Yaya Graduates Cum Laude from College, Walks Stage with Her Proud Alaga While Boss Takes Pictures

For many households in the Philippines, yayas (nannies) and helpers have become part of the family. After all, many of them actually spent more time with the children while they were growing up because the parents are busy with their careers.

Many of these yayas become a forever part of the family, retiring in old age and becoming ‘lolas’ (honorary grandmas) to the children of their alaga (ward). But others move on, out of these households to becoming nannies and helpers to other households or to become workers in other fields – especially if their bosses help send them to school!

Lucille Guiquin is among these lucky ones. She started at the household of Roland Benzon as yaya to Joshua. This week, she graduates from college as cum laude with the course of Hotel & Restaurant Management.

Roland wrote on Facebook as he shared photos of Joshua and Lucille:

Photo credit: Roland Benzon / Facebook


Lucille was a shy Negrense, when she joined our household in 2006. Throughout Joshua’s childhood, she fed, bathed, chaperoned him, and helped around the house too. She also supervised Josh’s homework and exam reviews, which was arguably beyond her call of duty.

She did that so well, her potential became apparent. And so we promised her that we would send her to college, after Josh turned 10. We made good on that vow.

Lucille marched on stage to receive her award and diploma, accompanied by a beaming Joshua while her boss Roland took photos. It was clear from Joshua’s big smile and from Roland’s Facebook post that the family was quite proud of what Lucille has achieved.

Even though she still did household chores and cared for Josh, she strove to finish each semester with honors. Why? So she could qualify for a student subsidy and help defray her tuition (savings for us!) She even saved up for her own laptop, so she could complete her papers and reports on time.

We demanded nothing of her, yet she did not waste the opportunity. Four years of university passed so quickly, and she is done. Well done, Lucille. Well done!

Congratulations, Lucille! And kudos to the Benzon family for helping make her dreams come true…