|Primo C. Pinoy|
It is still dark. Primo is possibly going over his schedule, jam-packed with tasks to do at home, in school, and in his community.
One can only imagine how he divides his time to accomplish his responsibilities and at the same time face a daily battle with poverty.
The son of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) members Primo Sr. and Melinda, Primo has lived his life trying to make ends meet.
At six, he and his sister had to walk three kilometers just to get to school. Now, his desire to finish his studies continues to burn as he dreams of being an architect.
At home, he acts as the eldest, despite being the middle child, as his ate, 19-year-old Maryrose, is away for college.
While his parents plant vegetables and crops in the fields to earn income, Primo takes care of his younger sister, Ara, 13. He cooks and does the household chores to lessen the work of his parents. At night, he helps Ara with her school assignments and projects.
In school, Primo is as diligent and compassionate, excelling in both academics and extra-curriculars, as well as in making friends.
His interests are diverse, ranging from math and science to cartooning and dancing. He simply loves to learn.
According to his mother, he has been a consistent honor student since his pre-school days. He has bagged medals, plaques, certificates in both municipal and regional contests. In elementary, he graduated at the top of his class. He also won in the Provincial Search for Exemplary Children.
“Madiskarte siya, siya ang nagsasabi sa amin na sasali siya sa mga contest para kung sakali na manalo ay makakatulong iyon sa aming gastusin. Yung napanalunan niya sa Provincial Search for Exemplary Children na P5,000, sabi niya sa akin Mama, meron na tayo na pambayad, panggastos sa thesis ni Ate,” his mother said.
Not content with keeping his abilities to himself, Primo often goes out of his way to tutor his classmates.
“Madali po siyang pakisamahan at tinutulungan po niya kami sa assignments o sa lessons kapag hindi namin naiintindihan,” Abegail Rengalota, a classmate said.
During his free time, he also teaches the children in the neighborhood to read and to draw.
“Hindi po kasi sila nakakabasa at gusto nila makapasa sa exam, kaya tinuruan ko po sila magbasa at magsulat. Tapos sabi ko bibigyan ko sila ng piso, na sobra sa baon ko, pag natuto na sila magbasa ng isa o dalawang sentence sa English. Nakapasa po sila sa exam pagkatapos ko sila turuan,” he explained. “Masaya po sa pakiramdam,” he says, smiling.
The pride in his parents’ eyes glow warmly as they gaze at their son. Primo is growing into a smart and kind young man, an source of hope to his peers and elders, and truly an inspiring Pinoy.—With report from G.Lindio, IO-Pantawid/BICOLSTANDARD.PH
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