Looking back, I can still see the face of my closest friend. How happy and excited he was but a little bit hesitant in saying, “Really? You will treat me in the Jollibee?”
I was then in my third year of high school when God showed me His mercy and love in due time, the deepest confusion, inferiorities and hardships of my life.
I'm an ambitious young man and I have a lot of great dreams for my future. But how can they be? They're the same questions that are always lingering in my mind.
I'm a product of a broken home family. Grew up in the street and stayed with different people - even with the cruelest person in this world! It's good that that part is finished; the bitter memory of my childhood!
Now, I'm renting in this lonely old small house a room of my own while working on a construction site. My salary is P120.00 pesos per day and I must pay for house rent, food and my studies.
In this kind of situation I felt as if I was still trapped in misery and strife but living with great hope and determination to reach out, even for a single one of my dreams: to finish my studies as a capital and to have a brighter future because I believe in sayings that go like this, "Do your best and God will do the rest".
One day, one of my closest friends approached me and said, “Friend, are you still working?”
“Yes!” I said, “Why?”
“We have a quiz today. Please attend the class because if you miss it, then you know absolutely what will happen, right? Remember your dreams that you told me?”
These were the warning words of my friend while leaving.
“Thanks so much friend, I will,” I assured back to him.
So I hurried up to finish my work, loading the truck with some cement and gravel. When I was done, I quickly headed toward my lonely home to make some quick preparations of my school things because the class would start at 1:30 p.m. and it was then 12:30 p.m.
“At least I have one hour to prepare myself.” I thought.
While doing so, this close friend of mine knocks on my door and we leave to go to school together.
It was not yet time for the class to start, so we decided to go into the library. While there, my adviser saw and called me!
“Mr. Reconalla, can you come to my office? I have an urgent matter to discuss with you!”
I paused for a while to think and guess what we were going to discuss and oh, what came in my mind just made me feel nervous and a little bit sick!
Why? Because I was thinking that most of the time the adviser talks privately with his/her students when they are delinquent in their academics, behavior or for any kind of poor performances. I felt too weak to think about a positive reason since I hadn’t eaten or rested well before I went to school.
Of course I don't have any choice but to go see her. With heavy feet and heart, I entered my adviser's office and there she was waiting patiently. I could hardly wait to hear what she was going to tell me because before she opened her mouth to start, I can hear the tremendous pounding of my heartbeat. I almost couldn’t hold down the different emotions and feelings I was feeling, anticipating the horrible things she was going to tell me. And at last, she started to talk.
“I understand what you feel right now, my dear!” she said, as she was reading the expression on my face and looking straight into the window of my soul.
“Oh! Thanks!” I said relaxing a little and finding some relief.
“You know, I have a better plan for you! I am aware of the situation you are in, through your friend, and I have been observing you for a long time in your class performance and I salute you!”
“ It's really hard for you to finish your schooling in high school with this kind of situation for there are only a few opportunities here to help you to support your needs to go to college, so I encourage you to take the Philippine Examination Placement Test by next week. I have confidence in you that you can do it!” she said, unaware of my informal education background.
I did not passed through a step-by-step grade level from elementary and some of my cards were just faked by merciful teachers to let me jump to a higher grade. And now, here in my third year of high school, I could hardly believe my teacher wants me to jump again to college and that she has confidence on me!
Confidence- a word that I needed most to hear at that time for inferiorities succumbed me most of my life!
“Just prepare this and that, and so and so... and I will help you to register when you have all the things you need.”
Some other things she was talking about were not clear anymore because of my excitement and happiness that replaced the feelings I felt before I entered her office. I thanked God and my adviser for such a good opportunity for me!
I really thanked God with great relief and with a deep sigh for providing an instrument so that step by step, I could fulfill my dreams.
After our class, I shared the news with my closest friend. He was so very happy and excited for me. I told him that I would treat him in Jollibee if I was able to pass the exam, and I also asked him to pray for me.
“Of course my dear friend!” he assured me and we separated from each other with happiness and excitement in our hearts.
Night came and I was visited with so many various emotions in my heart and thoughts in my mind that I could hardly sleep. What if I failed? What if I did not finish my studies? So many, many ‘what ifs' questions entered my mind again.
“Oh! My life maybe has really no direction and I’ll be worthless after if I fail this good chance for me.”
So I bowed down and prayed hard for wisdom and strength to face another challenge of everyday life that would come, especially the coming test that I was about to take!
After that, I slept peacefully with a lighter load of burden and cares of uncertainties of life!
A few days before the examination, I went to my sister's house to ask for money that I would need. When I arrived, she was so happy that I was able to visit her but when I told her the real reason for the visit, she was a little bit disappointed but granted my request and gave me her last bit of money in her pocket.
She wished me luck and I immediately headed to my adviser's house because she promised that she would go with me to register.
So we went to the registration office and lo and behold! There was only one blank registration form left - as if it was really waiting for me. If we would have been late a little bit or just a second, then it might have been taken by someone else and I would need to wait another year or perhaps some other year to try again.
My kind teacher and I were so very thankful to God for this miracle event.
The examination day came. Nervousness haunted me once again, for I was thinking that maybe I'm the oldest guy taking an exam there and can't imagine being surrounded by young people staring at me to make me feel embarrassed and uncomfortable.
So again, I prayed fervently to God that just do His Will for me and let me overcome the feelings I had.
When I entered and sat in my designated place, I tried to look around to see if I was right in my imagination. But I was surprised. There's a lot, lot older people than myself, more than I was thinking before.
The exams were so hard for me. I couldn't remember anything that I had to study or learn from the classroom. Why? Because many times I arrived late for class, and if I wasn’t late, I was absent. So I had to rely on the Will and Wisdom from above and information I learned from my personal readings of books, books that I had sometimes borrowed from my good friends.
One month had passed; I could hardly wait for the result of my exams. My closest friend and adviser were also waiting with me. During this time, I could hardly sleep because I was always thinking about it, so I decided to go on the office of the examination center and ask for a result.
Surely, I was not disappointed; they gave it to me!
When I got the result, I wanted to shout... shout for joy because I made it! But instead, I looked up to heaven and ascended my thanksgiving prayer!
I went to my adviser and thanked her and she said that I am free now to enroll in college. Oh! What a blessing for me! But of course before my story ends, for sure we have a little celebration in Jollibee with my closest friend.
How happy I was during those times but for sure I was much, much happier when I received my diploma! A Bachelor holder in History and Minor in Political Science and passed the Philippine National Teachers Board Exam; the fulfilled dream of my life!
Now, I am upgrading in Guidance and Counseling and the same time working as a School Guidance Counselor, Part-time College Instructor, and Working Students Supervisor.
To you, my dear readers, always remember that the only person who can stop you from what our Great Creator intends for you to become is you!
Copyright © 2006 Moises P. Reconalla
I wrote this article with a purpose to inspire, to motivate and to remind you dear fellow dreamers to be true to yourself, to your calling and to encourage you to believe in the beauty of your dreams!