NO DREAM is impossible if you give your heart and soul into it. That's the realization Shela Marie Yap-Virtudazo, DBA, made after going through and succeeding numerous life's challenges.
Shela was born to Flocerfida and Alfredo Yap Sr. in Davao City.
During her college days, Shela juggled three main tasks all at the same time: being a part-time marketing staff in a fast-food chain, an aid scholar in a university in Davao City, and a full-time student, just to graduate.
With this, she was able to support herself including the expenses for her projects.
Shela worked in the morning in the fast-food chain, went to her classes in the afternoon until evening and on Wednesdays and Saturdays, she rendered service to the offices in the university for her duty as a scholar.
She was grateful for her part-time job as it gave her an opportunity to apply the theories she learned in class.
Having her schedules full, she was still able to fulfill her lector duties in the campus chapel where she was a member of the club at that time.
"I usually studied at dawn and woke up very early to go to work. It was a kaleidoscope world for me back then, but it brought me the courage, resilience, and the adrenaline in life to fight all the problems and to achieve something out of that hopeless situation," she said of her situation back then.
However, this kind of schedule took a toll on her health as she was always physically exhausted. Her asthma attacked frequently because of stress. But it did not dampen her desire to finish her college degree.
And she did it and more as she was also able to finish her Masters and a doctorate degree in the same university out of scholarship.
"I am not an achiever in college, I am just an average student but I am a determined one," she recalled, adding that she wanted to achieve her goal to have a comfortable life where she doesn't have to work multiple jobs just to survive and to provide the needs of her family.
"My motivation was to help my family and make a different path from the life that was given to me," she said.
She also drew inspiration from her brother to help him finish his studies and she did not fail. Her brother also successfully finished his studies with her help and is working now in one of the banks in the city.
"I am truly grateful for the choice that I made early on to support him because I believe that I did not just provide him the finances he needed that time, but the life to work and earn for his future as well," she said.
After finishing her degree, Shela worked as a bank employee for 12 years before becoming a professor and a program coordinator at another university for 10 years. She is now connected with Lyceum of the Philippines Davao as the Program Chair of the Business Administration program and also a part-time faculty for undergrad and graduate programs in one of the universities in Davao City, and is happily married to Aldrin with two wonderful offsprings, Adrian and Drew Marie.
She still considers not getting far in life because she feels something is missing.
"There is an inner calling and desire for me to serve God and my community, but I am still trying to figure out how to squeeze that in my very hectic schedule," she says.
With the life struggle she has experienced, she wants to impart to those who think there's no way out from the situation they are in: "Pray and have faith at all times. No matter how difficult life may be, know that you have a God up there looking after you and always make a difference, wherever you are and whatever circumstances you may be."