Poverty didn’t hinder this fisherman’s daughter from ranking 2nd on teacher’s board exam

MANILA, Philippines - On November 30, 2015, 34,010 aspiring teachers successfully passed the Board Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (BLEPT).

Among those who received the highest grades was Iah Bantang Seraspi from Romblon State University who got an average grade of 90 and ranked 2nd in the board exam. In several viral posts on social media, the 21-year-old daughter of a fisherman and a plain housewife revealed the struggles she had to go through in order to achieve her dream of becoming a teacher.

Iah Bantang Seraspi from Romblon State University
Poverty didn’t hinder this fisherman’s daughter from ranking 2nd on teacher’s board exam
PHOTO CREDIT: Debbie Esquejo Garcia
“I came from a poor family. I am not telling you this to humiliate my family nor to get your sympathy. I just want you to realize how blessed you are if you were able to live a life better than mine. Since I started schooling, feeling ko mayaman na kami kapag nakapag-ulam akong noodles sa agahan kasi usually ang ulam ko ay chichiria, kape, asin, asukal o kahit ano basta lang may lasa ang aming kanin. Imagine the nutrition I get from those foods yet I am an achiever in school. Di naman nila makikita ang laman ng tiyan ko but they will definitely see the capacity of my brains,” Seraspi said.

(Since I started schooling, I would feel privileged whenever I get to eat noodles for breakfast since I usually eat junk foods, coffee, salt, sugar or whatever that would add flavor to rice… They won’t see what I ate but they will definitely see the capacity of my brains.)

Determined to Reach for the Stars

Even at an early age, Seraspi had the makings of a successful person. A consistent honor student in elementary and high school, Seraspi graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED) major in Biological Science.

Unlike other fresh graduates, Seraspi opted not to accept job offers immediately after receiving her diploma. Determined to top the BLEPT, Seraspi participated in review classes and did everything she could in order to achieve her goal. In fact, she was able to finish a total of 10 books from cover to cover not including the handouts and other materials she sourced out at the time she was preparing for the exam.

“I secretly wrote in my notebook these words: Goal: To top the BLEPT; Deadline: September 27, 2015. This is to remind me everyday that I have a goal to meet and to avoid procrastinating,” she told Romblon News.

Giving Back What She Received

Although Seraspi had the academic qualifications to enter a university, her family didn’t have enough resources to send her to a top school. This is the exact reason why Seraspi decided to forego her slot at the University of the Philippines and enroll at Romblon State University.

Luckily, Seraspi met the Esquejos family of Looc, who willingly supported her studies. After discovering Seraspi’s great grandmother was the family’s long time tenant, the Esquejos decided to help Seraspi with her college education.

Immediately after learning that she was among the topnotchers of the BLEPT, Seraspi decided to pay it forward and donate the cash prize she will receive to their church.

“I am aware that topping the BLEPT comes with a cash prize. So in silence, I asked God that if He would make me a topnotcher, I would buy our church, Joshua Generation, an LCD projector out of the pot money I will receive,” she recounted.

Check out Seraspi’s inspiring story as shared by Debbie Esquejo Garcia, a US-based nurse who financed her college education.

Friends, I just want to share with you the success story of Iah...here is a young girl who despite of lacking sufficient...
Posted by Debbie Esquejo Garcia on Thursday, January 28, 2016

-- Mini,The Summit Express

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