Life wasn’t easy for Geoselle Dela Cruz who experienced everything from going to school on an empty stomach on many occasions, always getting delayed in her school and dorm payments, and having to work at least eight jobs just to support herself and finish college.
She’s done everything from doing tutorials to selling food and pre-loved stuff. She was also a dance choreographer, rappel instructor, and host/emcee in various shows just so she could earn some extra cash.
Indeed, life was hard especially in her fourth year when her mother was hospitalized, her brother suffered from a mental condition, and their electricity was cut off for many months. Yet she managed to complete her thesis, finish all the requirements, and graduate as cum laude!
Isn’t she amazing?
Geoselle’s story is something that a number of students can relate to – and it is just amazing that she managed to persevere despite all the odds against her finishing her dreams.
She wrote a beautiful testimony on Facebook which earned thousands of likes and shares from netizens who admired her resilience and hard work. Many were also impressed at the way she candidly wrote about her trials and that she wasn’t afraid to admit she was poor and struggling.
Read her story and be amazed…
This is how Geoselle described her life as a student:
And to all my limitations, I have found a limitless God. <3
Para sa lahat ng araw na maski pamasahe sa ikot jeep, wala ako;
Para sa lahat ng enrollment na promissory note for late payment ang kasangga ko;
Para sa lahat ng CRS tagged deficiencies dahil never ako nakabayad ng dorm & tuition loan on time;
Para sa lahat ng pagkakataon na akala ng iba fasting ako, pero ang totoo, wala lang talaga akong pangkain.
Para sa lahat ng readings na pinag-iipunan ko pa bago ko maipa-photocopy;
Para sa lahat ng exams, reports, papers at patong-patong na requirements;
Para sa lahat ng groupmates na di naman magaan, pero panay pabuhat;
Para sa tulog, pahinga at acads time na kailangan isakripisyo kasi kailangan rumaket para may baon ako kinabukasan;
Para sa last sem ko na nasa ospital si Mommy, nagka mental health problem si Kuya at kinailangan kong maging solid Ate sa pamilya;
Para sa huling sem ko na wala kaming kuryente sa bahay for N months at nagthe-thesis ako sa dilim.
At hanggang sa Sablay na isusuot ko sa graduation na pinag-ipunan ko pa para mabili….
Para sa lahat ng ‘to, nandoon Ka.
ALL OF THESE BATTLES, and You won them all.
To all who fought hard for their degree not just academically, this is for you:
I was raised & trained to be a “Diskarte Queen”. I grew up having a mind set na may paraan lahat ng bagay.
There are a lot of things I tried just to keep this UP dream going. Lahat ng raket na pwedeng gawin, I did. Tutor for 3 years, dance choreographer, rappel instructor, taga-transcribe ng thesis ng iba, pa-rummage sale ng own pre-loved clothes, R.A. dito, S.A. doon, sideline here, sideline there, back-up dancer, pati hosting at emcee rakets, judge ng mga pa-dance contests ni Mayor, benta ng pizza rolls, donuts, graham balls, oreo chenes at kung ano ano pang pwede ibenta.
Natutunan kong hindi lang mamaluktot pero matutong mag-stretch ng sarili at lumabas sa kahon. Hangga’t may raket na pwedeng sunggabin, G.
All these rakets provided for me for a little while, but all of these were temporary—It drained me & it didn’t sustain me.
And there, I’ve learned that when all my “Diskartes” are tired, and when all the rakets are gone, there He is. The One who truly provided for all my needs since day 1—even when I do not ask, even when I do not deserve. And when I met Him, I lacked nothing.
I have experienced to be empty-handed, yet still felt like I’m overflowing.
I have learned to be grateful, even if nothing’s going right.
I have learned that I no longer have to prove anything, for He already made me worthy.
I have realized that His ways are higher than my ways, and His plans are better than my plans.
I have learned that when life took away all that I have, as long as I have God, I lack nothing.
To the graduates: Please do not let your story be labelled as just another “grad essay writing contest entry”. Your story is a testimony. Share it, you’ll never know who will be blessed! Invest on & inspire the next generations! 🙂
To the entities who supported me & my family through scholarships, UP Streetdance Club, UP AITGFI and CHED. Sobrang laking tulong po ng suporta niyo, maraming salamat po!
To my beloved organizations: UP Lakan, UP Streetdance Club, Every Nation Campus UPD,ASEAN Youth Leaders Association – Philippines, UP Sanlahi Alliance, Salimbay AIT & Kampo Uno Rescue, YOU ARE ALL MY SAFE HAVEN & HOME AWAY FROM HOME. YOU ARE ALL FAMILY. MAHAL NA MAHAL KO KAYO. <3
To all the people who helped my family, from daily baon to pambayad sa fieldtrips, to pambili ng school needs, kay Ama at Ina, to all my titos & titas, ninongs & ninangs, sa lahat po ng nalapitan namin for help, hindi ko na po kayo maiisa-isa, but please know that blessing po kayo sa amin & I am so thankful for all of you!
To my family, who endured everything with & for me, Daddy George, Mommy Estelita, Kuya Geo, Kuya Geowell, Geonice & Geolly—WAAAAHHHH NANDITO NA TAYOOOO <3 HUHU. this victory is ours. I share to you every bit of this milestone. Thank you for everythinggg!!! :(((
To the University of the Philippines, SOLID KA. Sasaktan ka ng mga tao pero alam kong paulit-ulit mo pa rin pipiliin na ipagtanggol at pagsilbihan ang masa. Thank you for challenging me to not live on my own, but strive to serve this country and its people. No doubt, babalik-balikan kita.
And to You:
The greatest thing that happened in my (college) life, the One who holds the universe yet chose to also hold my tomorrow, the One who never left me nor forsake me, the One who pursued me & taught me to pursue things that are not of this world but of eternal value, the One who loved me first, the One who made all of these possible, the One who won it all, my King, my Prince of Peace, my everything—how can I ever thank You enough? I love You. This is all You.
And lastly, to the students reading this:
to all of you who are striving for your education, whose dreams are bigger than you, whose goals seem to be impossible, WHATEVER IT TAKES, WAG MONG SUSUKUAN ‘YAN!!!
And when battles come, when mountains arise, when hard times happen, PLEASE DO NOT ESCAPE. CHOOSE TO ENDURE, ALWAYS.
Yes, you will be knocked down. You’ll get tired, you’ll cry a lot. You will not be okay. You will hurt. You will be weak. You will come to the end of yourself. But you will grow. And you will learn, and you will overcome all these painful processes and you’ll see yourself N times stronger & better than who you used to be before.
So please, do not escape hard times. Do not invalidate your struggles. Do not be afraid to fail. Make your failures your footstool. Do not take shortcuts to success. For in the shortcuts, you might miss wonderful things, people & experiences He has placed in the way for you. The becoming is always more important than the being.
Choose the narrow road. Choose the waiting, the tedious, messy process.
CHOOSE TO ENDURE, ALWAYS. After all, He already won it all.
Whatever school you are in, wherever you are, GOD WILL MEET YOU THERE. Jesus d*ed for you, what else He cannot give you? 🙂
Believe me when I say that the same God who delivered you for years will also deliver you for the years to come. Faithful He has been, faithful He will be.
And I promise you:
“When you truly seek first His kingdom & His righteousness, all things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Sa wakas magmamartsa na,
Geoselle Santiago Dela Cruz
(Nagshift from BS Mathematics)
(Nadelay ng 1 sem)
(May isang 5.0, isang removed 4.0, at labing-limang 1.0)
(Ginapang ang #RoadToSablay)
(Nagsayaw, nag-walwal, nag-cram, na-try ang 3 days straight w/ zero sleep)
(Napariwara sa mundo, pero nakilala si Lord)
Bachelor of Science in Tourism
Asian Institute of Tourism
University of the Philippines Diliman
Cum Laude CWA