By Cristine Benitez, PCAFPD Scholar Batch 2022

“ Before starting this essay, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude for the Peace Corps Alumni Foundation for Philippine Development (PCAFPD) for having me as your scholar. I am extremely benefited by your kind deeds. May God shower you with unending and overflowing blessings because you deserve it po. “

I cannot even find the exact words to describe this semester as a 2nd Year Accountancy student. Pressured. Hectic. Challenging. Name it all. But despite all of these, I can say that I’ve learned a lot by going through this sem. Not just academically but also in other aspects.

I’ve learned how to commute from one province to another. Since I am from Pangasinan, and I am studying in Tarlac, traveling through public transportation is the only means for me to get into my university. Which is a little hassle since one of the fastest route going through Tarlac has been affected by a sudden collapse of a bridge (Wawa Bridge in Bayambang). Aside from the additional travel time, the collapse caused the travel fare much higher than the usual. Which leads me to another learnings I acquired.

I learned how to endure my hunger in school. I’ve learned to always say no to my classmates whenever they invite me to eat in any kind of eatery. I’d rather choose to endure my hunger and wait ‘til I get home than to waste a single penny for a luxurious meal. My usual alibi to them is that I always get nauseous whenever I travel, so I would not eat anything to prevent me from throwing up. But the real reason behind each time I reject them is that I do not have any extra money. I only bring enough money for my fare.

With regards to academics, Accountancy is indeed a difficult course. Not to mention the quota grade we are required to maintain. This quota grade in our major subjects indeed brings a great amount of pressure for us. But also pushes us to study even hard. But despite the difficulties, I will always choose to persevere. Moreover, our university has announced that full face to face mode of learning will be implemented for the next semester. Which is why I’ve been thinking a lot on how to survive the next semester financially. Additional expenses will certainly be incurred. And I’ve come up with a plan to apply to any kind of part time job in order to lessen the financial burden of my parents. Though I am greatly benefited by your corporation, which I am thankful about, I just want to help my parents because as the eldest among 5 siblings, it breaks my heart to see my younger sisters sacrifice their own necessities for the sake of my studies. But I am still weighing things up. I know how hard it is to study and work at the same time, so I will assess if I can manage to do it.

Nevertheless, no matter what happen, whatever situation I may experience, I will finish my studies and certainly reach my goals in life. It will not be an easy and smooth sailing ride, but one thing is for sure, it will be worth it. And until then, please help us though.

Beyond Blessed By Dacielo Solis, PCAFPD Scholar

This semester was a more unusual start than the last semester, it was a roller-coaster ride for me. This semester taught me a lot in which I gained so much knowledge and wisdom that I will apply to my chosen profession in the future. I learned school and work ethics that are beneficial to me when I enter the corporate world.  I had to adapt and grow up fast in learning new different things. Through this semester, I had a new set of experiences in my college life.

Allow me to begin by sharing with you my experiences and learnings that I had in this semester. It is easy for me to socialize with others and make friends with them, but it challenged me when the pandemic started. It is not easy to connect to my colleagues using online platforms. When our school approved the limited face to face classes I enjoyed having interactions with my classmates, friends and my teachers.  I thought it will be hard and it will take a lot of effort to get their favor. We build friendships and relationships with each other that cause us to connect and talk more often.

As I took my course, I was amazed how broad my majors were, especially in the corporate world. I really enjoy getting involved in school programs that support me to develop and practice my learnings and skills. I learned that investment is relevant to us because it allows us to plan our future and to save money. As future entrepreneurs in this contemporary world, I have learned that building and putting up a business is not all about opportunities, we should also know our consumers, their behaviors, their perception and what motivates them to buy.

I am beyond grateful to the PCAFPD Scholarships and to the loving and generous donors who gave their utmost support in our education. This year, I am one of the blessed scholars who has been granted a laptop. It helps me to stay at home to do my homework and to save money by not going to any computer shops or coffee shops just to connect to their WIFI with our smartphones. This scholarship made possible things in my studies, finances and relationships that I thought were impossible.

Lastly, I just want to share this with you. This scholarship gave me so many opportunities not only in my studies, but also it opened a door for me to help my family and other people in my community. I am excited to share more school stories, learnings and adventures with these scholarships. I know I didn’t come this far for nothing, God has already planted these plans for me to help, encourage, share and bless His people with your help and support.

When Excitement Turned into Exhaustion but the Fighting Spirit Never Fade Away By Charelle B. Catunhay, PCAFPD Scholar

I THOUGHT I WAS MORE THAN READY FOR ANOTHER DAUNTING SEMESTER. At first, I was beyond excited about the limited face-to-face classes. But soon, my excitement was replaced with exhaustion and an emotional breakdown. It was not and has never been easy for me to maintain my enthusiasm in my classes. Yes, I made sure to participate actively and comply with all my academic requirements. But the boisterous laugh and wide smile plastered on my face were actually the disguises that concealed my weary soul.

If I were to put into words the highlights that happened to me for this semester, aside from doing great in my academic performance, I would not also miss how I ended up cutting ties with my close friend. We are in the same class and both of us are conflicted with our own demons to fight. It was during our midterm weeks that things started to fall apart. Then the final weeks have begun, and we completely became strangers. The pain was almost unbearable, but I have to endure it. 

Aside from my pile of task-to-do lists in both my academic and extracurricular activity as a Staff Writer at my university, the pressure intensified because I must push myself to keep on going forward despite battling silently my self-doubt, regrets, and my longing to have a complete family. I actually broke into tears especially if everything was too heavy for me to handle. I usually cried underneath my pillow at night so that no one can see me at my weakest point. But ever since I finally realized that my parents would never get back together, I cannot control when to break down anymore. Instead of arguing, I chose to remain silent. When my parents cannot give me my allowance, I would then withdraw from my ATM account which I received from the foundation. I knew that I should not expect more from my parents given the financial crisis that we are in, yet I keep hoping that they would be at least civil to each other and have healthy co-parenting for the sake of their children.

I only have three semesters to conquer and I will proudly march towards the stage to receive my diploma. But before this day would come, I must free myself from the shadow of my past, doubt, and regret. Besides the financial support, technology support especially the laptop grant and the monthly load allowance, the foundation’s trust in choosing me as one of the scholars fuels me to believe in myself despite the countless what’s if that is clouding my vision. Hence, as I progress in my pursuit of a college degree, I will forever be indebted to the generous support of PCAFPD. If not now, the day would finally come when I would emerge victorious from my silent battles. And this would only be possible thanks to the tremendous help that I continuously receive from the foundation. With this, even when my excitement turned into exhaustion, my fighting spirit will never fade away.

Read More Stories on Our News Feed and don’t forget to Like us on Facebook!

Scholar Essays Fall 2022, Circular 1