“I saw how my parents rolled their sleeves under the scorching heat of the sun for us to finish our studies. I was deeply inspired with their sacrifices so, I took up Bachelor of Science in Agriculture to start plowing and cultivating my dreams. I made it with flying colors. And now, I’m reaping the fruits of my sacrifices. It’s payback time. This is for my family. My success is their success,” Arnold Damaso humbly shared. He is the newly designated Dean of the College of Agriculture in Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology on 22 February 2022.

Passed the Test

Dean Arnold’s mother, Mila, 59, tearfully reminisced the hardships that their family went through and emotionally uttered, “Nabuhay ang aming pamilya sa pagsasaka. Nasaksihan ng aming anim na anak kung gaano kahirap ang pagsasaka lalo na kung nabagyo o napeste ang mga pananim. Sa awa ng Diyos, nakakuha ng full scholarship si Arnold (Our family survived through farming. Our six children witnessed how challenging farming is, especially when crops are being damaged by typhoon or attacked by pests. By God’s grace, Arnold was able to receive a full scholarship).”

“Dahil sa 4Ps, hindi na namin inintindi ng aking asawa ang mga gastusin sa eskwelahan ng aming mga anak. Kaya, nakapag-ipon kami ng pambili ng gamit pangsaka dahil ang pagsasaka ang naging pangunahing kabuhayan ng aming pamilya. Naigapang namin ang pag-aaral ng aming mga anak (Because of 4Ps, me and my husband need not to worry about the school expenses of our children. That is why, we were able to save more money to buy farm equipment because farming was our main source of income for our family. We were able to hurdle the studies of our children),” she added.

Gear Up, Level up

35 year old Dean Arnold is unstoppable because he is motivated by his conviction that, “If you have dreams, then you must be brave and have the courage to pursue them.” He is currently pursuing his Doctorate Degree in Agriculture at the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology and continues to make mark in his chosen field of specialization.

He can still vividly remember riding his bicycle from his house in Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan to Pangasinan State University just to save a small amount from his allowance. According to him, he deeply appreciates the sacrifices of his parents so he values every single coin from his scarce allowance.

Regain and Sustain

Mila is a full-fledged Parent Leader since 2013. She believes that her learnings from the Family Development Session (FDS) led her to overcoming the challenges of their family especially in the studies of her six children. “Napatunayan kong napakahalaga ng pag-iimpok, bagay na natutuhan ko po sa FDS. Kahit hindi ako nakapag-aral, natuto ako sa aking pakikinig sa mga pinag-uusapan sa FDS at sobrang laking tulong nito sa paglinang ng aking pagkatao. Sa mga kapwa ko benepisyaryo, nawa’y magsilbing inspirasyon ang 4Ps. Sa panahong tayo ay magtapos na sa programa, makikita ng ating pamahalaan ang magandang naidulot ng pagtulong nila sa atin. Lagi nating pangalagaan ang tulong ng ating pamahalaan. (I was able to prove that saving money is vital, this is what I learned from the FDS. Though I was not able to finish my studies, I was able to learn from listening to the topics discussed in the FDS and it was a great help in developing my character. To my fellow beneficiaries, I hope that 4Ps will serve as your inspiration. When the time comes that we graduate from the program, our government will see the results of their efforts in helping us. Let us always value the help that our government is giving us),” Mila exhorted. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya)