“Sobrang saya ako (nung naka-pasok si Carmina sa Manila Science High School1) kasi, before, nung grade 7 siya, naaksidente yung asawa ko. Nung nasa ospital kami, siya lang ang pumapasok mag-isa. Wala ako sa bahay kasi yung asawa ko naaksidente, nasa ospital. Parang suko na siya, hindi niya kaya.
Sinabihan siya ni Ma’am Tin2 na, ‘Anak3, kaya mo yan. Sige lang. Kaya mo yan.’ hanggang sa, ok naman, kinaya niya naman. Hanggang sa nagiging top 1 siya sa klase. Nung grade 8 siya, top 1 siya. Umakyat ako ng stage. Nung Grade 9, top 1 din siya. Second Meritorious Star Award rin siya.
Sabi ko, ‘Anak, ok lang basta galingan mo lang ang pag-aaral.’ Ngayon, Grade 11 na siya. Balak niya maging chemical engineer. Mahilig din siyang gumawa ng story kaya gusto niya rin, at the same time, maging writer. Gagawa daw siya ng libro.”
“I was overjoyed (when Carmina got into Manila Science High School) because, before, when she was in the 7th grade, my husband got into an accident. I was never home because I had to take care of my husband at the hospital, so she had to go to school and take care of herself. She wanted to give up. She said she couldn’t do it.
But Ma’am Tin told her ‘You can do it, dear. Just keep going. You can do it.’ So she persevered, until she became top 1 of her class. During the 8th grade, she was top 1 and I went up on stage with her to present her award. She was top 1 again during the 9th grade. She even got the Second Meritorious Star Award.
I told her, ‘Anak, just keep up your great work at school.’ Now, she’s in the 11th grade. She plans to be a chemical engineer. She also loves to write stories so she wants to be a writer as well. She says she’s going to write a book someday.”
— Nanay Arce4, mother of Carmina, current Hungry Minds High School Scholar
1Manila Science High School is one of the most competitive and prestigious science high schools in the Philippines.
2Christine, also referred to as “Ate” (elder sister) or Ma’am Tin, is the social worker and coordinator of Hungry Minds Manila.
3Anak means son/daughter in Filipino. It can also be a term of endearment for young children.
4Nanay means mother in Filipino.