Bullied for Being “Too Old” in School, Son of Widow Laundrywoman Finally Graduates ‘Cum Laude’ from College

Due to poverty, the son of a widow laundrywoman had to quit school but thanks to his hard work and diligence as well as his mother’s prodding, he managed to finish college – and even did so with flying colors!

Hindi pa huli sa marathon. Hangga’t may pangarap ka habulin mo lang. Mas malayo yan kapag nakatayo ka lang at walang ginagawa. Pag hinahabol mo mas malapit ka sa finish line,” 25-year-old Francis Sinaban told ABS-CBN News after he graduated from the University of La Salette in Santiago City, Isabela in the Philippines.

Francis recalled how he started earning money at the age of 12, washing 24 pieces of bottle to earn Php2 for his family. While the wage was a pittance, it helped the family have food for the day.

The young boy was forced to work because his father, Frank Sinaban, suffered a stroke while his mother, Nida, had to take care of her husband. She also took in laundry to make ends meet but because the money was not enough, Francis was forced to quit school.

Photo credit: ABS-CBN News

In 2009, Francis’ father died and his mother became a full-time laundrywoman, earning about Php200 to Php300 a day. With some money to spare now, Aling Nida encouraged Francis to go back to school so he could have a better work in the future than become a construction worker or some other low-paying menial job usually done by those who were unable to finish their studies.

It was Aling Nida’s dream to see her only child finish college and live a better life. So, Francis went back to school to make his mother happy; but his life wasn’t easy in school because bullies mocked him for being “too old” to be in school as he started high school at 17 – an age when the other kids are already in college at the time.

But Francis didn’t let the bullies bring him down; instead, he strived hard to make his mother happy and fulfill his dreams. True enough, he graduated as an honor student in high school. This would help him earn a scholarship in a private school, the University of La Salette in the city.

Aling Nida continued to be a laundrywoman and also raised pigs to earn money while Francis worked part-time at a fast food chain to support his mother. Their hard work has paid off well – for Francis graduated cum laude from his course of Bachelor of Science in Psychology!

Photo credit: Francis Tirso Sinaban / Facebook

Huli man daw at magaling naihahabol din.” – Filipino proverb

Congratulations to both of you, Francis and Aling Nida!