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PRAY, BELIEVE AND RECEIVE
Posted by Given Mark Inansugan on June 24, 2019 9:00 am
“Only God can turn your obstacles into opportunities; your opportunities into results; your failures into achievements; your pain into power.”
This how the first ever Top 1 coming from Compostela Valley State College (CVSC) – Montevista Branch in March 2019 Board Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (BLEPT) described her journey in overcoming all of the trials and achieving her dreams.
She is Stephanie Apple Miguel Piodo, a 21-year old alumnus of CVSC-Montevista Branch.
“Life was all set, but somehow, I was not able to keep the positivity in my mind at a very young age. It was really hard. During my elementary days, I almost stopped and only finished Grade 2 due to financial needs. Then, my uncle decided to support me, so I went to him and continued my studies in Panacan, Davao City. I spent four years without seeing my parents. I even cried in tears, secretly missing them so much without knowing that their living in Montevista became worst than I can ever imagine.”
Piodo said that life throws curve balls, but she’s thankful for having her lovable and supportive parents for making her understand what life is about and how to find that little ray of happiness in difficult situations.
“My mother is a dealer with products and takes other sideline works just to have enough money for us. My father is a laborer in plywood mills and sometimes paid for helping farms.”
She added that even if she came from a poor family, she still managed to go to school with a little hope that someday, she will be able to improve their living.
“When I came back to Montevista and started my high school life, I also started to accept the challenges to never surrender despite of struggles. During my stay at my uncle’s residence, I was also disciplined by his wife in doing my responsibilities as a woman. I learned.”
Out of 72, 054 hopefuls in Elementary Level who took the examination, 19, 695 passed and Piodo placed as the Top 1 with the score of 93.20%.
On top of going to school without a decent meal, Piodo returns home without money to ride transportation to their home but a belief that she will continue to educate herself so she can find a decent job and help her family get out of poverty.
“During high school, I choose to walk 5.5 km from our house in Barangay New Visayas to Montevista National High School – Annex just to pursue my dreams. There are times when the rain comes on my way, but since we don’t have money to buy our needs in school, it would be wonderful to take shelter under bright green banana leaves when it is raining.”
“I only focused on my academics, but since our school during high school has few students, I was lucky to be chosen to join contests like quiz bee or journalism. I considered those as a great experience because I was able to travel with some places within the region.”
Piodo graduated in high school as the batch valedictorian. Her problem at that time, however, was how to pursue a college education.
A GLIMMER OF HOPE
“When I graduated in high school, my parents already told me that it would be hard for them to send me to college. I was sad that time thinking about what would be my other ways to go to college. Of course, I also dreamed of studying in Tagum City, hoping that I would have a bright future there. Then, I was very surprised that Compostela Valley Scholarship Program (CVSP) came to our school unexpectedly. So my only problem that time was where to study. Until it was heard that there would be a College to rise soon in our municipality – the Compostela Valley State College (CVSC). That gave me great hope to my dreams. CVSP and CVSC became my glimmer of hope.”
CVSP is a program of the Provincial Government of Compostela Valley through the Office of Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy, which aims to help the poor and deserving students pursue higher education and technical-vocational skills. “During the day of submission of requirements, my parents had no money to comply with all the requirements. Then, I am so thankful that my cousin helped me with the expenses.”
As a Scholar ni Uy (SUY), the term used pertaining to CVSP scholars, Piodo gets 10, 000 per semester for tuition and miscellaneous fees. Since it will only allocate 7, 000 plus for all fees, the remaining 2,000 plus will be given to the scholars directly. This is why Piodo said that the financial support from the Province really helped her big time.
“In CVSP, I learned to give back to the community for what I have received. My leadership skills were developed with our Community Services. I also learned that volunteering teaches people of all ages and backgrounds compassion and understanding.” She added that one thing she likes about community service is that there are opportunities that exist to enhance and leave your mark on your global and local society. Volunteering and putting on service activities can be used as a manner to advocate for causes you are genuinely enthusiastic about.
STEPHANIE’S COLLEGE LIFE
In college, Piodo maintained her good grades for the scholarship, and she was able to be a consistent Dean’s Lister.
“At first, I had no choice but to choose the program Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEED) since honestly I don’t want to choose Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED) with its specialization in English, Math, or MAPHE and I don’t have confident for those offered specializations. Then, suddenly I enjoyed, and I love being with kids and made me more realized that I would be a teacher someday.”
As the youth federation treasurer in their church (The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (ICFG), commonly referred to as the Foursquare Church), Piodo said that in College she invested more of her time in serving their church.
“God is seen as glorious when all our serving is moment-by-moment receiving from God’s supply. I can say that I receive this supply by faith. That is, I trust moment by moment that what I need, in serving Him, He will supply. After all, it was really a blessing for me because unexpectedly, I became a consistent Dean’s Lister. By God’s grace, I surpassed all the challenges that I experienced, and I graduated as Cum Laude,” she added.
She explained that she only felt the feeling of being an honor student when the pressure came when she took the Board Exam.
THE ROAD TO TOP 1
When Piodo finished college, she once again tried to continue her journey in Davao City.
“Since I don’t have the money yet to attend Review Center, I worked as a Call Center Agent for four months together with my friends.”
In December, she enrolled in Falculan Twins Review Center (FTRC), and she grabbed the opportunity to get a discount for making her payment less since there is ‘Cum Laude Discount.’ When she applied for a Special Group (SG) in FTRC hoping that she would have better preparation for the examination, unfortunately, she was disallowed to join because there were already many reviewees in the group.
“It made me unhappy at that time. I honestly cried. Knowing that if I am part of that group, I will have a chance to be a topnotcher. CVSC also has this kind of group, but then I was never chosen to be one.”
She also shared that because of losing hope that time, she just wrote it on her planner as motivation saying “Even if you’re not part of that Special Group, you should promise to be a topnotcher.”
From that moment, sensing that she is getting nearer and nearer to getting a hold of her dream, she studied tirelessly with the help of FTRC bound with her endless prayers.
After extensive review, bringing along hope and faith from God, she took the BLEPT for the first time nervously. Piodo said she never dreamed of becoming top 1 nationwide, though admittedly, she was praying she could enter the top 10.
A BEAUTIFUL SURPRISE
Piodo was in Canidkid Integrated School in Barangay Canidkid, Montevista for the Summer Big Brother (SBB), a special program under the Bayanihan Para sa Karunungan (BPSK) which aims to address the reading and comprehension deficiencies of incoming Grade 3 and Grade 4 pupils in participating public schools of the province.
“Then, a miracle happened. One of my co-volunteer received a text message. She said that I am one of the topnotchers. At first, I thought she was just joking. So to make it clear, I called my sister then I wondered why she’s crying that time. Finally, it was confirmed, and I cried a lot.”
RECEIVING A BLESSING
Piodo really aims to give back to her community. The blessings that she is receiving today are believed to be shared. According to her, there are endless ways of contributing to the community, but teaching would be a great help for children in reaching their dreams.
“I want to teach and help mentor a new generation of students to reach their goals in the way that my teachers helped me reached mine, and hopefully to inspire both past and future students to continue the tradition of giving back.”
She mentioned that CVSC is really one of her tools in transforming her dreams into reality as it opened a great opportunity for her. She is very thankful for the support coming from her teachers and classmates, especially to the College President, Dr. Christie Jean V. Ganiera and to their Campus Director in Montevista, Dr. Joel E. Felicilda.
“I believe that CVSC will be more radiant in the near future. If we did it today, tomorrow would be greater,” she said.
Asked for advice for other students who are facing the same struggle, she said: “Don’t give up. In whatever circumstances that you are facing today, never surrender. Be optimistic in every struggle. Pursue your dreams and believe in your heart. Every problem has its solution through God’s help. Don’t forget to look up and pray. Jesus said in Luke 18:27: “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Always reflect on that verse in times of anxiety. Everything is possible with God.”
“Remember to pray, believe and receive,” she added.