Lorelei Aquino took the stage as a fellow graduate of the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UPD) with her children.
The 44-year-old graduate shared her story on failing, persevering, and finally passing her subjects while being a full-time mom to her children. Aquino shared how she was “already working and pregnant with [her] first child” when she failed her calculus class, which led to a 20-year hiatus to her education.
“Things that were much more important than trying to pass my Calculus started to happen almost all at once,” Aquino wrote in her blog. “First, we had baby #1. Then, I had to quit my job because my husband’s work required us to move to the province. Baby #2 came along, and baby #3 after just another year. A few short years later and it was time to send them all to school. Then, we had to move to another province. Before I knew it, more than two decades had already passed me by.”
However, the graduation of her children led her to take a leap of faith and re-enroll herself to the Calculus class. “I’ve been thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if the three of us all graduate at the same time? A mother and her two children. Also, I wanted to surprise my parents. They had no idea that I didn’t graduate in 1994. I just fed them with the lie that, during that time, I didn’t want to march with a protruding belly,” she wrote.
Aquino went to the Clark, Pampanga campus of UP, while she lived in Bulacan. She had to wake up 3AM every Tuesday and Thursday, and she had to “endure the humiliation of being tutored by [her] son.” Still, despite her hardwork and perseverance, Aquino was unable to pass the subject.
However, with the assurance and support of Aquino’s husband and children, she again enrolled herself in UPD campus to retake the class. “Unlike in Clark,” she shares, “I had to go to Diliman four times a week for a one-hour class each day. Every Tuesday and Thursday, my class would start as early as 7:15 AM.”
“After two sems, I acquired more white hair and reacquired migraine; nightmares and panic attacks became my constant companions before exams; I reconnected with caffeine; I lost at least 15 pounds of unwanted fats… and I have come to appreciate more the effort that my children have been putting into their studies. But, most importantly, I was able to accomplish my goal,” she wrote.
“Together with my two children, I am going to graduate tomorrow!”
Lorelei Aquino also writes for INQUIRER.net.
Congratulations to the entire Aquino family! Aquino’s children also graduated with Latin honors. Read her full story here. InqPOP!/Bea Constantino
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