There is no Longer an Excuse to be Ignorant

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By Jessica B. Payomo

Social Focus

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


DESPITE the challenges and changes that we are facing nowadays, we cannot still deny that the quotation “The youth is the fair hope of our motherland” can still be evident in our environment. This famous quotation attributed to Dr. Jose Rizal is proven by a young girl who, despite of poverty, have shown that nothing can stop her from being the hope of her family.

Jairuz Mae Djemetzchel B. Castillo of Tayum, Abra was awarded as the second placer for the 2013 National Search for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Exemplary Child. This gave her the chance to become one of the guests during the Kapihan sa Baguio held in DSWD-CAR last 19 December 2013. And during the event, she awed the audience with her news casting and singing skills and impressive wit. No one would think that this girl and her family have to face challenges for her to be able to go to school. And listening from Jairuz’ words, you can sense the importance that she gives to education and learning. “Ipagpatuloy ang pag-aaral” was Jairuz’ advice to her fellow youth. 

Jairuz’ attitude is a result of her parent’s constant support for her in pursing education. Her parents served as her first teacher and they were able to teach her how to read before entering formal schooling. Despite the farm and household chores, her parents were able to give time for her and her siblings during their study time. 

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The story of Jairuz seems to be a wake-up call for me. Her attitude simply says that we should strive hard to continue and finish our studies. We should not think that we cannot do anything because we belong to a poor family, instead we should think of ways in which we can help our family to have a better life.

It is the time that we show that we are capable of doing good things and to contribute to the society. They say that education is not about the school, but it is about the learner. We study not because of other people but because we want to develop our knowledge and skills. If others can do, of course we can also do it. Because even if we are rich or poor, we all have the right to dream that we can change our lives. And because there are organizations and programs like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the DSWD that give us the chance to do so, we must grab this opportunity. There is no longer any excuse for ignorance, and even failure. We must also now do our part, just what like Jairuz and her family does.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 15, 2014.

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