Everyone was amazed by her story last year… but where is she now?
Born to fisherfolks Raul and Mary Jane Villamejor living in Argao, southern Cebu in central Philippines, Regine Cañete Villamejor is proof yet again that one should never let poverty be a hindrance to success!
As a child and even when she goes back home during weekends, Villamejor would wake up at dawn to help her family sell buckets of fish in the market and from house to house. The fish they sell is from the catch her father gets at sea the previous night.
Times are hard but the family budgeted their money well; although Villamejor admitted that there were times when she heard her parents arguing over money, especially when she started studying Bachelor of Arts in Liberal arts and Commerce major in Communication and Marketing at the University of San Jose – Recoletos in Cebu City, several kilometers away from their hometown.
But while money was tight, Villamejor did not let the financial troubles get her down. She strived hard to study and earn her degree so she could help her family.
Proud of her roots and the fact that her father is a fisherman and she also helps him sell fish, Villamejor hopes to find a good-paying job soon so her father could finally take longer rest from his job and so she could help send her younger siblings to school.
“My father told me one time that he wanted to sleep more but he said (that) he had to work hard (to do) in order for me to continue my studies,” she revealed.
“Looking back, my father would shed tears while looking at us when we were sleeping. We couldn’t even move because our house was so tiny.”
“I’m not ashamed to sell the fish. My friends know about it but still they accept me for who I am! If I did not go through those challenges, wearing the toga (graduation robes) will not be worth it. We should not give up. Poverty is not a hindrance in achieving our dreams.”
“I should never forget where I came from. No matter how many achievements you have, humble yourselves and keep your feet grounded. I will always be a proud daughter of a fisherman and a fish vendor,” Villamejor said with much pride.
And she should really be proud! For not only did she graduate after the efforts of her poor fisherfolk parents, she also does so with flying colors as Magna Cum Laude! Amazing, isn’t she?
But where is she now?
Last July 18, 2018, she shared a post on Facebook to celebrate her first year anniversary as part of the sales team at Virginia Food Incorporated/ Godspeed Megamerchants Co., Inc. (the exclusive distributor of Virginia Food).
Though she grew up in the fish business, she admitted that her job in the corporate field is definitely more challenging and quite different. But just like how she overcame her challenges in school, Villamejor was also able to overcome the new challenges in her life.