All students have experienced hardship in one way or another like sleepless nights, promissory notes, endless requirements – all for the dream to wear that cap and gown after years in the university.
However, life has never been easy for UP Tourism graduate Geoselle Dela Cruz. She is not one of the new breeds of UP students whose parents can easily afford the P1,000 per unit tuition. Tuition is not the only expense she needs in school, there is food, transportation, readings, projects, etc.
Determined to finish her studies, Geoselle take on jobs while studying. She worked as a tutor, dance choreographer, rappel instructor, host/emcee, and sells her preloved stuff so she can make ends meet.
As if their family’s financial status was not hard enough, on her last year in the university, her mother was hospitalized, her brother has a mental condition, and their electricity was cut off for a number of months.
On a Facebook post, Geoselle Dela Cruz expressed;
And to all my limitations, I have found a limitless God. <3
Para sa lahat ng araw na maski pamasahe sa ikot jeep, wala ako;
Para sa lahat ng enrollment na promissory note for late payment ang kasangga ko;
Para sa lahat ng CRS tagged deficiencies dahil never ako nakabayad ng dorm & tuition loan on time;
Para sa lahat ng pagkakataon na akala ng iba fasting ako, pero ang totoo, wala lang talaga akong pangkain.
Para sa lahat ng readings na pinag-iipunan ko pa bago ko maipa-photocopy;
Para sa lahat ng exams, reports, papers at patong-patong na requirements;
Para sa lahat ng groupmates na di naman magaan, pero panay pabuhat;
Para sa tulog, pahinga at acads time na kailangan isakripisyo kasi kailangan rumaket para may baon ako kinabukasan;
Para sa last sem ko na nasa ospital si Mommy, nagka mental health problem si Kuya at kinailangan kong maging solid Ate sa pamilya;
Para sa huling sem ko na wala kaming kuryente sa bahay for N months at nagthe-thesis ako sa dilim.
At hanggang sa Sablay na isusuot ko sa graduation na pinag-ipunan ko pa para mabili....
Para sa lahat ng 'to, nandoon Ka.
ALL OF THESE BATTLES, and You won them all.
To all who fought hard for their degree not just academically, this is for you:
I was raised & trained to be a “Diskarte Queen”. I grew up having a mind set na may paraan lahat ng bagay.
There are a lot of things I tried just to keep this UP dream going. Lahat ng raket na pwedeng gawin, I did. Tutor for 3 years, dance choreographer, rappel instructor, taga-transcribe ng thesis ng iba, pa-rummage sale ng own pre-loved clothes, R.A. dito, S.A. doon, sideline here, sideline there, back-up dancer, pati hosting at emcee rakets, judge ng mga pa-dance contests ni Mayor, benta ng pizza rolls, donuts, graham balls, oreo chenes at kung ano ano pang pwede ibenta.
Natutunan kong hindi lang mamaluktot pero matutong mag-stretch ng sarili at lumabas sa kahon. Hangga’t may raket na pwedeng sunggabin, G.
All these rakets provided for me for a little while, but all of these were temporary—It drained me & it didn’t sustain me.
And there, I’ve learned that when all my “Diskartes” are tired, and when all the rakets are gone, there He is. The One who truly provided for all my needs since day 1—even when I do not ask, even when I do not deserve. And when I met Him, I lacked nothing.
I have experienced to be empty-handed, yet still felt like I’m overflowing.
I have learned to be grateful, even if nothing’s going right.
I have learned that I no longer have to prove anything, for He already made me worthy.
I have realized that His ways are higher than my ways, and His plans are better than my plans.
I have learned that when life took away all that I have, as long as I have God, I lack nothing.
To the graduates: Please do not let your story be labelled as just another “grad essay writing contest entry”. Your story is a testimony. Share it, you’ll never know who will be blessed! Invest on & inspire the next generations! :)
To the entities who supported me & my family through scholarships, UP Streetdance Club, UP AITGFI and CHED. Sobrang laking tulong po ng suporta niyo, maraming salamat po!
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