Can you survive on a Php20 daily allowance? That’s a difficult these days, considering that Php20 alone might not even be enough for your fare to and fro your school or workplace! But one college student proved that it’s still possible to live on that allowance if you just focus on your goal.
The goal for Robin Lee Metiam was to graduate from college. Studying Electrical Engineering at Tarlac State University (TSU) for 5 years was a challenge for the young man who often had to make do with the Php20 allowance he gets every day.
But though his allowance was a pittance, he did not let that stop him from reaching for his dreams.
In a post that has gone viral on Facebook, Robin shared his story.
“Hanggang saan aabot ang 20 pesos mo?”
marahil halos lahat tayo hindi kayang mabuhay sa araw araw na 20 pesos lang ang pera…lalong lalo na sa mga estudyante na kung titignan ehh parang sa pamasahe palang ehh ubos na…
20 pesos…dyan sa halagang yan umikot ang limang taon ko sa kolehiyo…”
His high school years were far easier than college because he received Php50 allowance from his dad who had a job then. But when he began his freshman year in college, his father lost his job.
The third of seven siblings, it was a struggle indeed to keep everyone in school now that their dad is jobless. Their eldest sister had already completed college; his elder brother decided to quit school to give way for Robin as his course was cheaper.
Still, budgeting that Php20 was a huge challenge.
“7 pesos pamasahe papuntang eskwelahan
7 pesos pamasahe pauwi ng bahay
6 pesos ang natitira na aking inuunti-unting ubusin sa buong araw…(presyong pang palamig at isang pirasong kendi lang)”
Can you just imagine how his life had been through that year?
The following year, he decided to become a working student to earn extra money to send himself to school and help his parents. He still had to cope with a Php20 daily budget but made changes to his lifestyle, especially after ‘he became a Christian’.
“7 pesos pamasahe papuntang eskwelahan(Wala ng pauwi kasi nag lalakad na lang ako)
2 pesos for Tithes (Syempre matik na yan)
11 pesos ang natitira (Isang palamig at isang tinapay na ang nabibili ko sa mag hapon hahaha)”
In his third year, he qualified for DOST Scholarship. Though he receives an allowance from the government, he continued to live on that Php20 budget he learned to cope with in the past two years.
“20 pesos is real. kaso iba na ang budgeting ko..
20 for food allowance sa isang buong araw(nakahiwalay na ang budget para sa pamasahe, other gastos, at syempre pati ang Tights and Offering for the Lord sa tuwing matatanggap ko yung allowance ko sa DOST)”
He lived on this budgeted lifestyle for the rest of his college days. On his graduation day, he looked back at what he had gone through and thanked God for the lessons he learned through that Php20 budget.
He understands now the value of the things he has, learned how to persevere, and most of all, he learned to trust in the Lord at all times…