A fresh graduate from Bacolod offered his success to his parents— a sidewalk vendor and PWD tricycle driver.
Joshua Mahilum said that his mother, Jennifer, made sure that her children would be able to finish their studies.
Jennifer has been working as a vendor for 16 years now while her husband Ramil uses an artificial leg in order to drive his tricycle.
“Parang na set in place lahat. Kasi si mama po grade two lang naaabot niya kasi nag maid na agad siya non di na siya nakapagtapos. So paraang ipinasa niya samin ‘yung ganun. Siya talaga ang supportive sa aming pagaaral,” Joshua told The Philippine STAR.
Joshua was a consistent achiever from grade school to high school in Bacolod.
When he entered senior high school, he was given a scholarship at De La Salle Bacolod.
He also took a degree in chemical engineering at the same institution.
He also became a scholar of DOST, which provides partial tuition fees and allowances to students.
Joshua said he wanted to become successful to pay back all the sacrifices his parents went through.
“Si papa po isang motivation din po siya sakin kasi si papa handicapped siya. Nung 17 years old siya naputol po ‘yung kaliwang paa niya,” he shared.
Joshua used his struggles in life as a motivation to reach his dreams.
“Si papa handicapped nga nag tricycle driver pa para samin. As a son, nakita mo paguwi mo kita mo ang mama at papa mo basa sila sa ulan na nagaaral ka. Kaya sabi ko sa sarili ko pag posirgihan ko talaga to kasi gusto ko naman mabigyan ng masaganang buhay,” he said.
He has three siblings and his older sister is now an educator, who was also a university scholar.
“Naramdaman ko talaga na sobrang happy nila na sa wakas, napagtapos na nila ako. Napakaganda po ng pakiramdam na as a son, naibigay ko sakanila to, na na ooffer ko sakanila ‘yung degree ko,” Joshua said.
Joshua graduated on May 29. He was recognized as the most outstanding student in their program.
Joshua is currently reviewing for his board exams this October and planning to apply for work near their hometown.
Joshua said he wanted to share his story to the public to inspire other people.
“Nandito ako na isang naka graduate na isang testimonya na kaya natin basta may opportunidad lamang. Wag kayong mawawalang ng pagasa. Kung nahihirapan kayo, just talk to your parents,” he stressed.