By Maridol Rañoa-Bismark
It was John F. Kennedy who said that “a child miseducated is a child lost.”
That’s why we parents work ourselves to the bone to give our child the best education we can afford. Let’s face it, good schools – with the exception of state-run universities where admission is tough – cost a lot. But most good things do. After all, a good education, unlike a house and lot, jewelry, and the most expensive car, cannot be stolen. It stays with you forever. You can even pass it on to your children, and they can pass it on to the next generation. It’s an heirloom of a different, more lasting kind.
How many humble men have triumphed from poverty because they refused to accept their lot and sought good education as a way out of dire straits?
Former presidents Ramon Magsaysay and Diosdado Macapagal were born poor, but they worked hard at getting the education that helped make them the top officials of the land.
The father of Sen. Manny Villar, one of the richest men in the country, got a job promotion after he got a year-long scholarship for higher education in the U.S. The senator himself returned to his alma mater, the University of the Philippines, for a Masters degree in Business Administration.
Eight-division world champion and Sarangani congressman Manny Pacquaio dropped out of high school because of poverty. However, he took the high school equivalency exam that made him eligible to go to college. He is now taking up Business Management.
Manny is already on top of his game. He has everything. But he knew that getting a good education is one way of improving himself. Education, after all, as Aristotle says, is the mother of leadership. And a resume studded with degrees from reputable schools is a sure passport, not just to a job, but to a respectable position in any company.
In these tough times when competition for jobs is very keen, a degree from a good school is crucial. It will spell the difference between getting a job and staying at home, waiting for that all-important interview. It will distinguish the productive from the non-productive; the esteemed individual from the so-so. The productive ones lead more meaningful lives. They are happier since they contribute more to society. The non-productive ones turn drifters; neither here nor there in a world that’s already confusing as it is.
The choice is ours. Do we let our children’s minds go fallow by giving them education that is less than what they deserve? Or do we develop their rich imagination and quench their thirst for learning by giving them good, priceless education? Just as important, do we develop in them a love for learning that will stay with them, even after they’re done with college and earning well?
For those of us who want only the best for our children, there is no choice. It’s good education–and a love for learning–or bust.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
By Ruth Manimtim-Floresca
One of the many things I thank my parents for is making sure my siblings and I finish college. Like my Nanay and Tatay, I believe that having a good education is a big factor in a person’s future. That is why my husband and I also dream to see our sons get good jobs or put up a thriving business someday so they can, in turn, be able to raise their families well.
Having knowledge about many things can help a person make good choices because decisions should be made after all angles are considered. This is not always possible if one has limited information. Sure, we don’t, and won’t, learn everything in school. But going through a structured educational system at least guarantees you won’t miss out as much compared to those who didn’t go to school at all, or stopped going to school earlier than they should.
Among the various advocacies I support, I particularly have a soft spot for children’s education. Hubby and I sponsor a child each through World Vision because we’ve seen how our donations, no matter how small, are making an impact in the lives of two children, their families, and their communities.
I am optimistic that if only every Filipino child, the leaders of the future, could have a good education, our country would have a brighter tomorrow. Of course, included there should be good values that will also give them the heart and compassion to help others, not just themselves, when the right time comes.
This March and April, three of my sons are graduating from elementary, high school, and college. I feel this sense of joy and accomplishment for getting them through this far. I know, we still have a long way to go but the foundation is already there. And I will continue supporting my kids as much as I can in reaching their full potentials by making sure they all finish school and improve their chances of having the good lives every parent dreams of for their children.
Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash
By Rossana L. Llenado
Today is very special as we celebrate International Women’s Month and the first year anniversary of Smart Super Women.
We started S, as we fondly call it, to serve as a forum for smart super ladies to inspire other equally bright and busy women.
We asked people we admire to share with us their stories.
We asked leaders to share with us the secret of their success. We asked them to trace their roots, to speak to us about their vision, and to share with us their triumphs and tribulations.
We asked parents to share with us how they raise their children. We asked them how they became so strong as they dealt with the challenges of modern parenting. Does your being strong benefit your children? Do you want your daughter to be as strong as you are? These are the questions that we asked of them, the answers of which they gladly gave us.
We asked single successful career women to share with us the choices that they had to make. We asked them to tell us about the joys of freedom and independence and about how they sometimes had to conquer the specter of loneliness.
We asked everybody to share with us the events of their daily lives. What gives them joy? What matters to them, what concerns them, what jolts them into feeling?
By asking these questions, these leaders, parents, and women showed off the brilliance that is their education. Indeed, in one story after another, we saw how a good education proved to be the final touch that spurred a person to excellence and achievement.
This we did for the last 365 days. They wrote. We posted. We shared.
Each essay is a celebration of one woman and of all women.
We hope to bring more inspiring essays in the coming years. And we invite all of you to share your story, so that there will be more Smart Super Women out there.
By Lyra P. Villafana
I used to edit a two-volume publication on legal costs. Referred to by practising lawyers in Australia, it was one of the most difficult to understand among all the products in my department’s list.
The first time I spoke to the author, she asked: “Are you legally qualified?”
“No,” I said. “I have a bachelor degree in Communication and my background is publishing, not law.”
“I can’t imagine how you can edit this kind of publication.”
Notwithstanding my lack of formal legal education, I forged a productive relationship with the author. I gave her all the support she needed to be able to perform well as an author. In return, she delivered her manuscript on time, picked up the phone and talked to subscribers when I asked her to, and helped me with my product research. The question about the law degree never came up again.
All these years that I’ve worked in legal publishing in Australia, my education in the Philippines has served me in good stead. My training at the Ateneo de Manila University Graduate School of Business has helped me develop commercial acumen, a skill that is becoming valuable among editors these days.
Editors are not just wordsmiths anymore. Rather, we are the commercial owners responsible for the profit and loss of our publications. Even when I was editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine in Manila, I looked at the title in terms of market wants and needs. I managed the editorial process so we could go to press on time—the earlier we could supply the magazine to distributors, the more money we would make on newsstand sales.
I’ve reaped dividends too from my UP Communication degree.
The ability to read and analyze difficult text? My grasp of grammar and punctuation? The confidence to believe that I can learn and engage in meaningful discourse? UP nurtured me in all of these.
There are many other overseas Filipinos like me who have established themselves in their chosen careers. Nurses. Engineers. Accountants. IT professionals. The two things we all have in common: the fortitude to finish our studies and the tenacity to get every job done.
Photo by Daniel Chekalov on Unsplash
By Paige de Guzman
There’s a love and hate relationship between me and college. One minute I was loving it, then hating it the next. I love vacations. I love lazy days and happy mornings when I don’t have to wake up early to go to school. I love it when I don’t have to sit in the bus in the middle of traffic and end up late for class.
Nevertheless, I did my best. I woke up early, finished my assignments, studied my readings, and aced my classes. Sometimes, I would complain, but always, I tried to do my best. At the time, I always thought of what my parents told me: “It’s for your future.”
And oh, how right they were!
Of course, the realization did not come right away. When I graduated, I went job-hunting, taking tests and doing interviews. At first, it was frustrating. But because I knew exactly what I wanted, I did not lose hope. Today, I am working full time as a publishing specialist while doing part-time work as a writer.
But reaping the rewards of a good education does not stop with getting a good job. A good education reflects on the quality of your work. It shows on how you handle pressure. Aren’t exams, graded recitations, and project deadlines stressful? Well, I’ve realized that they’re almost the same—deadlines in school and deadlines at work. The difference is that you get paid with the latter. That’s when I tell myself, “Thank God, I did my best in school!”
A good education also reflects on how well you relate to people. It shapes into the kind of person that you are. Before college, I was a socially awkward girl who stammered a little bit in class. I suppose, all those graded recitation sessions fixed that.
I might have hated school at one time or another, but looking back, I’m glad I did my best. I know that I wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t burned the midnight oil.
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash