Daughter of Fisherman Goes Viral for Ranking 2nd in Board Exams for Teachers

Poverty might have led to struggles for a young fisherman’s daughter, yet this did not stop her from fulfilling her dreams and later ranking 2nd in the board exams for teachers!

Iah Bantang Seraspi studied at Romblon State University, a public university in the province of Romblon, Philippines. The daughter of a fisherman and a housewife, Iah grew up poor. Her father only earns about Php100 a day, and this was a big struggle for the entire family. Yet the young lady did not stop dreaming.

Photo credit: Debbie Esquejo Garcia

I came from a poor family. I am not telling you this to humiliate my family nor to get your sympathy. I just want you to realize how blessed you are if you were able to live a life better than mine,” Iah shared.

Since I started schooling, feeling ko mayaman na kami kapag nakapag-ulam akong noodles sa agahan kasi usually ang ulam ko ay chichiria, kape, asin, asukal o kahit ano basta lang may lasa ang aming kanin. Imagine the nutrition I get from those foods yet I am an achiever in school. Di naman nila makikita ang laman ng tiyan ko but they will definitely see the capacity of my brains.

Indeed, Iah had been a consistent honor student even in her elementary years. She also graduated with honors in high school. She passed the entrance examinations for the University of the Philippines (UP) but knew her family could never afford to support her studies there. Instead she opt to enroll at Romblon State University in her hometown.

Photo credit: Debbie Esquejo Garcia

It was around this time that Iah met the Esquejos family of Looc. The family had discovered that Iah is the great granddaughter of their family’s long-time tenant; thus, they promised to support her in college. They fulfilled their promise – and she did not faily them. Iah went on to complete her Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED) major in Biological Science as Cum Laude.

Photo credit: Debbie Esquejo Garcia

After graduation, she focused on reviewing for the board exams while many of her classmates juggled reviews with a job. She wanted to excel, aiming to top the licensure exams. Indeed, she was able to fulfill that goal as well, landing second place and becoming one of the 34,010 passers in that batch.

Another young mind has proven that poverty is definitely not a hindrance to success!

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