A recent buzz about the demands of the “middle class” caught my attention, this was all about the tax burden that they are carrying and, in times of crisis somehow they are excluded in the aid. Yes!— I understand the point, but the anti-poor remarks, lack of compassion and lack of understanding can actually hurt people. I don’t want to blame anyone here because I myself belong to the middle class. But you need to understand this! Your taxes can really help the needy and the younger generations fulfill their dreams. And for that— I just want to say thank you! Maraming Salamat! nang dahil sa inyo (taxpayers) natupad ko din ang aking mga pangarap.
2012– The regional office of the DOST visited our school and they are offering a college scholarship. I was already well aware of this scholarship because my brother in UP is also a DOST scholar. The filing of application is very tedious, it requires a lot of documents. There are a lot of documents needed! The filing process will actually determine if you are desperate enough to grab the scholarship or not. Good thing these documents require no payments to avail, you need to actually fulfill all the documents in order for you to qualify to take the exam. Good thing I do not need to pay an exam fee because we belong to the lower income bracket and I was qualified to the RA 7687.
The Exam Day and the Result
My brother gave me a tip about the structure of the exam. He said that the exam is designed to test your analytical skills and what you’ve learned inside the classroom will only help you in certain part of the exam. He said that I should practice what’s written in the primer.
And true enough, the test is very odd, not your typical college entrance exam. I think this is the way of DOST in giving fair advantage to every student by measuring the intelligence in a very different way. This will give an equal chance to student, especially those who are studying in provinces, an opportunity to make it to the cut.
After the exam, I felt worried because I’m not confident enough on my answers in the exams. I’m still hopeful but not expecting too much. In fact I’m already exploring the option of taking a Political Science course in case I did not pass the exam. My dream is also to become a lawyer.
March 24, 2013– It was late afternoon, my brother called me and congratulating that I passed the exam. Yes!– I passed the exam, i was very thankful to the Lord and I was filled with joy that time because I passed the exam. Out of 25,696 only 3,597 passed the exam! Only 14% passed the exam. They said that 14% is actually a high number of passers. Like what? In our province (Romblon) only 18 passed the exam, and in our town (Odiongan) only 4 passed the exam. Three of the 4 passers are my classmates. This was already a breakthrough in our town because for the preceding years only 1 or no one passed the exam. It made a buzz, in fact this was actually published on our local newspaper.
Link for the full results: https://www.thesummitexpress.com/2013/03/complete-list-of-passers-2013-dost-sei.html
My College Days as a Scholar
The photo above was taken during our sophomore years in Computer Engineering. You probably wonder why we are just 5 in that photo, it is because there are only 5 DOST scholars in our batch. And that time the community of DOST scholars is so small.
How did the monthly stipend and tuition subsidy helped me?
The book allowance, the tuition subsidy and monthly stipend really helped me survive the college days. The tuition subsidy allows me to really afford the tuition fee in college. The book allowance and the stipend helped me sustain my daily living in Manila. To give you the context I came to Manila just to study, so my parents are actually in the province and I’m living in a dorm independently in Manila. The allowance also helped me afford tools that are necessary in creating projects. The timing of the allowance is also great, because I remember I have my only last money and it is already evening my parents can only do remittance on the next day. I randomly checked the ATM and boom, there is my 10K allowance. I know that this scholarship is an instrument of the Lord to continue sustain my needs during my college days.
Maintaining a Scholarship is not easy
Others says that the maintaining grade for DOST scholars is too low (2.50 GWA), but I beg to disagree to that. In Engineering 3.0 is enough. Beside of attaining my ambition, the scholarship keeps me in track to study hard and give extra effort in what I do. Even though I’m tired, I still need to do everything not just to get a high grade to maintain my scholarship! Yeah! this scholarship trains me to be disciplined enough to fulfill my school requirements and projects. Until now, I never regretted that I developed that kind of habit. I’m thinking if I did not have a scholarship maybe I will be giving my minimum because I understand that in college all you need to do is to pass and everything will be fine. But the scholarship gave me a restrain to stay away from mediocrity because I’m maintaining a high standard for me to continue my scholarship. Hindi pwedeng magpabaya kasi wala tayong safety net na pwedeng sumalo kapag natanggal sa scholarship, kahit gusto mong magpahinga hindi pwede, Hindi Kami mayaman.
My handwork pays off, because not I only I maintained my scholarship, I was also recognized by my school and gave extra scholarship. Up to this day I’m still thankful to God for His grace, because I believe that I cannot do this alone I believe that God orchestrated everything for good. During my senior year, I still cannot believe that I topped the Dean’s Lister.
Up to the end, together with my co-scholars we, fought hard in maintaining the scholarship.
May 2018– We were very excited because finally! We are now going to graduate. After 5 years of studying we will be moving to much more difficult challenge of life.
Months before graduation, I was notified by our department to apply for honors! I’m qualified to received an honor. I was disqualified for the latin honors because one of my grades is 2.75 and the condition for latin honors is no grade lower than 2.50 in any subject including PE and NSTP. I was qualified for an Academic Distinction. I’m still grateful for everything because now I’m seeing that hard work pays off.
I’m very thankful to the Lord for these awards, but I believe that these awards is only the result of the previous work that I’ve done. The real question is: What’s Next?
DOST EXIT CONFERENCE : What’s Next?
During the exit conference, the thing that was really imparted to me is to give back to the community and to the country. Serve the country! Magserbisyo para sa bayan. They said that ,Please use your talents for the welfare of Filipino People. In short– Wag muna mag abroad! Serve muna sa ating mga kababayan.
I’m very thankful for this institution for having this kind of scholarship program. I want to thank all the taxpayers in our country, because of your taxes I can afford studying in my preferred university. Yes! May kabuluhan po yung mga binabayad niyong taxes. Hindi po ito napupunta lahat sa kamay ng mga kurakot na politiko ang iba po ay kayang magsuporta sa pag-aaral ng mga kabataang Pilipino.
And now I’m a professional, it is now my turn to give back to the country because I now belong to the taxpayers ( though taxpayers naman ako dati kasi kasama ako sa nagpapaikot ng ekonomiya). Through my current company I indirectly help the government in some of its biggest projects. And it is such and honor to serve our country.
And to the “middle class” na kagaya ko din, please stop na natin yung mga anti-poor comments . Hindi lahat ng mga umaasa sa gobyerno ay pabigat yung iba ay nagsusumikap din para makaahon sa kahirapan. Salamat