Paying Forward

Every alumnus bears the CITE trademark. No one can deny that. It may not be stamped in our uniform anymore, but it’s written indelibly in our hearts, in our memory for as long we live, for as long as we remember.

I come from a big family in Ormoc City. My aunt took pity on me and brought me to Cebu with a promise to put me through college. While staying at their house, I earned my keep running errands for the them. I stayed awake at the wee hours selling pork and chicken meat in the wet market. In the morning, I have to rush to CITE in order to catch up with my 8:15 class. On a day-to-day basis, I tread gingerly on the razor thin line between balancing my studies and work at home. Every hour is spent well. Even a modicum of time should be spent on reviewing my lessons. My grades were not really excellent, but I was not failing either. Just enough to get by.

The best memories of my youth took place in CITE. It may be because we are an all-boys school of poor students that we don’t suffer from insecurities such as the way we look, the way we sport our hair, or even the amount of money to our name.

Sometimes there is opportunity in misfortune. An opportunity to see the bright side of life in spite of our neediness. We get content on a shoestring budget of P10.00 worth of meal at Master’s place. Nothing still beats a special and crunchy rolled Lumpia Shanghai soaked in spicy vinegar and a handful of rice enough to cleanse the palate. Nothing still beats a kilometer walk under the scorching heat of the sun simply because you don’t have enough money to afford a ride. But all these when I looked back were simple joys of the student life everyone took a bite.

When I graduated and came to earn my own living as a CAD designer at Lear Corporation, I realize that my upbringing, my training, and my values are important to mold my choices in life. I learn to save more, train harder, and strengthen even my virtues to be the best in my field.

Then came an offer to work in Singapore as a designer. In a land where competition is stiff and anyone can make stab at your job, what sets me apart from others are simply the values I learn from the school and family, the learning experience from my job, and the promises I kept to my family.

Over the course of time, I was blessed with a job where I get to excel in. The hours and dedication I spent on continually learning the tools of the trade have paid off. I was able to travel to Norway on a official business and lead a multi-racial design team back in Singapore.

Thankfully, I have earned more than enough for me. I am currently sending my siblings to school and send allotment to my parents back in Ormoc City. Knowing that the best legacy you can give to others is through a scholarship program, I responded to a request from Mr. Valencia regarding sponsorship. Currently, I have two scholars under the Industrial Technician Program whom I look forward to meet after graduation.

It was not really something big compared to what CITE has done for me. Every month, I made sure that I sent through online the donation I give to my scholars. And I’m thankful that CITE updates me of their performance.

Giving back is a gesture that we should initiate even in our own little way. If I decided to pay forward, it is because I believe in the mission of the school. No one is poor enough not to be able extend some help. Just imagine the ripple effect of a simple act of kindness from all alumni who would go out of their way to pave way for those who come after us. It’s a bayanihan spirit that we are known for. From a hearty meal we partake at Master’s place to the memories we share on the road. We step forward to share the experience. We step forward to reach out to those who could not repay us in return. (Reggie Maraviles, CAD Designer FMG Technologies-Singapore