“Hanggang saan makakarating ang 20 pesos mo? ” This famous tag line used by an ice cream brand in a TV ad as part of their marketing strategy made a significant role in the success of a student named Robin Lee Metiam.
According to Robin, he had 6 other siblings, 5 among them were still studying and his sister was the only one who had graduated college. Life has been so hard for their family as their father was jobless so his brother gave way to let Robin study instead of him as Robin’s tuition fee was much cheaper than his. This was the start of Robin’s life struggles.
During Robin’s first year in college, he said that he only had Php20 allowance in school everyday which he divides into: Php14 round-trip transportation, Php5 for a cooler, and Php1 for a piece of candy. At the end of day, he still cannot believe that he was able to pass a day in school with his 20 pesos.
On his second year, the struggle became more intense as the prices of commodities had gone up but Robin found a way to earn an extra income by being a Math and Science Tutor. He also said that on the same year, it brought significant changes to his life because he was able to seek the Lord and had a deeper faith in Him.
He still managed to live within Php20 allowance per day which Php7 goes to his transportation going to school (he only walks from school going home), Php2 for his tithes in the church (10% of Php20), Php5 for a cooler and Php6 for a piece of bread. His extra earnings from being a tutor were given to his parents for the needs of the family.
Robin’s third year in college was even harder as his other siblings were entering their college and high school years. He knew it wouldn’t be easy but he never gave up until an unexpected blessing came which he believed was God’s way of rewarding him for upholding his Christian faith and values.
Robin was one of the recipients of a scholarship from the Department of Science and Technology. This had opened doors for more opportunities for him yet he stayed with his 20-peso budget, but now, he allotted the full amount for his food and his other expenses were covered by his allowance for being a a scholar.
He continued with this simple lifestyle until he reached his 5th year and was able to graduate last June 15, 2017. He said that he owed his success to God through the discipline that he learned from every 20 pesos that he gets to spend every day, the perseverance and the trust in God and in keeping the faith at all times.
Robin Lee Metiam is now a degree holder of Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Tarlac State University. He is proud to say that he was able to cross his college years with his Php20 daily allowance.