Learning is a lifelong pursuitBy Dingdong Dantes
(Last of two parts)
I am currently studying BS Technology Management in West Negros University Bacolod, the only school that offers this undergraduate program that combines information technology and business management. I found it difficult at first but, after a few months, I can say that I have adjusted, handling the pressures of both school and work quite well. I look forward to taking up my masters.
Starting at home
My family played a big role in nurturing my passion for learning and then passing it on. I learned discipline from my father, Sixto Z. Dantes, Jr., now 64, a commander at the Philippine Coast Guard Auxilliary.
Even if he had been raised in the military style by my grandfather, a retired general of the Philippine Constabulary, my father’s own parenting style was something more modern—less talk but still full of authority. To this day, I can count on him to give me the answer to practically any question, except about matters of the heart—I guess only because I do not ask.
My mother, Ma. Angelita G. Dantes, now 56, taught me compassion. She has mastered the skill of showering her children with equal love and affection, and helping us deal with our emotions. She has a way of appealing to her children’s conscience that often results in better decisions on our part.
Although I am the eldest of five children—next to me is Ma. Angela Dantes-Aurelio, followed by Ma. Cristina Dantes-Quema, then Jose Angelo Dantes and our youngest, Ma. Victoria Dantes—I seek my siblings’ advice and, more importantly, their inspiration when trying out new things. For instance, since technology evolves faster than my tolerance can cope with it, I am grateful to have Angelo and Vicki around to give me limitless tutorials. And Angelo has convinced me to play basketball again after eight years.
This dedication to learning and excellence that I have cultivated with the help of my family and other people in my immediate circle, led me and some of my friends to put up the YesPinoy Foundation in August 2009. Its goal is to empower the youth through education. “Yes” stands for youth, education and service.
We reach out to disadvantaged youths not only through scholarship grants, but also through alternative learning channels. One of our major projects is ParaPaaralan, a mobile school that hopes to inculcate nationalistic values through arts and technology.
We fund our programs with the help of friends, industry associates, like-minded groups and individuals, and relevant government units.
I know that we can do only so much, so I can encourage others to join and help us go the extra mile. I wish to inspire young people to never give up on their dreams and to always value education, which will give them control of their future.
Passion lives on
During our recent shoot for GMA’s new Station ID, I and fellow Kapuso actors Mikael Daez, Benjamin Alves and Alden Richards got to interact with students, some of whom asked how I prioritized my activities.
I told them, “Kapag gusto may paraan; kapag ayaw may dahilan (Where there’s a will, there’s a way; where there’s resistance, there are only excuses).” These are the very words I live by. I find time for my studies, my work and my advocacy, even if it means going to the firing range or hanging out with friends less often. At the end of the day, it’s all about staying faithful to your goals.
It’s not enough to have a dream; you have to chase it, and chase it real good.
Learning new things doesn’t mean chasing new dreams. It just means you’re probably finding a faster route to get to where you want to be.
It’s not about how much you have achieved, but how much of it has been applied to your life.
As for me, I have not stopped dreaming. I may have realized many of them, but there’s still a lot I can do. Maybe someday I can finally wear a pilot’s coat and wing. Who knows?
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