A CHILD of a poor family from the mountain barangay of Passi City, Iloilo graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from West Visayas State University in Iloilo City.
Karen M. Gardose, 20, of Brgy. Agtabo, Passi, is a daughter of a sugarcane farm worker and housewife.
She is a recipient of the Iskolar sang Iloilo program of the provincial government.
Gardose said it is her dream to finish school for her to uplift the status of her family.
“Ang tatay ko manugkarga-tapas lang. Ang nanay ko sa balay lang man. Sang una ginapangayo ko lang gid kay Lord nga maka-eskwela ko kag gin-answer ya na through the scholarship,” she said.
Growing up in a mountain barangay, Gardose narrated that her house is 10kilometers away from school, that had she had to walk two kilometres more and cross rivers just to get there.
She added that back in high school, she had to go through several mountains to reach school.
Despite all these, she managed to graduate as class valedictorian both in elementary and high school.
She thanked her parents for their sacrifices in supporting her needs.
Gardose said that sometimes when she goes back to her boarding house in the city, her father had to wake up at 4am just to look for money for her additional allowance.
“Thankful gid ko kay biskan ano ka imol, ginaubra gid nila ila masarangan para makabulig sa akon. Thankful ko sa ila sacrifices nga maski indi na sila kabakal sang ila kaugalingon nga bayo para mapaeskwela kami, waay gid nila kami napabay-an,” she said.
She said she has to give some of her allowance to her older sister to also help the latter in college.
Her other two siblings are in Grade 9 and Grade 1.
Gardose is planning to continue on studying, this time Actuarial Mathematics. But in the meantime, she wants to teach in Senior High School in Passi City.
But she said she also wants to give back to the government by serving as a government employee.
Gardose encouraged those underprivileged but have dreams to never lose hope.
“Because I believe that if you have dedication, determination and faith in God, you will reach the peak. Just go and embrace the challenges wholeheartedly,” she said.
Degie Gardose, the mother, said that there was an instance when she wanted her daughter to stop schooling in favour of her older sister.
But she said Gardose really wanted to complete her education, and even worked as a tutor so she could earn additional allowance.
“That is why I advise other parents to never lose hope that your children could finish school. You have to strive to help them and also never forget to ask for the Lord’s guidance,” she said.
Meanwhile, the provincial government recognized 86 Iskolar ng Bayan graduates during the Pasidungog 2018 on April 13, 2018 at Casa Real de Iloilo. Seven are magna cum laude and 18 are cum laude.
Gardose received P7,000 cash award while the magna cum laudes and the cum laudes received P5,000 and P3,000 each, respectively.
The other graduates received P1,000.