He went to school despite his dad’s disapproval, but a ‘tapasero’ would later go viral as he achieves his dreams and became a teacher! His story has become a beautiful inspiration to many people…
Melvin Osabel Buracho was born into a family of ‘tapaseros’ whose primary livelihood is working in the sugarcane plantation. Their wages are a pittance but for their father who only reached Grade 6, it was better than going to school because it gave them some money. He would tell his kids that there’s no money in going to school; thus, they should not do it. Instead, they should work in the field like he does so that they could have money for food.
Living in fear of their father, Melvin’s siblings quit school at much younger years, but he continued doing so as he juggled working three days as ‘tapasero’ and squeezing in time for school on the rest of the other days. But in Grade 4, he quit because of mounting pressure from his dad. He became a full-time ‘tapasero’; he was just 11 years old at the time.
Work in the field was heavy and hot, with the sacks of sugarcane too heavy for his young back to carry under the heat of the sun. He questioned why he had to do it and whether this is the life he would have to lead until he grows old.
So, when a restaurant offered him the opportunity to become a working student, he grabbed it despite his father utmost disapproval. His dad never supported him in his studies but was constantly telling him to quit. Even when he got honors and awards, his dad never happy with his achievements and refused to march with him on stage.
This was something that discouraged the young student and led to a bitter argument on the eve of his dad’s untimely passing because his father refused to attend his recognition day. After high school, he found a job. He decided not to go to college because he didn’t have money.
But many years later, he felt envious after learning that his batchmates have already graduated. This made him realize that he has become like the man he hated, his father. Yet it also led to forgiveness as he rushed to his dad’s grave before going back to school.
“I went to the cemetery, and there I cried my heart out asking for forgiveness to my father. I promised him the things I used to promise but this time not because of hatred but of love. I told him, I will do this for mom and my siblings,” he shared.
With a light heart, he went back to school. In May 2019, Melvin graduated from the course of Bachelor of Elementary Education, major in General Education, with flying colors – and would pass the board exams in December! From ‘tapasero’ to ‘maestro’, his story is truly inspiring!