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Kindred soul moved by Ceres’ column

/ 12:05 AM April 08, 2014

I would like to thank Ceres Doyo for her inspiring column “From Payatas to St. Scho, magna cum laude” (Opinion, 3/27/14). I had moist eyes after reading the article because I saw myself in Jessa Bacala’s place some 50 years ago.

Like her, I came from a poor family in Bataan. Unlike her, I was just an average student.

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After high school, I was lucky to get a job as a domestic helper—tending the poultry (chicken and quail) and the garden—of a family in Carmel Subdivision in Quezon City near Project 6. Part of my job was to deliver supplies to their fishpond in Infanta, Quezon, and take the harvests back to the wholesale fish market in Navotas, at least once every quarter. I studied at night at Far Eastern University, taking up commerce and passed the CPA board exam in 1969 (the year of the infamous banana plantation test in Management Accounting).

After the board exam, I joined the Central Bank as bank examiner (having passed the first examination for bank examiners introduced by then Central Bank governor Jaime Laya), with no recommendation from congressmen or senators. In 1977, I migrated to Sydney, Australia and got a job at Citibank. I rose from audit clerk to senior vice president to director, a position I held until I retired in July last year.

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I agree with Bacala: “Education is the best inheritance parents can give their children, and graduation is the crowning glory of all their sacrifices.” And if I may add, “Education is the great leveler.”

—ANGELITO DIWA, Sydney, Australia, [email protected]

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TAGS: Ceres Doyo, education, From Payatas to St. Scho magna cum laude, Jesse Bacala, Poverty
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