In My Eyes
By Edward B. Antonio
It was one of those exceptional moments when I joined a group of Rizalians in a week-long seminar-training in Baguio City. The hall was full to the brim and when the opening program started, the guests started to arrive. There were academicians, politicians and the invited speakers.
The first part was entertaining but when the invited inspirational speaker stood in front of the podium, everybody went silent.“I was born from a very, very poor family.
When I was in elementary, I had to use my worn out uniforms over and over again because there was nothing to choose from. I had to walk barefoot two kilometers everyday just to go to school and these early challenges in life made me what I am today,” he said.
Orphaned at an early age, he narrated that, when he was in high school, his sister Juana had to borrow a barong and pants for his Junior-Senior Promenade.
“I was so very ashamed because the barong was too big, it was hanging. I was so very uncomfortable with the outfit that upon arriving in school, I decided to leave immediately. But I was encouraged by one of my female friends, so, I remained. But when my lady partner saw me in my JSP attire, he examined me from head to foot and I could see the disappointment in her eyes,” he said.
He said that on that fateful day, he swore to study by all means so that the humiliation he got in that JSP would not happen again.
He became a rondalla band member, a utility aide and janitor to support himself in college until he finally finished law, passed the bar in the same year he finished his course, practiced his profession, became a city counselor, vice mayor and eventually the mayor of one of the biggest, cleanest and greenest cities in the Philippines. He received many awards for his competence that the people in the city reelected him.
While he was narrating the story, a man from the audience who was sitting in front asked what happened to the girl who rejected him as his JSP partner when they were in high school.
“Well, apparently, she did not get a decent education and when she came to apply for a job in my office, I took her in because at that time, we were in need of additional utility workers. I did not despise or talk about what happened in that JSP. In fact, I silently thanked her for giving me that treatment. If not for that insult, I would not have challenged myself to go beyond my limits just to get education,” he said.
Such is the value of perseverance, fellas.
Perseverance is never, never giving up.
Philosopher and entrepreneur Paul Hudson listed 7 reasons why we should never, never give up:
- This may be all there is. But there are always things to do to what exists that can be utilized to keep on going.
- There is always – and I mean always – a solution to any problem. It may not be the solution you are looking for, but it will get the job done. The trick is coming up with that solution.
- Success is inevitable for those who are smart and don’t give up. In theory, achieving success is rather simple. You have a goal or a destination you want to reach. You have a path or direction of getting there. The only thing you need to do is keep moving in that direction until you get where you need to go.
- A helping hand can always be found if needed. Such individuals can be found – you just have to be willing to look in places that you wouldn’t expect. People can often surprise us once we get to know them. We just have to be willing to get to know them.
- What gives life meaning is the struggle that we live through. I know it may seem silly at the moment, but consider how your life would be if you never had to struggle with anything, ever. As human beings, we need to feel challenged. Without struggle, life wouldn’t be worth living.
- You are capable of having full control over your reality. Your life is what you perceive it to be and nothing else. All you experience in life, all the things you do, all the things you see, all the things you live through, all of that only has meaning if you give it meaning.
- There is a purpose for each of us waiting to be found. But that purpose isn’t somewhere out there in the world. It’s inside of you. You need to take time to explore what you believe holds importance in life. To live is to be capable of creating change. What you want to change and how you want to change it is what defines your life and the person you are.
Such is the value of never giving up in life.
By the way, who do you think is the man in the story, fellas?
Anybody from Baguio City knows him.
Or anybody who has gone there.
Well, visit Baguio someday, fellas.#