45-year-old aspiring teacher graduates cum laude

MANILA, Philippines – An aspiring teacher from Mati, Davao Oriental finished his college education with flying colors at the age of 45.
45-year-old aspiring teacher graduates cum laude

45-year-old aspiring teacher graduates cum laude
Jun Bello graduates as cum laude at the age of 45 | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Jun Bello

Guillermo Bello Jr., or Kuya Jun, didn't let his age get in the way of achieving his dream when he finished a degree in Secondary Education in Technology Livelihood Education last September 2.

According to Kuya Jun, life has been hard for him while growing up. He had to stop his studies when he was a third year high school student because his father suffered a stroke. He felt his dream of becoming a teacher became too impossible to achieve.

"My dreams shattered and my ambition to become a teacher would not be possible to attain," he said.

Since then, Kuya Jun took on several jobs to support his family. He became a house helper, babysitter and did other household works for nearly 24 years.

In 2015, he went back to his hometown in Mati City and decided to give his dream another shot. He enrolled in the alternative learning system, a program designed to help out-of-school youth and adults to finish elementary or secondary education without undergoing regular schooling.

After a year, Kuya Jun was finally allowed to enrol for college at the Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology. He said it wasn't easy and the school head was a bit hesitant to accept him but eventually he proved himself to them.

"During sa enrollment, hesitant ang program head sa TLE na tanggapin ako kasi baka daw hindi ko makaya ang education course kaya binigyan ako ng isang sem. And I proved to them na kaya ko kasi mataas ang mga grade ko," Kuya Jun said.

Despite his age, Kuya Jun said he was lucky that his teachers and classmates were good to him. He said, "Mabait po sila sa akin. At very cooperative and helpful. Mga profs na nagulat dahil sa edad ko pero most of them, they encourage me."

45-year-old aspiring teacher graduates cum laude
Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Jun Bello

Kuya Jun now works at the Philippine Statistics Authority as an enumerator. Aside from reviewing for the Licensure Examination for Teachers, he makes sure he has time to serve their local church.

Kuya Jun inspired many others who are hesitant to pursue their dream in life because they think time has passed them by.

He said, "Bawat isa ay may pangarap at 'yan (ay) maging pangarap na lang kung walang action na gagawin. Ang Dios ang may akda sa lahat. Magdasal at humingi sa kanya. 'Wag mawalan ang pag-asa at patuloy mangarap, samahan ng dasal. 'Wag mahiya kung may edad na dahil wala sa edad 'yan. Nasa pagsisikap at determinasyon."

— Sally, The Summit Express

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