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They say that 'Education is the key to success' and I believe it to be half truth. Education puts you on a pedestal where you can start your path and it's up to you on how you take this advantage. It all comes down to 'diskarte' or a move where you gain lots using the right judgement.
This issue alarmed me when more of the people surrounding me lack the freedom I have. I'm the type of person who can go out whenever I want without the restraints of my family. But in comparison to other people, they have lot's of reason holding them back. One of the reason is due to "utang na loob". They can't come because they need to do the favor their sponsor made. We Filipinos have initiative to give back what we received and this has a heavy impact in application to education. I am also from a poor family and we can't pretty much afford the tuition fees for college and I somehow get by with college without loan or "utang na loob" from other people aside from my immediate family. Lot's of people are in the same situation as me and sometimes, they're on a circumstance where a relative helped them study and now they are obliged to give back that help😢
With this in mind, I'll partake to you the 'diskarte' or strategies I accumulated during my school life experiences. If you have younger siblings, relatives, you might as well use this to encourage the children to cultivate their skills at earlier age. There's hope as long as they take the initiative to create that stepping stone.
During this stage, we could still get by even if 3 of us consecutively attend a public elementary school. After all, we don't have to pay for our tuition fees and the only problem we have could be solved simply. I remember during my elementary days that the only time we pay were the quarterly fees amounting to 50 pesos for the quarterly exams. As for the allowance, we could get by with 5 pesos during recess. I sometimes was not given an allowance when we're tight on budget. There's no need for lavishness when we all know we don't have the money to go along with our lies. It's also good if you have the means to enroll in a quality education on a private institution but I tell you, there are lots to learn from studying on a public school. One thing I've learned on a public school is discipline, basic courtesy inside the class, you know what I mean.
But you know what helped me during elementary days? I got stipend from competitions that I won being an athlete, a tennis player. It was my stepping stone when I enrolled on another public high school. Partake on competitions like slogan and poster, quiz bees, literary fests, could earn you petty cash but atleast it's better than nothing. If you have that talent, apply it and make money out of it.
Secondary levels in the Philippines are also free but there's a tuition fee amounting to 800 pesos that needs to be paid. But there are certain discounts that were given to some.
a) those who have siblings going to the same public school get a certain percent waved
b) those students who applied for scholarship to wave the remaining fees
c) those students who were fortunate to pass a scholarship program offered by individual or the school themselves
d) If your prospect highschool is offering special programs, go for it. In Baguio City National High School, they offer 3 programs. SPS, special program in sports, we received a stipend worth 5k (2011-2015) and we also have bonuses for the medals we won from competitions. PALARONG LUNGSOD, CARAA, PAMBANSA. Another is SPA, Special program for arts, and SSP Special Science Program, They receive 6k yearly but bonuses are hard because competitions are stiff :))
e) If there's a DSWD near your place, ask for their branch OCSWADO, my siblings also got scholarships their.
f) If you have the time, visit your municipal hall because there's also available scholarship there. My sister got one and she's receiving 5 thousand pesos every school year.
g) By the end of school year, we apply for SPES, a program by our city to help students work for 1 month then receive a 20 thousand compensation. Not bad. Search this at your city because I'm sure this is a program not specific to ours.
If you're curious why I know lots, it's because of my mother. She's a diligent single mother and she searched throughout the city to look out for any money that'll help us :)) My father died last last 2013 and she single handedly raised us since.
Note: Be on the look out for the bulletins because that's where they post notifications about scholarship. Talking to your homeroom teacher about available scholarships is a good way. My mother talked to the homeroom teacher of my brother and she herself went to the PTA (parents-teachers association) to ask for available scholarships and he was miraculously granted one :))
During this time, my arrogance in earning money got to my head and the pressure from the people around made me want to go to University of Santo Tomas (UST) but reality slapped me hard, we have no money. I got accepted with 50% scholarship from entering as a Judo athlete but I didn't continue because the lodging, the remaining tuition fee, daily needs, is just too much for my single mom who has a minimum salary.
I have a choice to attend a state university but my pride can't handle going to another public school when my friends got to go on famous universities. That's too much for me, I'm so inconsiderate. So I enrolled in Saint Louis University but the problem is how do I earn money? This is what I did.
a) I applied for a CHED scholarship, a tulong-dunong grant, and fortunately got accepted but 5k is not enough. Our tuition fee is amounting to 20k.
b) Even if I feel belittled, I applied as a working scholar. But guess what? I learned lots through those hardships. I gain clerical skills and I'm confident in working inside an office, an advantage different from a regular student. They're lucky though :))
c) During intramurals, I won a runner up position and I got offered a scholarship by the coach but I refused because I know my limit as an athlete 😢 Types of scholarships varies per school but their are common 3 types.
Type A- 100% scholarship
Type B- 50% scholarships
Type C- 25% scholarship
Type D- Miscellaneous fees are waved
d) I once worked in the theater of SLU called CCA (Center for Culture and the Arts) and I learned that they also offer scholarship for students who was inclined in arts :)) They have the same type of scholarship I mentioned above. But this are the clubs they do recruitment. Theater (acting), Dance Troupe (yeah, dancing XD), Orchestra (musical instruments), and Glee club (singing). The scholarship always vary depending on the assessment of the head of the club.
e) you can also choose to work outside, food chains and staff.
P.S. Scholarships are all around you and you only need to search for it but you should atleast monitor your grade because the priority for scholarships are those with 85+ GPA.
P.P.S. There's nothing wrong in enrolling to a state university, the tuition there is free so why not grab the chance. I'm just too if ignorant to grab the chance and it's too late for me to regret :)) It just so happened that the State University in my area is a city away so it added to my reasons of not attending one. If you're familiar with Benguet State University, it would take 5kilometers of jeepney from Baguio City. The distance is not the problem. The traffic was the root. In busy hours, it would take about 2 hours to get their, but in usual hours, you could get there within an hour.
One lesson my father kept telling my mother before he died was to never loan from anyone. The reason? He knew that we have no means to pay it back and the interest would only pile up. A sure way to dig a grave. That's why my mother worked hard by herself to raise 5 young kids without loaning big amounts from anyone.
I may have written my unnecessary experience but I hope this helps you in anyway if you're having financial troubles. It's better to be independent rather that having loans to payback and utang na loob from everyone. If you happen to be indebted to someone, then be sure to pay it back with a good manners and a thank you :)) No hard feelings. And in the future, if you're the one who's sponsoring one of your relative, you know now not to let them be obliged to pay you. Because helping without expecting nothing in return is the best feeling ever. Generosity at its purest form 💛