After four years of hard work, Jane Danielle T. Cagalitan finally holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, Major in English. When asked about her secret in achieving such accomplishment, this Hedcor and Aboitiz Foundation scholar credits her success to God, her family, and… to farming.
Jane’s family lives of growing radish and tomatoes in their 5000 square meter farm in Kapatagan, Digos city. Overseeing most of the tasks is Julius, Jane’s father. Her mother Janet, on the other hand, assists in tilling the land and planting crops. While this sufficed for the family’s needs at first, the cost of living began to increase, the price of vegetables began to fluctuate, and at that time Jane was about to enter college. At an instant, Jane’s family knew they had to work twice as hard.
“Aside from farming, my husband sometimes hauls crops like bananas for additional income.” Janet shared. “We also plant sayote and harvest them weekly so that we could give Jane her allowance”
Jane, for her part, also had struggles to face: fighting the homesickness and dealing with the pressure. Having to study 40 kilometers away from home and maintaining the expectations after graduating high school valedictorian made Jane’s first year in college a little difficult.
“People had high expectations of me, and my college professors were really pushing me to my limits.” shared Jane. However, her persistence to graduate strong never faltered. “Instead of seeing it as pressure, I would like to call it a challenge instead so that I get motivated to persevere more.”
Just like farming however, you reap what you sow. And so from the seeds of hard work and perseverance bore the fruits of success: graduating Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Cor Jesu College in Digos City. Jane also holds the honor of being the first Magna Cum Laude among Hedcor’s scholars in Mindanao.
“We really did not expect it. Now, she’s graduating Magna Cum Laude.” shared Janet as she tried to fight back tears. “When she was studying, we just continued to remind her to always work hard.”
Today, in addition to their farm, Jane’s family now owns a sari-sari store which opened late last year; another fruit that bore from the family’s persistence and determination. Jane also plants to take the Licensure Examination for Teachers this September in hopes to someday fulfill her “passion and mission” of teaching.
“Thank you to Hedcor and Aboitiz Foundation for shouldering my financial burdens. I wouldn’t come this far if it wasn’t for your help.” Jane shared.
Hedcor has been continuously providing scholarships to its community partners. However, the organization’s support towards education does not stop at graduation alone. “As you know, Hedcor’s support will not end when you graduate. We will continuously do our best to help you, directly or indirectly. I hope that this relationship becomes two-way because we need your contribution and commitment to be able to advance business and communities.” shared Lalaine Lonzaga, Hedcor’s Community Relations Officer.
Jane is a scholar of Hedcor Sibulan, Inc. along with Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. Hedcor is the run-of-river hydropower arm of AboitizPower, which operates 21 run-of-river hydropower facilities in the country.