayroon s’yang kakaibang talento at talino. Focused s’ya sa pag-aaral. Kapag may hindi s’ya alam, nagtatanong s’ya. Kahit s’ya ay maliit na bata, napatunayan n’ya ring kaya n’yang mamuno,” shared Mr. Marzonia.
Ms. Jonabeth Bello, her Grade 1 adviser, recalls that Rose Ann is very generous with her classmates.
“Lagi s’yang nagtuturo sa mga kaklase n’ya kapag mayroon silang hindi maintindihan sa klase, mapagbigay din si Rose Ann. Hindi s’ya madamot magbigay ng papel o magpahiram ng ballpen sa mga kaklase kahit sabihin pa nating sa mga pinakamalapit n’yang kakumpetensya sa honor roll,” said Ms. Bello.
Further, Rose Ann is seen to be a good influence to her classmates, especially her circle of friends.
Teacher Ethel Razon shares that they have observed that Rose Ann’s friends became dedicated to study as well as become active in school activities.
Christian Malachico, 11, Rose Ann’s friend, shares that besides influencing them to study harder, Rose Ann has also inspired them to be better.
“Tinuruan n’ya kaming maging mapagbigay, magkusa sa lahat ng bagay at rumespeto sa iba,” said Christian.
For Rose Ann, who she is now is a product of her parents’ and teachers’ love and hard work as well as her experiences growing up.
Rose Ann is the eldest of two children of Tatay Alvin, 30, and Nanay Rosalie, 28, who started their family at a young age.
“Dahil maaga kaming nagsimula ng pamilya at hindi nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral, naging mahirap ang buhay para sa amin. Ang pinagkakakitaan ko ay pagkakarga ng mga coco lumber sa kabayo,” shared Tatay Alvin.
Nanay Rosalie recalls eating only bananas or noodles during meals.
“Naaawa kami sa mga bata dahil wala kaming pambili ng pagkain. Minsan, pinapangutang namin sila para may maayos silang makain. Tapos kaming mag-asawa, ang kakainin na lang namin ay saging,” shared Nanay Rosalie in tears.
At her young age, Rose Ann understands their plight.
“Gusto ko pong makatawid kami sa kahirapan—‘yung hindi na kami mahihirapang humanap kung saan kukuha ng pagkain o pambili ng gamit sa school. Gusto ko po na lagi kaming masaya at buo, ‘yung hindi na kailangang magtrabaho sa malayo si Papa at mawala nang matagal para masuportahan kami” she shared with conviction.
Even with her youth, Rose Ann has concrete ways to achieve this dream.
“Magiging abogado po ako. Talaga pong pinagsisikapan ko ang pag-aaral ko para matupad ito. Hindi po ako umaabsent, nakikinig po ako sa teacher at pinag-aaralan kong mabuti ang lahat ng tinuturo sa akin,” she shared.
For Rose Ann, chasing opportunities through education will be her key towards achieving her dreams.
“Ang edukasyon po ang papatid sa aming kahirapan dahil ito po ang magpapalawak at magpapalago ng aking kaalaman,” added Rose Ann.
Tatay Alvin and Nanay Rosalie are both proud of their daughter’s commitment to work for the achievement of her dreams. However, according to them, Rose Ann does not stop there.
“Napakaresponsableng bata ni Rose Ann at talagang naaasahan namin s’ya dito sa bahay. Hindi na s’ya kelangang utusan. Isang s’yang magandang modelo sa kanyang kapatid pagdating sa pag-aaral at sa kagandahang asal,” shared Nanay Rosalie.
Besides doing house chores such as fetching water and cooking, Rose Ann also helps Nanay Rosalie in their small sari-sari store. At times, she also sells pancakes in their classroom.
For Rose Ann, being a good daughter, sibling and student makes her less of a burden to her parents as well as the rest of the community.
Big thanks from a small child
Rose Ann knows that she is still at the beginning of the chapter of her life, which she compares to an open book.
“Para akong isang bukas na libro na marami pang p’wedeng maibahagi,” she shared.
For all that she went through, she does not forget to thank every detail of how she has made it to this chapter of her life and how she’ll finish her race.
“Pinakaimportante po sa akin ang pamilya dahil sila po ang naghulma sa kung ano at magiging sino ako,” she shared with pride.
Further, she does not forget her teachers and the good education they are providing her.
“Nagpapasalamat din po ako sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program sa pag-agapay sa mga mahihirap na batang katulad ko. Alam ko pong karapatan namin ang edukasyon pero dahil po sa tulong n’yo, nakikita kong hindi na lang nasa balikat ng mga magulang namin ang pagbibigay sa amin ng karapatang ito. Katuwang na po namin ang gobyerno,” she shared with a smile.
And just like every end of her school day, Rose Ann does not forget to thank God.
She mentions every blessing that came her way and vows to do everything to make it big one day.#