Houseboy Magna Cum Laude

Oct 20, 2018

Born in a poor family of farmers in Tuao, Cagayan Valley, Jarel experiences adversities in life even at a very young age. Since 4 years old, Jarel acts effeminately, which his parents accept wholeheartedly. In spite of this, he helps his parents so they can have food on their table. But unlike any other kids in their community, Jarel’s only childhood dream is to finish his studies, which was inspired by her mother Fe, who worked as a domestic helper abroad and sacrificed her schooling for her own siblings then. But as Jarel matures, he observes that entering college seems too ambitious for him, as they struggle everyday to make ends meet. Moreso when Jarel comes to witness the hard-earned life that Fe cultivates as a kasambahay. Though Jarel’s gay and witty antics serve as Fe’s source of happiness, this does not conceal the pain Jarel feels when Fe is belittled by his educated aunts for being “illiterate” and poor. These moments push Jarel to believe that poverty will never hamper his goal to finish his studies. So after his graduation in high school, when he is offered a job as kasambahay, Jarel seizes the chance. He juggled his time on activities like cleaning house, preparing meals, laundry, and schoolwork. Fortunately, Jarel is able to enroll in Cagayan State University with the degree Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Industry Management. Turning troubles into triumphs with his jolly and witty personality, his perseverance and strategies soon pay off when he becomes a scholar. But as he goes towards his dreams, he experiences other financial demands along the way. They lost their home and their livelihood due to Typhoon Lawin, shortly after they learn about what seems to shatter his core--his mother is diagnosed with an ulcer-related disease. Even worse, he is continued to be belittled by his own aunts and uncles. But still, Jarel remains optimistic so he can finance her mother’s medical expenses and pay it forward, reminding himself that he has a family who proudly believes in him. Finally, after years of perseverance and dedication, he is able to graduate with Latin honors, Magna Cum Laude. He believes that this is just the start of his journey in fulfilling his dreams to give his family a fruitful and comfortable life. And that he will always be grateful of what he had been in the past – Jarel (21) will always be a proud kasambahay, a proud Magna Cum Laude.


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