A fisherman’s child is a class valedictorian

Published by Glorei Lindio on

A fisherman’s child who has confronted poverty has able to attain her dream to graduate in high school plus became a class valedictorian.

Sixteen-year old Christine Mae Repatacodo of Barangay Tambo, Buhi, Camarines Sur has demonstrated the guts to follow her dreams despite poverty brings.

According to his Father—Christopher, 39, when Christine delivered her valedictorian speech, he could not stop himself to cry out of joy, when her daughter said in front of a big crowd– her classmates, friends and teachers that “Dawa kikalintura, dawa may bagyo nagasira si Papa para may pangkaon kami asin pangklase kami [Even if my Father is sick, even if there is a typhoon, he would go fishing, for us to have food and go to school].”

Repatacodo Family is a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). They are among the 29,417 beneficiaries in Bicol Region whose children graduated in high school this year.

Ini po an patunay na dakula po talaga ang tabang nin Pantawid Pamilya samo na pinagalaban an pagtios ta nakatapos po su aki ko sa high school [This is a proof that Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program greatly helps people like us who battle poverty because my child was able to finish high school],” Christopher proudly said.

Defying homelessness and instability

Being the second child of the six siblings, Christine is very optimistic and determined to go to school. When Typhoon Reming wreaked havoc on their home last 2006, her family has nothing left. But amidst life’s chaos, she still found stability in being a consistent valediction in elementary and now in high school.

Years later, their family including the 148 survivors of typhoon Reming whose house was totally destroyed gained support from local government unit in partnership with DSWD receiving a core shelter units amounting to P70,000 for each unit. It enables them to have steady-cemented house that protect their life and properties.

More than that, Christine’s family has gone surpassed life adversity when her sister Claire, 5, was at seven-month’s old had undergone large bowel resection – a surgery that remove all or part of large bowel.

Every day, her Father vends fish in the market and to their neighboring barangays earning P300-500 to bring food on the table. During week-ends and holidays Christine opted to help his father sell fish in the market to save money to finance her school projects and other expenses in school.

He added that the cash grants they received were used for the tuition fee and to finance their children when they got sick.

Ang pamilya mi dakulon pinagdaanan na kadipisilan pero swerte pa man padaba kami nin Diyos ta tinawan kami nin matali na agin. Proud kami [Our family endures a lot of difficulties but luckily, God loves us because he gave us intelligent children. We are so proud],” Christopher said.

Continue aiming for bright future

Christine said that she did not expect to become a valedictorian–she only aims to pass in all exams and subjects. But she said she is overwhelmed in all her achievements in school.

Apart from being a valedictorian, she earned various awards for her exemplary performance in science, math, english, araling panlipunan, values education and received certificates and recognition in leadership.

Ang tagumpay ko po ay para sa pamilya ko at sa mga sumusuporta po sa amin. Ipagpapatuloy ko po ito para sa magandang kinabukasan namin dahil para sa akin ang pagsuko ay hindi po option [I offer my success to my family and to those supported us. I will continue aiming for bright future because for me giving up is not an option],” Christine said with full determination on her face.

As of now, her family looks for various options or organizations either private or government agencies that offers a college scholarship. “Makatabang kaya nin maray kung may scholarship. Ang pangarap ko makatapos sinda sa college [It will help us a lot if there is a scholarship. My dream for them is to finish their college education],” Christopher stated.

Christine plans to study accountancy in Bicol University where she was able to pass the entrance examination.

Blessing po na nakatapos ako ng high school pero gusto ko po matulungan ang magulang ko para makaraos kami kaya gagawin ko po lahat para makaroon ng degree. Naniniwala po ako kapag may motivation ka, ambisyon at higit sa lahat purpose ay makakaya mong lahat maabot [It is a blessing that I was able to finish high school but I would like to help my parents and improve our living condition so I will do everything to earn a degree. I believe that when you have a motivation, ambition and most importantly a purpose–everything can be achieved],” Christine ended.***G.A.N.Lindio, IO-Pantawid Pamilya

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