Don’t Just Be A Dreamer

20 Jan

This was my article before going to the United States of America on March 10, 2010.

December 20, 2008

“Don’t just be a dreamer……. but be a doer too.” How could you figure out a young boy who came from a broken family and very poor family who tried to overcome his own struggles in life?
My parents were already separated before I was born. I did not have father figure in our house. We did not have any real properties. We rented the lot from our neighbor and our house is made up of light materials only and no electricity at all. I studied my lesson in a dim light of lamp. My mother, as a single parent worked so hard just to support her own family. She worked in the farm during daytime and weaved mats in the evening. She was still awake at 3 o’clock in the morning. There were times that she got unpaid from farm works and insulted publicly. It had been a number of times that our family degraded, deprived and discriminated. It was very difficult to be poor. During weekends, she sold mats and vegetables in the market. She got laundry clothes from our neighborhood when farm works were not available. We were always looking for our firewood, rice and food everyday. We did not have money even for our transport which made all of us to walk back and forth several kilometers away from poblacion to the barrio every time we went there for work. I did not have enough money when I was elementary and high school to support my studies. At the age of 10, I was an ice buko vendor already. I did help our family in household chores and in selling vegetables in the market. My father with his own family had physical disabilities. He had artificially-made eye due to work-related incident when he was a policeman. He had also amputated leg due to diabetes. I started to recognize my father when I was in high school because he offered help for my tuition fees in high school. I realized their hardships in raising our family; putting up things together and solving various problems. However, I retained myself in the first section of the class since elementary up to high school. I participated in some extra-curricular activities in the school.
After graduation in high school, I cried when I could not continue my studies in college because my father got sick already and my mother could no longer support me. I remembered when she said one time, “Just cut my body into pieces and sell it” “So that you have something to support for your studies” She was crying too. I cried because I got 92% general average in NCEE but I cannot enroll in college and all my classmates in the first section will go to college for the coming year. First, I took a free 6-month training of typing course which was sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church. In the afternoon, I did tutoring to graders in exchange of “sweet potatoes” as snacks and little amount of money from our neighborhood. Besides, I had to take good care of our vegetable garden so that we have something to eat. After graduation in the vocational course, that was the time that I should to look for a better job that can provides our daily needs. But there was another problem, how could I leave my 75 year-old aunt who stayed in our house for several years to help my mother in raising our family and she had never been married. I took good care my aunt since she got an illness. Do I take good care my physically-ill aunt through her entire life or to pursue my plans in life? It was a very difficult decision.
At last, I decided to look for a job. I just my visited my aunt one or twice a year. I had been a houseboy then a fresh meat, fish, and vegetable vendor in Meycauayan then a cigarette, candies and plastic vendor in Olongapo City then a gasoline boy in Zambales then a factory worker of school supplies in Novaliches and finally, a textile worker in Meycauayan. When I had got my regular appointment that was the time that I have to start my plans again. While working in the textile, I did enroll in Meycauayan College. I never forget to support our family in terms of financial assistance even I was studying while working. Meycauayan College was the nearest college that convenient for me in terms of financial matters, distance travel and time management. This was the institution I thought that can give me a college diploma and a quality education. My expectation was really true. Even I would like to take medicine course that time but I did not have huge amount of money for the said course. Thus, I selected Biology as my major in Education. I took Education course because I want to share my knowledge to everybody.

During my college days, I performed well academically with a general weighted average of 1.78. It so happened that I was a working student then and I believed that it could be better and higher if I am just a full-time student. Despite of these, I participated in certain college activities such as impromptu speech, singing contest, had been a member of a dance troupe and a contributor in the college paper. In fact, our group was the champion in the Group Pantomime Competition.
It was February 1991 when the factory wherein I was employed got closed due to labor strike. I went back into selling cooked food in one corner of a well-known subdivision in Meycauayan just to support last semester of study before graduation. I just borrowed money for my jeepney fare so that I can attend the graduation ceremony together with my mother. When I stepped on the stage, I could not even stretch my legs because I am so hungry that time. I felt physically weak. My beloved mother witnessed my graduation at last in 1991.
I tried to apply for a teaching position after graduation but most private schools offered me lower salaries which were half lower salary from a textile factory where I lastly employed. One day, a friend encouraged me to apply as waiter in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia because I had a part-time job experience as waiter in an exclusive hotel in Manila. Luckily, I was hired but for the first two months abroad, I was a merchandiser in a supermarket wherein I have to lift up heavy items in a dump truck then downloading these again. I did these tasks three times a day in a 12-hour basis of work time. Again, I was not used to it. I felt so weak. The store managers could not understand the English language. They shouted and said bad words to me every time I could not carry heavy loads but I ignored it. They allowed me to transfer in a restaurant when there was somebody newly arrived from the Philippines. After I served as janitor in a Filipino restaurant then I became waiter for more than three years then a cashier/waiter wherein one of my tasks was to supervise the operation of the restaurant.
When I arrived here in the Philippines in 1994, I prepared for the Professional Board Examination for Teachers; Career Service Professional Examination which both I took in 1995. Luckily, I passed the two professional exams. In the same year, I started to practice my profession as elementary and high school teacher in a private school. While teaching in a private school, I pursued my graduate study in Manila for two years until I passed the Comprehensive Examination. I lacked just one subject which is thesis writing to finish the degree. After four years of employment, I transferred to a public school here in Meycauayan. I had been employed also as part-time college instructor here in Meycauayan College, my alma mater, and in a public college here in Meycauayan City. Within thirteen years of continuous service in both private and public institutions, I did share all my skills and expertise to elementary, high school and college students. I did participate with my colleagues and school heads in any assigned tasks to improve the quality of education in our school. For professional growth, I attended various seminars, trainings and workshops. I tried also to contribute articles for science magazines of a publishing company here in Meycauayan City.
Last year, I passed the Praxis II Exam with a higher score. This was a professional examination given to any professional teachers in the world conducted by a licensing agency of United States of America for teacher certification. To sum up, I passed already four major professional examinations which I did not expect to happen when I was still a kid. The history repeats itself, now that I am applying for a teaching position abroad. I passed already the interview and I completed already the required documents. My only problem at present is the processing and placement fees. That is why I ask the Lord to give me some signs. My 84-year old mother wants me to stay here in the Philippines. According to her, she is now very old. It hurts me every time she says that statement and every time I say goodbye to her. My mother also said that I have already job here so why I should go so far. I love my mother so much but I want also to improve my life and the lives of our family better. It is a very difficult decision again. Would I stay to take good care of my mother and the rest of my family or to follow the next plan? I am asking for several signs to God for my next decision in life.
However, I would like to widen my horizon and to continuously do public service here and abroad. Always remember: “Do what is right in order to be good rather than do what is good in order to be right.” “Not all good things are right but all right things are good.”


5 Responses to “Don’t Just Be A Dreamer”

  1. Jannet Z. Tapleras December 5, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    “Don’t just be a dreamer……. but be a doer too.” This quotation proved that when you have a dream you can achieve it if you will pursue your goals. You can’t be a successful in your life if you don’t work hard for achieving your dreams. You need to believe in yourself that you can achieve it then you need to start today, study hard.

    I am amazed by your story Sir. Meron because you encountered a lot of problem when you are achieving your goals in life. You were at a very young age to have a job like that and I salute you for that because that was a very hard to do. Then also you get a lot of discrimination for being unfortunate. If I were in that situation, it will be hard for me to choose also if my mother or my dreams. Then I am amazed of you, how you handle that problem in your own and you survived it. You experienced a lot of difficulties in yor life and you didn’t give up to achieve your goals but then you strived for it and give your very best to become what you are right now. Then you proved to those people who descriminate that they are wrong. Now that you become a teacher. You proved that being unfortunate can’t be a hindrance in achieving your goals in life. I’m thankful because I met you and very glad to be my teacher in this subject.

  2. Alexandra P. Halasan December 6, 2014 at 12:44 am #

    “Don’t just be a dreamer……. but be a doer too.”

    I’m speechless. This story is inspiration to us, that every problems in our life there still hope. That every things that happen to us, there is always a reason for it. “Walang binibigay na problema ang Diyos na hindi natin kayang harapin”. Don’t mind those people who discriminate your family, because they are just a tool to make you more stronger. And now that you proved to them that your dreams do come true.

    This story is full of morals that everyone can relate. The story is not just a piece but a eye awakening tools for student like us. You can feel in the story that the author is man of experience.

  3. Ghelo Ghelo December 6, 2014 at 12:59 am #

    Goosebumps,not my mouth whose first react but my body does, the author(sirMeron) is like a diamond because experience make him stronger and more precious,also like diamond the author is well shape because of his struggle he undergo.

    to a person like me the easy go lucky guy the line “Don’t just be a dreamer……. but be a doer too.” made me think how come that my dream became come true if I just do is sit back and relax waiting to granted the things that i wanted, but the author and his mother is a such a wonderful person doing everything to provide all their needed, maybe now we can see the result of their patience and hardworked. The Gift of God to them is a very precious priceless treasure .

  4. Marvin P. Havana Jr. November 9, 2016 at 11:37 pm #

    Huwag kang makuntento na ang pinapangarap mong maging ay maging pangarap nalang. Gumawa ka ng mga hakbang para makamtan mo ang iyong pangarap na inaasam. Gusto Kong maging isang electrical engineer kaya naman ako ay nag-aaral sa isang pampublikong lugar na kung saan inaalam ko ang mga bagay bagay na dapat Kong matututunan o dapat kong taglayin para magampanan ko ng maayos ang aking kinukuhang trabaho. nais kong makatulong sa aking mga magulang kaya naman pinipilit kong mag aral ng mabuti para pagdating ng araw ay masuklian ko ang sakripisyo ng aking magulang para sakin.

    – Marvin Havana


  1. Don’t Just Be A Dreamer « Hands-on - January 20, 2013

    […] Don’t Just Be A Dreamer. […]

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