THIS is a saying that applies best to Jeremie Santos and Kevin Jay Apurillo, both senior high school (SHS) graduates from Angeles City National Trade School (ACNTS) – one of the schools that piloted the SHS program in Angeles City, Pampanga province.
Santos, 20, was the family’s breadwinner who used to work as a waiter. But the meager salary was just not enough.
“Noong nagtratrabaho pa ako bilang waiter, hirap na hirap akong mag budget kasi kadalasan talaga kulang para sa aming pamilya. [When I was still working as a waiter, I had difficulty budgeting because I was not earning enough],” Santos said.
Apurillo, on the other hand, had this consuming dream — finish school and find a decent job.
“Makapagtapos lang ako ng pag-aaral at makakuha lang sana ako ng magandang trabaho para makatulong sa mga magulang ko ay sapat na sa akin. [It’s enough for me that I finish my studies and find a decent job so I can help my parents],” Apurillo said.
But financial difficulties got in the way of his dream.
But then opportunity beaconed. Their luck changed for the better when ACNTS introduced the SHS program, initially offering four technical-vocational courses: Automotive; Industrial Electricity; Electronics and Cookery in school year 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.
Santos chose the Industrial Electricity course. He was hesitant at first because of his unfamiliarity with his choice.
“Kabado ako kasi hindi ko alam kung kakayanin ko yung kurso na pinili ko, pero yun talaga ang interes ko. [I was nervous because I had doubts about my abilities, but it’s what I really wanted,]” he said.
In time, however, Santos was able to adjust to the rigors and discipline of the program offering.
“Malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa K-to-12 dahil sa nai-ambag niya sa akin at sa pagbibigay nito ng pagkakataong makapagtrabaho dito at sa labas ng bansa, [I am grateful to K-to-12 because it gave me the opportunity to work abroad],” Santos shared.
Apurillo, on the other, chose the Automotive course where he was able to attain a national certification (NC) II. He couldn’t be any happier.
“Sa senior high school, libre kaming nakapag-aral kung saan nahasa ang aming likas na kakayahan at maging ang academic skills, [Senior high school trained us well]” he quipped.
Santos is currently working at the Fontana Resort Villas and Park Inn Residences as an Electrical Maintenance Staff. He has also secured a National Certification II in his area of specialization.
Apurillo, meanwhile, works as a Sales Representative at Roymed Pharmaceuticals also in Pampanga.