Chasing Dreams and Life Lessons

Last year I was invited to talk to a group of scholars of Philippine Army Producers Integrated Cooperative (PAFCPIC) Christmas party. It was a privileged  to be invited and share my experiences as a scholar and what life has taught me since I graduated in 2001.

PAFCPIC Scholars Get Together 2015
Looking Back 20 Years Ago

About 20 years ago, I was standing in front of the old PAFCPIC office in Manila which is located inside the Philippine Army compound in Fort Bonifacio holding a brown folder with an application form for a scholarship grant. That was in 1997, a year before my dad passed away due to fire accident where he was found dead due to third degree burn and suffocation. 

At that time, I was 18 years old and working at United Laboratories and PHILUSA Corporation as factory worker. But faith changed the situation, I was accepted and received a full scholarship from PAFCPIC. I decided to continue my nursing degree and finish it at De Los Santos College.

Nursing Capping Ceremony
Nursing Capping Ceremony

Nursing Candle Light Ceremony
Nursing Candle Light Ceremony
It's not easy to maintain the scholarship. I had to keep up with the high grades, enduring few hours of sleep. I'm so tired with aching body after hospital duties and school in between. But one of the turning points in my life happened when I was sent to Nueva Vizcaya for a Community Health Nursing. I stayed and lived in a kagawad's house and their family for almost a month. One of the challenges I faced was the accessibility to facilities like toilet. I cannot forget how far the toilet and bathroom from their house, about 1 kilometer away. Children going to school without slippers, uniform even school supplies. Most of them don't have money to buy snacks.

Chasing Dreams And Life Lessons
Community Nursing Immersion
Together with fellow nurses, we created several outreach programs including health teachings about family planning, health and prevention of diseases, nutrition and a lot more. We rendered nursing care to children as well.

Oath-taking ceremony
with grandma, Violeta during the Oath-taking ceremony
Nursing Oathtaking
with mom
I graduated with honors. The graduation was just the start of another journey though. To practice this vocation, I need to pass the Nursing Board Examination. I felt I'm not yet ready so I decided to delay it for six months and took the December 2001. The hard work pay, it was a big surprise when the result came out and I was included in the Top 20. At first, I prayed to be in the top 10 but I prayed right after day 1 exam and just asked the Lord to give me a passing grade.

Chasing Dreams And Lessons Learned Along The Way

Success begins when you dream and believe in yourself. Determination is the backbone that will help you stand up after falling repeatedly. Learning comes when you step out of your comfort zones. Success is sweeter when you learn to share your blessings to others.

Chasing Dreams And Life Lessons
Banawe Rice Terraces 2001
MV Doulos Ship in Manila 2010
MV Doulos October 2010, same time I started blogging.

International Women's Day 2016
March 2016, City Garden Grand Hotel Staycation

I owe whatever I have now from all the special women in my life. My mom and grandma were both supportive and I'm grateful for the love they gave me. There are women I've met along the way - my professors, classmates, even patients. The people from PAFCPIC as well. They imparted lessons in life which I will never forget.

If your passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what others would think and say. To all the women out there, Happy International Women's Day!


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