It was an inspiring tale of how courage, perseverance and hope saw a young Filipino through his toughest days as a student struggling to make ends meet. And like many other stories of human achievement, it won Internet hearts.
Christian Jeanoe Losa (Christian Lopez) posted a graduation message on Facebook last Saturday on the difficulties he faced while trying to put himself through college and his subsequent triumph through it all. The lengthy post, coupled with a smart-looking image of Lopez in his graduation gown, has since gone viral among the island nation’s social media circles.
According to Inquirer.net, the recent graduate of Jose Rizal University‘s tale spoke of the lengths he went to fund his studies, from borrowing money from friends and family to doing menial jobs for some extra pocket cash. At the time of writing, the original Facebook post has received more than 371,000 likes, 71,000 shares and over 48,000 comments.
“I went to remote places to sell. I braved the heat, pollution, heavy traffic and demanding customers,” Lopez wrote.
Lopez’s financial difficulties started when he lost his mother at a young age. His father is an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Saudi Arabia, but money remains scarce, making life tough for the young lad.
According to Inquirer’s translation of his post, Lopez said he had to borrow money from classmates to eat and even skipped the occasional exam because he could not afford the fees.
“When a crisis hit Saudi Arabia, my father failed to send money for six months so we have to borrow money and find ways to survive,” he said.
“Imagine, at 16 years old I loaned from PHP20,000 to PHP30,000 (US$398.70 to US$598). I was wondering where I drew strength to overcome the odds.”
These hard times forced Lopez to come up with ways to cope, which he did by buying goods in smaller consignments instead of in bulk, as well as trading gadgets that could be pawned off in times of need.
Lopez has since repaid the kind souls who lent him money with his father’s help. The graduate’s post was prefaced with “Debt 💰Paid 💸You Graduate!!! 🎓”.
“Today is graduation day. I’m so happy and I know Papa is happy, too, as well as my sister and mother. But it’s sad that mama is gone and I cannot share this with her. My perseverance, I dedicated it to my mother. Especially to you, Pa!” Lopez added.