The SilentPal’s College Life as a BSIT Student: A Look Back

When you are a graduating student in high school, the obvious question is always what course you wanted to take or what would you like be in 5 years. My response to this is to become a professional basketball player someday because I know that my mom is the only one making for a living for us.

Rice Paddies where I spent most of my time during my child hood years.

That’s right, my mom is the only one works for us, you might wonder where’s my dad and what he is doing, to answer that question my dad had a bad stroke that made his half body paralyzed when I was just a months or a year old.

According to my parents, my dad was supposed to work abroad and his destination is Saudi Arabia. He is so excited to everything, he will work overseas for greener pasture, they had me as their first-born and I can’t imagine how happy my dad was. My dad decided to had me baptized before his flight and it was a month-long celebration, drinking and partying until my dad wasn’t able to stand and was rushed to a hospital and declared had a mild stroke that almost took his life.

My dad recovered on that incident but was not fully, he looks fine but he cannot run faster as he was before, think of a horror movie. He wants to run but he is getting nowhere that’s what happened to him. He was called “Darko” on his time by the way because of his ability to run fast as a dark horse and “Darko” is a comics character seem more like a tikbalang or a centaur (half man horse).

“Darko” – The pictional comic character look like this.

My parents are not the subject on this blog, what I wanted to share is how I managed to had a four-year bachelors degree. Going back to the question what course I am going to take when I graduate in high school, my first choice is to be a Food Technology Student because I love to cook. I’ve been preparing meals for my family almost every day back in time I am still at my parents house.

I also once dreamed of having a bakery business as I am working as a re-packer on a bakery before. I ended up selecting BS in Computer Science or Information Technology because my mathematics teacher once told me that this courses will boom and has a great future and indeed it is.

To realize this dream, I took all scholarship exams from famous schools in Pangasinan and had a one shot to be a scholar of St. Louis University in Baguio and sad to say I was on a waiting list and I know we cannot afford the 11 thousand tuition fee and other fees. My mom told me that she cannot afford it but I said don’t worry mom I will try my luck at Central Luzon State University in Munoz, Nueva Ecija. I was too late to take entrance exam at CLSU.

Fortunately, there is center inside of the campus that offers 2 year computer courses. I spent my freshmen year at CLSU’s Computer Training Center taking up 2 Year Associate in Computer Programming  learning the fundations, fundamentals, history of computers and basic programming. The said center is still accepting students and produces great I.T. students.

Visit http://clsuctc.com for short courses they offer. My first college experience was fun, I met new friends, classmates, the environment is cool, there are trees everywhere and I felt so close to the nature during our free time we play basketball a lot.

I got to only finish one semester and stopped because of financial crisis during that time. I had no choice but to stop and look for a job to help mom.

At the age of 17 years old I purged my birth certificate and I worked as a service crew in Cindys, Mangaldan Branch in our province (Pangasinan) then worked with Burger Machine as a service crew based in Manaoag, Pangasinan then after my contract I then worked on a bakery store in Dagupan City as a baker assistant making breads and selling “pandesal” – salt bread during dawn until 7 to 8am in the morning.

Gate Entrance of Central Luzon State University, Nueva Ecija.

After six months or so I said I had enough and told my mom that I want to pursue my associate course again but my mom brought to me a better news. Mom said that my high school alma mater Holy Rosary Academy will be offering degree courses and finally I could continue my studies.

By the way, my mom is the registrar of the school and you bet she is until now. Holy Rosary Academy was named Our Lady of Manaoag College in short OLMC. Instead of continuing a 2 year computer programming course I told my mom that I would like to take a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or Computer Science and mom has two thumbs on it.

I was so happy that day because I know that I will be studying again and will never had to think about paying tuition fee because I know I will be given a scholarship grant but what happened is school administration said that the college department is still starting and there are no funds yet.

My mom said “That’s okay son, you can still enroll and had your tuition fee deducted from my pay check”. I cried and promised to my mom that I will finish my college degree and make her proud.

As a pioneer student of the college, I had my pride to be a Rosarian again. As classes started with only 38 students enrolled if I’m not mistaken, I don’t have hard time getting to know them as I knew already some of them though others are a complete stranger. The number of students didn’t grow until we became Sophomores.

Come Junior years, we had to separate our classes according to courses taking up though there is still the same subjects that we had. Not all of us are taking up Com Sci or IT, some took 2 years courses other others took Education major. In our Senior year, Com Sci and IT was once again because of major subjects.

We are only 4 students in Information Technology department at that time. We ended up finishing our curriculum, class discussions long before the semester ends, the learning transition was so fast at that time as I remember.

I had to add other subjects from 2 year computer courses or subjects in Com Sci just to learn more and to advance as well. When it comes to transportation, anyone who watched SLAM DUNK Anime series can relate to this, I was like Rukawa Kaede that comes to school riding my old mountain bike.

I bought this bike from working in fast food chains and this helped my mom save more money and more food for our table. I was like this until I graduated. Having a bike is like having a motorcycle because you get to roam everywhere after class whenever you want and it is ideal for house parties.

I don’t have to worry missing the last trip going home as well as Public Utility Jeepneys and buses don’t operate anymore at 6pm onwards though first trip starts at 3am.  All the four 4 of us graduated as a Pioneer Students in Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.

The B.S. Information Technology Pioneer Batch. That’s me 2nd to the right.

This picture was taken in the newly built college building when we are writingm our thesis paper and this is also our one and only class picture that I can find. From left to right Jeremiah Joseph “Jay” Garcia, Maria Theresa “Booba” Marra, Yours Truly Silent Pal, Exequiel “Badjo” Punay Jr.

Jay is a typical happy-go-lucky guy that comes to school without nothing but his brain. Though he is like that he is genius on his on ways, he is admired as number 1 Counter Strike player in entire Manaoag and skilled Ragnarok player up until now.

Jay worked at the Mayor’s Office when we are in college, managing a small computer shop as well calling himself network administraitor (look at how he spells it ahaha), then work at Client Logic (Ortigas) after graduating. He is working at Siemens as Tech Support.

He let me stayed in his apartment during my first year looking for a job in Metro Manila and fed me as his brother. I salute you and thank you Jay for everything you’ve done to me without your help I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today.

Though name after a famous local celebrity Rufamae Quinto her nick name “Booba” as her friends call her and later we call her that way. Maria Theresa is also good when in comes to computers it’s because just like me OLMC is her second college school.

In fact she’s always been my study partner and sometimes partners in crime. She is small in size but had a bigger heart and a very caring personality, well it should be because she is already a mother of 2 from the last time I checked. I haven’t talked to her since then and I had no idea what she is doing for a living and where she works for.

ITlog in sports attire

I got my screen name silentpal from our High School Yearbook where they describe me as “A sleeping giant and a silent pal who obeys anyone” and my motto is “Keep Silence”.

You might wonder why “Keep Silence” it’s because I am nowhere to be found at school during my free time but at the library whether reading books of my interest, I maybe drawing something, writing notes for a classmate in exchange with an ample amount of money to pay for my projects haha.

When I graduated, my first job is a service crew in Chowking for 6 months. When I had enough money  I tried my luck to find a better job in the Metro together with Badjo, who will be my last topic on this blog.

My first job in Metro Manila is a Sales Agent selling HMO’s and Dental Health Cards, then later on selling herbal health products where my wife is co-worker before. I attended many call center trainings before and got lucky to passed a Call Center Training grant of PGMA and selected Informatics Cubao as the center whom I enjoyed the training and been memorable to me. Why I said that, because we are the only batch that were announced as school favorite because we are on always on top of the key during the entire workshop. After finishing that short course I applied in call centers, I passed exams and failed during last interviews but every day is a learning process and I didn’t give up.

I called a friend Mike Robeniol and he helped me apply at Electroworld Inc. Thanks to this man. I got hired as Sales Coordinator, got a 6 months contract and during my stay at the company was promoted to Store Technician and was assigned in SM Fairview Electroworld Branch. I was hoping to become a regular employee but according to Management of Electrowold/Abenson Inc I got 1 out of tree points for the spot. That’s okay because I don’t like spending my whole life selling computer, peripherals, gadgets and fixing them and standing for the entire shift with little compensation. 😦 and 🙂

I was already a trainee in Advanced Contact Solutions (Cubao) as a Medical Transcriptionist when on a Sunday Morning of October 27, 2008 I saw an ad in Manila Bulletin and it’s a Job Opening for Technical Support Engineer at Trend Micro. The next day, I applied for it and I got the job offer later night at that very same day and up until now yours truly still working at Trend Micro. The best company that I am with so far. It feels home in here. Haha!

Yours truly at TrendLabs Philippines.

Exequiel “Badjo” Punay Jr. is the great person next to Jay. Badjo as they call him had been so nice to me and treat me as his own brother what he did to me is unconditional. He always wanted me to go with him find a job whether in Baguio City, Metro Manila, Alabang, Laguna Technopark etc.

He was hired as a Tech Support in Client Logic Baguio, then Convergys Makati. Until he decided to manage his own business “Ukay, ukay” and put up a transportation business bounded Manaoag-Dagupan and Dagupan-Bayambang.

Right now, he is waiting for his working VISA abroad. Me and Exequiel exchange messages through Facebook and getting in touch when I got a chance to take a vacation in Manaoag. Thanks to social networking sites communicating and getting in touch to our family, friends and relatives are made easier and just a click away. You can too visit the world without traveling. I must say, getting a degree in Information Technical is the greatest choice that I ever did in my life because the availability of the job in any business is high. #IT Rules!

ITLog Debugging Time during our Thesis Finals.

Note: Original Title of this article:
B.S.I.T. [Buhay Studyante ng Isang Tagabukid] Life of a farmer/student taking up I.T.
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About Kalongkong Hiker

I am Paolo Mercado for 20 years I've been riding a bike, walking a lot and running a lot. I am Kalongkong Hiker, a trail runner, mountaineer and a biker that can also write a blog of my travels, adventures and places that I visited through walking, running and biking. I write to encourage others to stay healthy and fit. #KeepOnRunning #ShareTheRoad #KalongkongHiker
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6 Responses to The SilentPal’s College Life as a BSIT Student: A Look Back

  1. tems says:

    your father is my best friend together we went to UPang and we took CE. we both graduate and he work at Nueva Ecija i think , and i work at NIA in Quezon City along EDSA. And i was assign later on in Abulog in Cagayan.
    Anyways, good luck to all your undertakings. and like what they say “Ang umayaw ay hindi nagwawagi at ang nawawagi ay di umaayaw.”

    Like

    • Yeah, so far I’m proud of my dad in spite of all the bad past that he gone through he is getting back to what he had before. He is currently working as a foreman in a construction in Villamor Airbase and will get another project in Ortigas soon.

      Like

  2. Heidi says:

    I enjoyed reading your post and the process of your education and to eventual employment. Wow, good for you….hard work pays off.
    Heidi

    Like

    • Paolomer says:

      Hi Heidi,

      Thank you for appreciating it hihi. Yeah, hard work really pays off for me that’s why I don’t let my guard down. Thank you for subscribing to my blogs by the way, keep reading all my posts.

      Like

  3. khanto says:

    hahah. food tech din ang triny ko noon. kaso walang ganun sa school na napili ko.

    its good na may friend ka na sasamahan ka through thick or thin. 😀

    Like

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