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‘There’s always a silver lining for everybody’

VILLANUEVA, Misamis Oriental – For most families living way below poverty line poses a challenge for them to send their children to school.

And based on the 2017 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS), about 9 percent of the estimated 39.2 million Filipinos aged six to 24 years old were out-of-school children and youth (OSCY). One of the most common reasons among OSCYs for not attending school was the high cost of education or financial concern, which constituted 17.9 percent of OSCY.

The study further showed nationwide, about one-half of OSCYs belong to families whose income fall at the bottom 30 percent based on their per capita.

Christian Cahig (MSU)

Take the family of Christian Y. Cahig for example. His mother is a plain housewife, leaving his father, a utility in a general manpower services, as the breadwinner of the family. Christian, who hails from Villanueva town in Misamis Oriental, is the eldest of three children. Now Christian of Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute (MSU-IIT) is a registered electrical engineer.

He emerged as the top 1 of 1600 (out of 2,548) registered electrical engineers successfully passed the April 2019 Electrical Engineering Licensure Examinations. He spent all his schoolings in government institutions—at Vicente N. Chavez Memorial Central School in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

He was also a recipient to the Philippine Science High School-Central Mindanao Campus in in Balo-i town, Lanao del Norte, and later became a recipient to Science and Technology of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) under Republic Act 7687 Scholarship to poor but deserving students whose families’ annual gross incomes do not exceed the poverty threshold limit.

For Christian, it is a humbling experience for him being a topnotcher of licensure examinations as it was only his wishful thinking for him to be on top of the aspiring electrical engineers. There was none yet from MSU-IIT who garnered 1st placer for the said field though, according to him, was not a serious challenge.

He is also elated that his sacrifices paid off. He once dreamed about when he was in his freshman year to be named as the first summa cum laude for the electrical engineering field at MSU-IIT. As a student, he was motivated, as the eldest, to set a good example for his two younger siblings. Further, he strived to make his parents happy about what he has accomplished.

Glass half-full Taking life as half-full, Christian said to the youth to think of things that make us better despite challenges; and have a mindset you are halfway there.

In poverty, there is always a way to walk around although ‘lisud siya’ (it is not easy). It takes guts and there is always help or solutions to challenges. “When you are trained in that kind of situations, later on when you look back, the situation is really for you to experience such hardship,” Christian shared.

Hence, he said never give up. There’s always a ‘silver lining’ to every challenge in life. DOST opportunity Grateful to the opportunity bestowed on him, Christian said he was honed by the science and technology department to be of substance to the country. Hence, he said he is always focusing his decisions and actions on the mindset to thriving to become worthy to be called a DOST scholar and never giving up. (EOR)


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