By: Jaxinta R. Francisco
ABC scholar from 2005-2014
“And, when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”- This is one of my favorite quotes from the book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. The urgent need of quality education when I thought no one would ever grant it came as a surprise when my father found out about A Better Chance Foundation. It’s not fate that brought me to Siena College, Night High but my keen desire for good schooling and my fathers research.
Better known with my nickname Jax, I was born the third out of the five children of business enthusiasts, Jay E. Francisco and Nelfa R. Francisco. I contentedly grew up in small town Taytay, Rizal with my parents as the breadwinners. Life was easy and good back then, and I and my siblings had a very wonderful childhood. The main source of income came from the barbecue shop that my father had invested in after the garment industry of their family had gone bankrupt. Eighteen years since my birth, the barbecue business had sustained our family’s living. But due to meager profits we were getting from the small shop and the cost of living increasing tremendously, my father had been badly troubled. The time for me to attend high school was fast approaching and my father who was a government employee had a hard time thinking on how he would send me to school. He searched for ways on how he could support my studies and luckily he found ABC Foundation, with the guidance of Sir Renato C. Logatoc, the Director of Siena College Christian Community Formation & Development Services (CCF&DS), Coordinator, Community Base Extension Service. Siena College Taytay is famous as a Catholic educational institution which advocates academic formation based on the virtues of love, justice, peace and integrity of creation. My sister was already a scholar during that time and I really looked forward to be in the same program. Luckily, I passed the exam and grabbed the opportunity to become an ABC scholar.
The goal to excel in academics ignited on the pursuit of my eager dreams and aspirations. Without being pressured by my parents, I studied hard to prove to my sponsors that I’m worthy of every cent they give. Without much ado, all hard works had paid off- I consistently placed second in the class. It was such an honor that I almost topped the class every quarter of the year. But the delight in school fell shortly when the greatest tragedy in our family occurred. It was in my 4th year of high school when my father passed away due to massive heart attack in the city of Subic, Zambales. Devastating and totally heart-piercing, the death of my father had caused immense melancholy and depression, as he was my closest companion at home. That was the time I realized how precious every moment is, and I had regretted the moments I wasn’t able to make him feel that he’s one of the special people in my life. Truly, life is too short; you should make the most out it. Despite the sudden death of my father, I didn’t retreat from any battles in life. Perhaps, it had strengthened, encouraged and pushed me beyond limits to achieve everything I wanted since day one. Though I encountered some academic difficulties in my 5th and last year, I stood still and was proud to receive an Academic Excellence Award at the year-end’s commencement exercises. That’s the least I could offer to my late father for everything he had done for me. Added up to my pleasure in getting such an award, I was grateful even more when my named was called as one of the chosen ABC College scholars. All my doubts, fears and repressed feelings were relieved at once and I anticipated college as it was another milestone in my life.