CEBU CITY, Philippines—Alberto Ligaray is living proof that poverty isn’t a hindrance to reaching your goals in life.
The 24-year-old Ligaray from Tabuelan town in northern Cebu proved this when he finished his tertiary education at the Cebu Technological University (CTU)- Tuburan Campus in August 2022 with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management.
Ligaray managed to complete his studies despite challenges he met along the way, among them included the financial aspect of education.
Making things worse is that his parents separated when he was still young. Since he was at fifth grade, he lived with his grandparents, who, despite being farmers, managed to support Ligaray until he graduated.
With the guidance and support of his grandparents, Ligaray made it through by sheer determination.
He found ways to be able to pay for school by taking in odd jobs on the side.
“[It was] very challenging [but] at the same time [I motivated] myself nga kaya ko ni and I will do my very best to pursue my dreams,” he said.
Ligaray said he wasn’t choosy when it came to finding jobs. He said he took anything in for as long as it’d be able to provide for his needs as a student.
“Akong buhaton sideline mag skirting (table decoration), join miss gay ,maninda ug buwad ,face mask ug maninda ug sud-an para lang makabawn ko sa school ug para paload if mag online class mi,” he said.
[What I did is that I’d take side jobs as table decorator, I joined miss gay competitions, I sold dried fish, face mask and viand just so I would have allowance for school and also pay for cellphone load if we were to have online classes.)
Ligaray admitted it wasn’t an easy path but he said that at the end of it all, he felt great knowing he overcame all the challenges and attained his goal.
While poverty may be draining, Ligaray said this is not a reason to quit dreaming.
“Dili babag ang atong ka pobre ug pagkasud sa (broken family) if determined, persevered ug hardworking ka. Trust the process lang gyud ug isalig sa kahitas-an tanan. Dapat mangandoy gyud ta,” Ligaray said.
(Being poor and being part of a broken family isn’t a hindrance if you’re determined, persevered, and hardworking. Just trust the process and trust God. We just have to keep our hopes up.)
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