From a pupil who aspires to a teacher who inspires
He was always eager to go to school, but a seven-year-old kid can only do so much.
“Super hirap po. Ako ang naglalaba ng uniform ko, ako ang nagbabaon ng pagkain ko kung may babaunin. Minsan pumapasok ako ng walang ligo, walang laman ang tiyan,” shared Ryan Christopher Bucad, a resident of Brgy. Payapa Ibaba in Lemery, Batangas.
According to Ryan, he was in first grade when his mother left him and his three other siblings to the care of his father. His father, Sonny, is an on-call laborer who struggled to provide even their basic needs. As such, his father was not supportive to them when it came to sending them to school.
“Simpleng five pesos na baon, ang hirap kuhain. Simpleng pambili ng project, hindi maibigay sa amin noon,” recalled Ryan, who added that he did not even own a pair of shoes for school during those times.
There was even an instance, when he was in third grade, that he was forced to stop going to school.
“Kada umaga, pupunta ako sa daan. Luluha-luha na ako kasi ‘yung ibang bata, nakasakay sa service, ‘yung iba bata, pormadong-pormado, nakaayos ang black shoes, naka-complete uniform, may backpack na maganda,” shared Ryan, who felt helpless that time.
Today, Ryan finds it hard to imagine how different his life is.
“Hindi ko naman sinasabing may narating na ako dahil malayo pa ako, pero malayo na ang narating ko kumpara sa situation namin before,” shared Ryan with pride.
Getting help for his dreams
Their being a beneficiary of the national government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in 2012 is a big blessing for Ryan, who was in sixth grade at that time.
Even at a young age, he understood how the program has helped him.
“Medyo naging light ‘yung bigat ng difficulties noong nagkaroon ng 4Ps. ‘Yun ang naging kasangga ko sa pang-araw-araw na gastusin sa school,” shared Ryan, who had to stay with his godmother and live separately from his family so he can go to school.
According to him, the grants they received from 4Ps helped him buy his school needs as well as projects and contributions.
For Ryan, the cash grants from the government is not simply a means for him to go to school. It has also become his motivation to strive harder.
More than the cash grants, however, Ryan is also grateful to the program’s Family Development Sessions (FDS).
“Siguro kung may napulot man si tatay sa FDS, siguro ‘yun po ‘yung value ng education. Naging mas close din po kami ni tatay,” shared Ryan, who observed how his father turned out to be supportive of his dreams.
When he graduated from senior high school, his being a beneficiary of the 4Ps has also helped him secure a college grant under the Commission on Higher Education’s UniFAST – Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES).
He took up BS in Secondary Education in Rizal College of Taal in the neighboring town.
“Kahit medyo malaki ‘yung pamasahe, hindi kami namroblema noon dahil may grants kaming natatanggap. Super laking tulong din ‘nun sa pambili ko ng mga kailangan ko tulad ng laptop at printer,” he shared.
Standing on their own
In July 2022, Ryan graduated Summa Cum Laude and was eventually hired by the college as an instructor.
“It’s hard to imagine na ‘yung batang nakaranas ng kahirapan, diskriminasyon at pangmamata ng mga tao, eto na, may trabaho na ako ngayon – trabaho sa field of teaching na ito talaga ang pinapangarap ko noon pa man,” shared Ryan with pride.
Last November 2022, Ryan’s family graduated as a beneficiary of the 4Ps.
“Ngayon po na graduate na kami sa 4Ps, I have nothing but gratitude and thankfulness sa aking puso. Malaking tulong talaga ito sa amin for almost 10 years. It’s time na ibang pamilya naman po ang makinabang and I hope na marami pang pamilya ang matulungan,” he shared.
For Ryan, he is glad that he is able to provide for his and his family’s needs, especially to his father who is now a senior citizen.
In March 2023, he took up the Licensure Examination for Teachers and secured his license in his first try.
Right now, Ryan uses his profession to inspire other students to dream like him and make their dream a reality.
“Even though galing ka sa wala, kung talagang magsisikap ka at magsusumikap ka sa buhay, kayang kaya mo namang marating ‘yun,” he shared.#