“Where there is love and determination, you can never go wrong…” Be inspired by the 20-year-old Cebuana who made a decision, despite life’s obstacles, to excel in school and in life for the love of her family, despite financial struggles, 20-year-old Regine Villamejor will be graduating from the University of San Jose-Recoletos in Cebu City with magna cum laude honors.
A proud daughter of Mang Raul, a fisherman and fish vendor in Taloot, Argao in Cebu, the 20-year-old Cebuana did not see “kahirapan” as a hurdle. Her 42-year-old father gets up at dawn every day to start fishing. Regine told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an interview via Facebook Messenger, earlier today, March 23, “Umaalis nga po pala ng bahay ng two or three a.m. ng madaling araw para mangisda ‘tapos po, uuwi siya mga two or three din ng hapon. “Pero minsan, kapag wala talagang huli, maaga siyang umuwi.”
How much does Mang Raul earn per day? Regine answered, “Si Tatay po more or less 700 pesos yung kita niya in a day. “Pero depende po iyan kasi pag may bagyo, siyempre madalang ang kuha niya. “‘Tapos naman po minsan pag maraming huli, kikita po kami ng more or less 1k pero hindi po iyan permanente. “Depende lang po talaga sa panahon. “Kukunan pa po iyan ng pambayad sa gasolina at ice.” She added, “Kaya po hindi kalakihan kita namin kasi huli lang ng Papa ko ang binibinta namin at WALA PO KAMI SA MERCADO. “Nasa tabi lang po kami ng kalsada nagtitinda.” Whenever Rej (her nickname) is home, she helps her mom, Mary Jane, sell fish.
Thanks to her consistently good grades, her school granted her a 50% discount on her tuition. Since her hometown is located more than two hours away from Cebu city, she had to stay in a boarding house near her school. In her room, she put up an “inspiration wall” filled with her family’s photos. Simply looking at their photos encouraged her to keep doing well even at times when she felt exhausted.
When asked what advice she would give her fellow students, she said, “Never give up chasing your dreams. Where there is love and determination, you can never go wrong. Just be optimistic, no matter how complicated the situation may be.”