The Girl has a Dream

By: Jenelyn Rombaon

In a mountainside of the province of Camarines Sur, there is a town. In the town, there is a village called Mansalaya. In that village there is a nipa hut, under that nipa hut there is a girl. And that girl has a dream.

She dreamt of going far-away place to search for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Her father was a farmer and her mother was a plain housewife, the girl had to fend for herself. In her mind, there must be a way out of the endless cycle of poverty and indigence. And she knew that only education could lift her family from their hardscrabble existence.

So, she studied hard. She had to walk half kilometer everyday with only slipper on her foot and male polo shirt and skirt as her uniform which was left over of her cousins in Manila. Her parents can’t afford to buy uniform for her. At night, only the dim light of a kerosene lamp would help her when she studied her lessons and doing her assignments.

At times, she had to go to school without breakfast, because there was no food left at the table. Sometimes she brings root crops or boiled banana at school and exchange it with her classmates for a piece of papers. Most often she was experiencing mockery from her schoolmates because she was wearing male polo shirt always and she was selling at school.

She had to endure all these because she had a dream. And she graduated salutatorian in the elementary grade.

In high school, it was the same ordeal. There were days that the girl could not attend her school because she has to take care for her younger sisters when her mother accompanied her father to the farm. Being the eldest, she knows that she had to look after her siblings so her parents can bring back money for her contributions at school.

But she had a dream and she drudge on and graduated salutatorian.

After high school, her parents told her that maybe having a high school diploma was enough, because they can’t afford to send her to college. And she has to work on her own if she wants to pursue her studies. She helps her father in tending their cow and carabao. Also in doing field work like plowing, planting, weeding ect.

The girl realizes that the field work was not for her. Their harvest was just enough for their food. She told her parents that she wants to try her luck in the big city. In the summer of 2006, she arrived in the big city, start of a long, difficult and oftentimes painful struggle for recognition and a better life.

She found a job in a financing company, at Scout Albano Street in Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, at first as a loan agent then promoted as a marketing supervisor. Because of her work dedication, her team always meets their quota. The company recognized her talent in dealing with people and enrolls her in a personality development programs and they assigned private tutors for her. She became the assistant branch manager and later on she became the branch manager.

She was earning enough and forgot to pursue her dream to have a college degree. In her mind, she does not need a degree to earn money. But the competition went high and more financial institutions rises, the company went in a bad shape and some branches closed by the management including the branch she was handling.

She tried to look for a job in other companies but always failed, because the main requirement is to have at least two years in college.

February 2011, more tragic event happened. The house she was staying with was eaten by fire, all of her investments gone. She saves only her important documents, nothing more.  That was the time she realized, nothing in this world was permanent and only education was the treasure that cannot be steal away or even burn by fire. And she regretted the time she wasted.

But there is a rainbow always after the rain.

Now, she was in her second year, taking up mass communication technology. And enjoying the full scholarship grant offered only by La Verdad Christian College.

In a mountainside of the province of Camarines Sur, there is a town. In the town, there is a village called Mansalaya. In that village there is a nipa hut, under that nipa hut there is a girl. And that girl has a dream.

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