Former 'bakal-bote girl' now an LPT

As they say, don't judge a person's fate based on their outward appearance or what they are currently doing, because there may come a time when they become your boss or even the teacher of your children.

That's the inspiring story shared by the well-known review center owner and former senatorial aspirant, Carl E. Balita, in his recent Facebook post.

“From Bote Bakal girl to Licensed Professional Teacher!! Thank you for inspiring us Ma'am April Joy Geminolopez Ceballos ❤️💞 Continue to soar High like the eagle you are!!” he said.

Former 'bakal-bote girl' now an LPT
Photo courtesy: Facebook/April Joy Geminolopez Ceballos via Carl Balita

The post features the story and testimony of Teacher April Joy, detailing how she lifted herself from scavenging or peddling to eventually becoming a degree holder.

“Maraming salamat sa mga taong tumulong sa akin, hindi ko makamit ang lisensiyang ito kung hindi dahil sa inyong mga tulong, hindi ko kayo maisa-isa dahil napakarami ninyo,” she said.

From childhood until she started reviewing, she didn't hesitate to scavenge or peddle to support her educational needs.

“Ako ang batang nagpupursiging magbote bakal para man lang may ma allowance ako noong time na ako ay nag-aaral/nagrerebyu pa at walang-wala sa buhay. Sabi ko sa sarili ko na mag pa picture kaya ako while ako ay nag bote bakal para pagdating nang panahon ipost ko ang mga larawang ito pag ako ay makapasa ng board exam. At dahil sa awa ng diyos binigay niya sa akin ang mga hinihiling ko sa kanya,” she stated.

She also shared her experiences while she was reviewing for the March 2023 Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).

“Hindi basta-basta ang mga naranasan ko noong ako ay mag- isa sa boarding house at binigyan ako ng bigas nina ma'am Mercy Ortiz Verdadero at ma'am Naii Mac para may makakain ako😊 maraming salamat sa inyo mga ma'am.”

She mentioned that just to survive and have something to eat every day, she would only have shrimp paste or bagoong alamang stored in a jar. She scrimped on this for three months while reviewing.

“Ang ulam ko sa loob ng tatlong buwan ay isang garapong alamang na nilagyan ko ng itlog, tinipid ko ito hanggang makaabot ng tatlong buwan, tatlong beses din akong inubo dahil siguro sa palaging maalat ang ulam ko hahaha.”

“Mga [ka-boardmate] ko noon ay napakabango mga ulam nila tulad ng adobong manok at iba pa tuwing niyaya nila ako na sumabay kami kumain ang palagi kong sabi sa kanila ay tapos na po ako kumain mga ma'am and sir pero ang totoo ay mahiya akong sumabay sa kanila.”

She reportedly attempted to "steal" food from her boardmates, but she restrained herself from doing so.

“One time naranasan kong mag-attempt na magnakaw ng ulam nila 😊 noong sila ay lumabas sa board house nila pero nagdadalawang-isip ako na wag na lang baka makarma ako at ito pa ang dahilan na hindi ako makapasa ng board exam😊.”

So, her reminder to young people like her is, “Sa mga kabataan na kagaya ko na mahirap huwag mawalan ng pag-asa laban lang sa buhay.”

“Naniniwala kasi ako na walang mahirap sa taong may pangarap.”

In her Facebook profile photo, she quoted the statement of the renowned African leader, Nelson Mandela.

As Nelson Mandela once said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

“You have the power to make a difference in the lives of your students, and that is a truly noble pursuit.”

“Keep that fire burning, keep learning and growing as a teacher, and continue to inspire your students to be their best selves.”

Congratulations, April Joy!

— Richard, The Summit Express


2 Comments

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  1. I have been a working student even before deciding to go to college. Kahit hanggang 9 pm ang pasok namin sa school at lakad pa pauwi specially in the first two years sa college kung saan ang sweldo ko noon ay halos sapat lang na pangkain at pamasahe papasok sa trabaho at papuntang school. 7 years ko ring binuno ang aking pag-aaral sa college and in God's grace ay naka-graduate din at the age of 29, magkagayunman, nagamit ko pa rin ang aking pinag-aralan at license upang magkaroon ng kahit papaano ay magandang buhay. Basta may pangarap, ang bukas ay maaliwalas. anyway, PECE na ako ngayon, nangarap nagsikap at ang pangarap ay naganap. keep inspiring others with your testimony of dreams, hardworks and success. Cheers to your nalalapit na success. God bless

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    1. Congratulations din po sa'yo, sir. Isa ka rin pong may inspiring story.
      Wish you good life and many blessings.

      Ano po pala ang ibig sabihin ng PECE?

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