'Trisikad' driver defies the odds, graduates magna cum laude

MANILA, Philippines – A 'trisikad' (pedicab) driver from Iligan City earned the praise of many when he graduated magna cum laude.

Because of grit and determination, Jerson Aboabo has reached his dream of finishing college. Even better, he finished it with flying colors.

Jerson Aboabo shared how his hardship fueled him to work hard
Jerson Aboabo shared how his hardship fueled him to work hard | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Jerson Aboabo

Jerson is another proof that poverty isn't always a hindrance to our dreams. Despite living an impoverished life, he became a working student. He juggled being a pedicab driver and an education student.

Writing in Visayan, Jerson recalled how he also used to work collecting "lamaw" or leftover food meant for pigs. He would collect and sell them for P20 per pail. Studying during the pandemic proved even more challenging because he didn't have the resources for the online class. Jerson said he had to solicit from friends and raise the "Piso for Laptop" campaign. There were nights he would cry because he didn't have any money at all.

Jerson admitted feeling ashamed of his challenges and hard life but soon realized that they were bigger lessons in life. Through his determination, he developed important life skills like leadership, resourcefulness, and more.

'Trisikad' driver defies the odds, graduates magna cum laude
Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Jerson Aboabo

Finally, he found the light at the end of the tunnel when he finished his college education with degree of Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education - Filipino at the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology.

Jerson was also awarded the College Leadership Awardee and Department Leadership Awardee on his graduation day.

"Lisud gyud kaayo ang kinabuhi pero nakaabot ra gyud sa finish line," he wrote. [Life was so difficult but I finally reached the finish line.]

According to Jerson all his hardwork is motivated by his dream of giving his family a better future. He offers his achievements to his family and to God who was with him throughout his journey. "My heart is full knowing na naa si Lord with me from the beginning," Jerson said.

Jerson is currently working at La Salle Academy of Iligan City. He is looking forward to acing the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).

— Sally, The Summit Express

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