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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Young Woman from Alabat Island, Quezon Reaches Her Dream

Here are excerpts of the speech delivered by one of Anihan's Academic Excellence Awardee, Kristia Basila. Kristia did her on-the-job-training at Jollibee - Makati Avenue Branch, a franchise owned by Mr Franklin Tan.

...I am Kristia A. Basila, 21 years old, the youngest of ten siblings. I am honored and grateful to be given this privilege to be one of the graduating students of Anihan Technical School.

I finished my high school, in Alabat Island National High School, in the province of Quezon. My father, a carpenter, died when I was in second year high school. My mother, a housekeeper and a loving mother continued to support the family, by planting vegetables in our backyard and selling them. My two older sisters Mae and Laila helped her but my other siblings couldn’t give regular support since they have their own family to support. Therefore, there wasn’t enough financial support for me to continue studying in college.

My big question then was, “How will I continue? How will I get a college degree?” After graduating from high school, for about a year, I worked as a saleslady in a small grocery store in Quezon but with my small earnings I was not able to save money. So I decided to work in Manila as a yaya. I was 17 years old then.

As a yaya in Manila, I was not satisfied with my life. I really wanted to go back to school and finish my studies. This was my dream. Again, my question was, HOW?

After a few months, one of my sisters who lives in Malvar, Batangas and who would pass along the national highway going to her work in Canlubang, saw this big poster in the area of Barrio Tulo in Calamba. So she told me about that the school, Anihan, was offering a scholarship with courses in Commercial Cooking, Food and Beverage Services, and Baking and Pastry Production, with a National Certificate Level II...

In Anihan, I didn’t need a big amount of money to pay for tuition like in other culinary schools. What I needed was the capacity and willingness to be trained as a professional worker, be formed as a Christian and a good citizen of our country. Some words of St. Josemaria which he wrote in The Way have become my favorite: Study- any professional development - is a serious obligation for us...

The two years of studying in Anihan have been tiring, but the things we learned are immeasurable. Facing all the trials was also a proof that we were persevering in learning...

Others might say: ''It is impossible for you to have a good and stable job, because you just finished a two-year course.” But many of us are already working now or will already start working next week. So what matters is the quality of our training and the quality of the work we will do. We have learned that we need to work not only to earn but most of all to develop ourselves and our talents and become better persons. Also, in Anihan we have learned from St Josemaria’s teachings that if we do everything for the love of God we will be able to find him in our ordinary work...

All of us students would like to say THANK YOU to our parents. And all of us students with our parents would like to say thank you to the school management and staff who continue teaching us and leading us to the right path; to the industry partners who trusted in the Anihan students and accepted as us trainees in their establishments; to all the patrons, especially Mrs Mameng Manabat, who patiently looked for financial help just to support our studies. Thank you to the generosity of our school chaplain and of our mentors who are always besides us to help us grow in maturity and spiritually. We thank all the people who have helped us in one way or another! We will keep you in our hearts as a precious gift for the rest of our life.

To all my fellow graduates: It’s not the end. Nagsisimula pa lamang ang ating pagharap sa hamon ng buhay, taglay ang hindi mapapantayang pabaon. A loving farewell to you, Anihan, ang pangalang tumatak sa aming mga puso at naging napakahalagang bahagi ng aming buhay.
Anihan's 23rd Graduation Rites was held last 7 May 2010 at the St Beatrice Hall, St Michael's College, Binan, Laguna. The use of the venue was generously provided by Dr Lourdes Almeda-Sese and the St Michael's College Board of Trustees.

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