OF the thousands of graduates in Makati City this year, two stood out: Armando Buhay Albes, Sr. and Salvacion Flores Nacario.
Albes, 78, and Nacario, 79, caught the eye of Makati Mayor Mar-len Abigail “Abby” Binay who attended graduation ceremonies at the University of Makati (UMak) and the Open High School Program of Fort Bonifacio High School.
Albes finished A.B. Political Science major in Local Government Administration at UMak. Nacario, on the otherhand, graduated from junior high school.
Fondly called “Tatay Albes” and “Nanay Sally” by their classmates, both graduates are residents of Barangay West Rembo.
“I salute Tatay Albes and Nanay Sally for having defied all odds to achieve their dreams through sheer willpower and single-minded perseverance,” Binay said. “Your struggles and subsequent success exemplify the priceless value of education. You have given people, particularly the youth, great motivation to be conscientious in their studies.”
“I am sure you have also made many young people realize the wisdom of making the most out of their youth to achieve their dreams,” she added.
Albes said his determination to finish college was “driven by his personal ambition to finish school, as well as his love for the country.”
He recollected how he stumbled or slipped countless of times while walking to school, a few blocks away from his home.
He said going to school and keeping up with the lectures and assignments were especially difficult because of his age. But these struggles gave him greater motivation to keep going.
Nacario spent three years under the Alternative Learning System (ALS) before she proceeded to pursue high school through the open high school program.
She plans to proceed to Senior High School because she wants to finish her studies and be able to manage a business of her own in the future.
“Kesa tong-its, madyong at tsismis ang pagkaabalahan ko, mag-aaral na lang ako, nadadagdagan pa ang kaalaman ko [Rather than spend my time playing cards and gossiping, I will go to school where I can accumulate more knowledge],” said Nacario, who has been Makati resident since 1952.