Proud 'kasambahay' now a licensed pharmacist

MANILA, Philippines – A newly licensed pharmacist is earning praise online for revealing that she is a proud kasambahay.

Joanna Rose Griño is one of those struggling students who proved that poverty should not be a hindrance to our dreams. Born to an impoverished family, Joanna juggled doing her job as a house helper and a pharmacist student. With grit and determination, she finally passed the November 2021 Pharmacy Board Exam.

Joanna Rose Griño used to work as a helper
Joanna Rose Griño used to work as a helper, now she is a licensed pharmacist | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Wany Griño

According to Joanna, she was born to a family of eight from Sorsogon. Life in the province was not easy and they would constantly struggle to make ends meet. At a young age, Joanna knew that if she didn't work hard, her opportunities in life would be limited.

After high school, Joanna decided she needed to follow her older sister, Mary Jane, to seek greener pastures outside their hometown.

“Sabi ko kila ate, ate pwede ba akong pumunta diyan sa Manila, kahit ano lang ’yung trabaho?” Joanna recalled.

“Kasi alam ko po na wala akong future doon kundi ano lang, siguro baka nag-asawa na talaga ko kung nandoon lang ako sa Bicol," she added.

Mary Jane got emotional as she looked back at their struggles while growing up. She said, "Yung ultimo po asin, pisong asin, uutangin pa namin sa kapitbahay, ultimo isang pirasong sibuyas or bawang na pang-gisa."

The 23-year-old became a house helper for a family in Bulacan. Joanna became a working student while studying pharmacist. For three years, she would save her salary to help pay for her school needs. She was thankful that her sister Mary Jane paid for her tuition fees.

Joanna finished her studies and earned a degree in Pharmacy at Our Lady of Fatima University-Valenzuela. She became a licensed pharmacist in November this year.

With a brighter future ahead, Joanna is now committed to pay it forward and help her siblings as well. Like how her sister helped her, Joanna wants to give her siblings a good education. Joanna's story is another reminder how grit and hard work pay off.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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