“If you persevere, you will reap the fruits of your labor.”
Kapag may tiyaga, may nilaga.”

According to Maya Angelou, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it.”

To start with, I’m Bernadette F. Ocampo, a girl who’s determined of reaching her dreams. You see, I used to be this girl who dreams of herself walking in the stage and being recognized for something she has done. I always wanted to be appreciated. But how can I be, when all I do is just lay down the bed and go surf the net?

I was in 6th grade when I realized something. Back when I was in 3rd grade, I used to study because…. I just do—I don’t know why. But then, someone hit me and made me realize that to study means giving your parents consideration and appreciation of their hard work. I was too immature before to actually understand things as it should be… so I just went along with the flow and didn’t even realize I already swept myself out the cast. I was almost—nearly—just about—practically—virtually—near my dream but as they say… “Almost is never enough.”

I was too down—too motivated to continue what I’ve started. I waited this year—this grade to do what I should. Every day of going to school makes me feel like I’m stuck in my promise; but all I can do is sigh and let go of things that bother me. I always tell myself, “If you really want this, then do everything you should. Don’t give up, you made a promise.”

I struggled and cried many times but I never quit working. I always work in the dark, still trying to remind myself that working is the key, that working is light—that it can give me a way out of this bolted promise. You know that feeling when you’re trying to keep something but it keeps roaming around and one moment there’s you, with it. Then after sometime, you’ll just notice you’ve already lost it. It’s just like me, comparing my own achievements to others. It’s like I’m slowly killing my confidence. I tried to stop—but it keeps hunting me. And that is the feeling of being below everybody.

I tried to endure with that kind of feeling every day. It wasn’t easy but I survived. I failed many times, but I try to stay still and keep doing what I should. It’s not easy to work hard after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. But I think that’s what keeps me moving and so I let struggles, pain and hardships into my life whole heartedly.

That’s when I realized that… when you get to appreciate things that aren’t beautiful in the eye of the society… it is when good things start to come. That’s when I saw that, to achieve something is to love what it takes—whether it’s happiness or pain… it’s a disregard for a person who badly wants something for a good cause.

Examination day’s the next day and I wasn’t ready. It all came like the waves in the sea—too fast that I can hardly catch it. Time’s so fast and I’m running out of time to review. From that one moment, I cried. I didn’t know anything but the pain, guilt and sadness in me—afraid to broke my promise to my parents. They did everything for me and so I must pay them back by simple means of giving them the honor to hand me a medal.

2:30 AM and still, I’m not even half the lesson of our examination for the next day. I was about to give up… when suddenly I remembered my mom. My mom used to tell me, “Kahit hindi kaya, kailangan kayanin.” And so I wiped my tears and started reading and reading and reading. I finished all the lessons but I’m still am not satisfied to what I’ve done. Since I really need to do my very best, I lay down the bed while reading… still trying to remind myself: “examination day. 3 days. You can do this. Come on. Don’t give up.”

3 days passed by and I was able to breathe normally. Examination day has passed and all I need to wait is the distribution of report cards. I waited and was surprised. I was blessed. Dreams do come true. Here I am, telling you that people who succeed always start from failure to success.

                       “She who dreams for her family; afraid to fail until… she realized it was a shame to not try to succeed and so she quit to that stupid afraid feeling of hers and proudly walked in public with her dreams achieved.” –Bernadette F. Ocampo

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