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The 4P’s of Success

When you are tested and beaten by life, you become the best version of yourself. It is when we go through adversities that we are molded into the best form that we can be. A proof of this is a young lad named Kerwin from Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte.

With his undeniable talent in writing and vast vocabulary, he found the words that would inspire the generations of today. Read and enjoy the truest testament of hardships, of poverty, of hope, determination, and victory.

This is the story of Kerwin Fabillaran, a true 4Ps champion.


Poverty. Privilege. Perseverance. Positivity.

These are just among the multifold facets that a dreamer once went through before reaping the sweet fruits out from bitter experiences. If I wandered without this 4P’s formula of life, I would be akin to a paper on the ground – tossed aimlessly by the mercy of winds hither and tither. While everyone has his own fairy tale; I too, have a story to tell.

Poverty. Living under the slums of an economically-challenged family is never rewarding. Back when I was a grade schooler, I hardly had even a single coin in my pocket for my school allowance. I had to walk with an unparalleled pair of slippers or tightly-knitted shoes just to reach an almost 3-km distance heading to our learning site. I was not cynical to reckon that living under poverty was an everyday struggle. I never failed to remind myself that my elder siblings were my parents’ utmost priority. Looking back, I had seen how our guardians suffered from budgeting a 300-peso daily income from my father’s tricycle-driving job and my stay-at-home mother in order to suffice the needs of an incoming tertiary daughter, three high schoolers, two grade school children, and an infant. The shortcomings of meeting our regular meals were a pain in our tummies. My high hopes sank in a rough bottom surface. All the hardships that we went through were a treadmill of our day-to-day living. I eventually came to discern that once a problem became your lockstep, you surely will get used to it. I see poverty more than just a status, but a driving force to keep your feet on track.

Privilege. To be born out from poverty is deemed to be not an ordeal, but to continue subsisting with dearth is a sign of defeat. In the light of a losing battle against the knots in life, there will be a hand that holds and an arm that lifts you up before waning the ends. If ambitions are financial aids, everyone would like to avail. In fact, many of our life’s desires die in their budding stage. I can still reminisce how Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) had shed off the light when we became its beneficiaries in 2010. There were four of us who received financial support from the generous program of DSWD which were our reinforcements to excel better in the parlance of the academe. My mother being the withholder of the said amelioration, has been in a while supportive only wanting us to reach what we purposely aimed. Other than monetary support, it taught us a lot of things in life. It is overwhelming to note that the platform also provides education, livelihood tips, wellness and health to those members of the program. These helpful components are more valuable than any amount that I may seem as its intrinsic support to the households to eke out a living. With its unceasing assistance to the unfortunate and marginalized family, I have seen some tangible transitions in our home that really pushed me to ride on this roller coaster journey. When our eldest sister had her bachelor’s accolade already, still our financial status was inadequate to shoulder the necessities of my upcoming tertiary brothers. Due to some misfortunes, they stopped schooling and had to look for a job after high school. Consequently, I was doubtful if I can proceed to college in spite of a good academic standing being the class valedictorian in my elementary and as a with honor graduate in secondary. With my burning passion, I treaded a collegiate degree with brimful of uncertainties just like traversing in a puzzling route.

Perseverance. In my 4-year college experience, I tasted the most bitter pill of mishaps, I sipped the saltiest sweat of hard work, but I savored the sweetest syrup of being cured up amid with the presence of those ailing dilemmas. I was able to budget the 100-150 peso weekly allowance inclusive of subjects’ photocopies, fares, and other extra fees. I have to coerce the thought of surpassing from the tormenting week of possessing almost nothing. I have to escape from cynical mindset. The agony of my situation succumbed nothing, but a will to continue pacing. I have no one to blame, I did not throw stones. It is irrefutable that we befall under the poverty line. We oftentimes encounter food insecurity because of poverty. No matter how much I tried not to utter any rants and complain that would derogate me, I still ended up dealing with a saddening eventuality. The time traversed from days to weeks and from months to years unmindful of the prosaic routine I was continually dealing with. Others mocked with their 300-peso allowance, some complained with their excess, but I stayed on the thinnest line of suffering and was still hopeful that my day would finally arise. I never put mockery on my parents’ shoulders, though I am loaded with disappointments at times. I reached the peak of losing hope and demeaning chances of pursuing this degree due to the failure of providing financial assistance from the scholarship program I was once affiliated with. I spent countless nights of crying were my hope seemed to sink on the abyss of chances. Despite of the cruel and seemingly hopeless situation, we would still seek a blessing in disguise. Year 2016, I was enlisted as one of the ESGP-PA grantees. Indeed, our dreams are not cancelled, but rather redirected. I firmly believe that stars don’t always align according to how we want them to be. But that time, a guiding star led me to my destination.

Positivity. With the best privilege I have enjoyed along the run as an ESGP-PA grantee, I have seen the lines of motivation that it gives. I kindled the help it brought. Without wasting any centavo, I stood out with the legs it offered. I crafted my career with the helping hand it extended. I would not encompass the trials of being financially unable if not because of the opportunity it propagated.

To my fellow grantees, the sweetest payback we could offer is being concentrated to how it augments our finances and how we can have the earnest response from the call of being labelled as deserving grantees. A bounteous expression of gratitude to the DSWD for the initiative. Positivity is always the remedy. I dream because I have faith in myself. All the odds in life make you a complete being where trials are complementary. No student subsists with perfection and not all brawls with the challenges. I stood out because I believe that I can. Success is not measured on the awards you received, nor the recognition you emulate. To inspire people despite of bearing none delineates a successful man. Attitude over aptitude.

Now, I am pursuing my master’s degree in English education- Thanks to DSWD that once built the ladder up to my dreams. I am halfway there, I know I will. Special thanks to Ma’am Meriam Eve Amparado Dimasuay our active Municipal Link. Also, thank you DSWD Region IX Ma’am Dana Faye Chorla Napigkit and my CED Fam

Civil Service Eligible
Batch 2019

This post was written by:

- who has written 122 posts on DSWD Field Office IX Official Website.

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