A graduation photo caught the attention of many netizens, as Jerdy Grace Araneta wrote a note written on the sign, “Dahil sa balut, diploma ay naabot.”
Every parent desires to see their children finish their studies and make their dreams into reality. As a result, parents do all they can to provide for their children’s needs, no matter how difficult it is.
Such is the story of father and daughter, Mang Rodolfo and Jerdy Grace.
Standing beside her in the picture is her father, a humble yet hardworking balut vendor, Mang Rodolfo.
Both smiling, the father and daughter are fulfilled with delight as they celebrate Jerdy’s graduation from senior high school at the Siniloan, Laguna.
GMA’s 24 Oras Athena Imperial had the opportunity to interview Mang Rodolfo, a balut vendor, for over a decade. Balut selling became their family’s primary source of livelihood of wife and five kids.
“Kinakaya ko talaga kasi kailangan ko talagang makatapos ang pag-aaral ng mga anak ko eh, para hindi matulad sa akin. Kasi ako wala rin akong pinag-aralan eh.”
(I do my best to endure because I need to see my children finish their studies, so they won’t turn out to be like me. Because I didn’t have an education.)
The pandemic has been cruel to everyone. As with the imposition of curfews, Mang Rodolfo extended his efforts to get side jobs too. Mang Rodolfo collects junk, repairs appliances, and sells pandesal.
Jerdy Grace is the eldest in the brood and is firm to finish her education and help her family. When her time permits it, she makes it a point to help her father.
She plans to take a BS in nursing as she enters college. She also intends to be a working student to relieve her father’s burden.
What can Jerdy share with her fellow students who also have parents desiring them to finish their studies?
“Ituloy lang ang pag-aaral kasi ‘yun po ang pinakamagandang regalo na mabibigay sa magulang nila.”