The academic honor of “summa cum laude” is the highest honor a student could ever receive in his/her graduation from college – and it is an honor that is so difficult to attain that there are actually times when there’s no one entitled to receive such honor in the entire university!
And that’s actually quite common because college academic awards (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) are different from high school and elementary awards wherein the school always has the valedictorian, salutatorian, and the top 10 based on their ranks. In college, everything is based on your own performance – and it is possible for none or for several students to be award such awards!
Now, in Cebu City, a young man has impressed netizens with his amazing achievements because despite being poor, he managed to graduate with the highest honors possible: as summa cum laude!
Finishing the course of BS Computer Science from Cebu Institute of Technology University (CIT-U), 21-year-old Jireh Bautista has impressed everyone not just because he graduated as summa cum laude but also because he managed to do that despite ‘just’ being the son of a shoe repairman.
Jireh’s father Pantaleon Bautista told Sun Star Cebu, “Sapatero ra man ko. Dugay na nga nihinay akong trabaho. Di sama kaniadto nga kusog kusog pa to gamay. Di na gani kaabot og P8,000 akong buwan. (I’m just a shoe repairman. My earnings have decreased. I hardly earn P8,000 a month).”
From that amount, the family had to pay Php5,000 as rent for their house in the city, Php2,000 in utilities, and the rest is for their food! With the mother only a housewife, she is not earning extra money for the family.
Thankfully, all the Bautista children were blessed with intelligence, something that they were able to use to obtain scholarships.
“Dili gyud mi maka-eskwela tanan if walay scholarships (We wouldn’t be able to go to school if not for the scholarships),” Jireh said.
Aside from getting academic scholarship from his school CIT-U, Jireh also receives financial assistance from the Cebu City National Science High School Batch 1977, the Department of Science and Technology (Dost), Real Life Foundation of Victory Christian Fellowship, and the Cebu City Government.
“Sauna, samot na kato wala pa gyuy naka-graduate sa amoang mag-igsuon, lisud jud kaayu ang kinabuhi kay sapatero ra man si Papa. Pero, honestly kay wala jud kaayu ko feel ana pagkabata kay public school ra man pud ko and murag same ra mi sa akong classmates ba then happy ra pud ko and dili ko in-ana ka materialistic. Pero pagsulod og high school sa SciHigh like feel na jud kaayu nako ang difference,” he recalled.
(Back then, when all of us were still in school, life was difficult because Papa is just a shoe repairman. But, honestly, I didn’t feel it because I was in public school and I was in the same level as my classmates. I was happy then and I’m not materialistic. But when I went to high school in SciHigh, I already felt the difference.)
Click “Next Page” Below to Watch Jireh’s Inspiring Story and Message to Other Students