Earlier this week, this woman’s before and after house photos shared online caught the attention of many netizens. The first photo shows a familiar nipa hut proudly displaying a ‘Top 2’ tarpaulin, followed by several photos of the new home that was built at the same spot of the old nipa hut.
The woman who shared the photo on Facebook is Iah Bantang Seraspi, the poor fisherman’s daughter who went viral some years ago after she ranked 2nd in the September 2015 (LET) Licensure Exam for Teachers.
For those who are familiar with her viral story, Iah, who graduated from Romblon State University first shared her inspiring story on how she was able to overcome the challenges in her life being a daughter of a poor fisherman who could barely make ends meet back in 2015.
The netizens admired Iah for her determination and became an inspiration to many.
She did not let poverty hinder her from achieving her dreams in life. She has been a consistent honor student and she also passed the entrance examinations for the University of the Philippines (UP), the country’s leading state university. But she just decided to enroll at Romblon State University in her hometown since she knew that it’s nearly impossible for her family to send her to study at UP.
Fortunately, Iah graduated Cum Laude from Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED) major in Biological Science. But after her graduation, she decided to focus first in reviewing for the LET with the help of Carl E. Balita Review Center (CBRC) instead of immediately looking for a job.
When the results for the September 2015 LET came out, Iah snatched second place with a score of 90%. The impressive young woman also received prize money as LET top notcher but instead of buying things for herself, she used the money to buy a projector for their church.
The impressive young woman previously shared:
“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.
“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.”
Fast forward today, as she celebrated her 25th birthday, Iah posted some updates to her viral story and also included several photos of her family’s new home.
After passing the LET, she was offered a job to be a lecturer by a very successful review center Carl E. Balita Review Center (CBRC), which she accepted and led her to achieve further success in life. Fast forward today, as she celebrated her 25th birthday, Iah posted some updates to her viral story and also included several photos of her family’s new home.
“Topping the board examination opened so much doors for me. But I chose to open one door which led me to my dreams. Choosing to stay and work in CBRC may sound selfish for some but I have no regrets: I chose to be practical, I chose to dream bigger, I chose to achieve greater heights. After all, it’s not only my dream at stake. It’s my family’s dream too.
My work in CBRC demanded a part of my life which I willingly gave. Life here has been so good to me but it was never and will never be easy. I may have enjoyed the luxuries of life but I have a little luxury of time to cherish those moments because I chose not to rest even if we were given the privilege to rest. We were given prerogatives to choose our schedule but I chose to work as long as my body can. For my entire three years in CBRC, I’ve been choosing the hard choices because I’m a strong believer that everything will be worth it in the end.
Seeing this home in front of me reminded me of all the hardships I’ve been through. Walang kapagurang byahe, walang maayos at kumpletong tulog, walang boses at masakit na lalamunan, walang kasiguraduhan kung makakarating ng ligtas sa pupuntahan, walang kasalo kumain at walang kasama matulog, walang oras para magbreakdown kapag nalulungkot at madami pang hirap na di ko na rin maalala kasi pinalampas ko na lang dahil ginusto ko to. Pinili ko to. Nothing feels more fulfilling than the thought that while I am helping others to achieve their dreams, I am also achieving my personal dreams.”
She went on to thank her boss Sir Carl Balita for believing in her potential, for his words of wisdom, and for always encouraging her to reach for her dreams.
In the last part of her post, she wrote,
“The dreamer is now one with her dreams. On to the next goal! To God be all the glory. For my 25th year of existence, this is the best gift I could ever receive.”