Celebrities’ scholastic hurdles
March is when the school graduates come marching onstage. Even celebrities who lead charmed lives were once struggling students. What were the challenges they hurdled in school before they could graduate?
I remember my senior year in UP Diliman (where I took up AB Linguistics), when I was told that I was running for honors so I had to maintain my average until the last semester. That was also when I found out I was pregnant. It was quite an ordeal to have morning sickness and early classes every single day. Thank heavens, I made it through. But my mom got the shock of her life when I told her, “Good news! I’m graduating cum laude. Bad news! I’m pregnant.”
How did some celebrities turn stumbling blocks into building blocks for a better tomorrow? If you keep doing what you love to do, it will take you inevitably where you want to go.
Dingdong Dantes: Fourth year high in 1998 was the hardest for me because that was when I started my acting career. Sleepless nights made it difficult for me to concentrate and recover my energy. But I was determined to graduate and I did. Graduation day was one of my happiest.
Mr. Fu: My thesis! I think I made 10,000 revisions! I was obsessed with being student council president, which is why I could not focus on the thesis. I realized I had to shape up when all my classmates were ready to march. Kaya kinarir ko na! Muntik lang ako mapagsarhan ng PICC. Last minute na ako pumasa! Hahaha! May ganon?!
Tetchie Agbayani: My hurdle was to go beyond the limitations of my not having been in school for a long time; to step out of my comfort zone in order to conform again with school rules and regulations; and to overcome my set lifestyle and adapt to the scholastic discipline required.
Marvin Agustin: School was the period in my life when I felt most impatient to grow up. I wanted to work on something more fulfilling. I felt I was ahead of my time; I was already seeing myself with a career, even my own business. I feel very happy and fulfilled that I have accomplished all that. However, looking back, I should have taken my time to appreciate what I probably missed out on. I do not regret anything but I realize, now that I have children, it is important to watch over their interests carefully and nurture them. I am fortunate to have supportive parents who understood who I was, and I honestly would like this to serve as an inspiration to others. Fusing passion with tender loving care is still truly the best combination to achieve fulfillment in one’s life.
Nina: The hardest thing I had to do to graduate was to juggle my time between school and my singing, which I loved! I had to bring my books and do my homework while waiting for my cue backstage. Thankfully, it worked out for me.
China Cojuangco: Definitely my thesis. So much research, observation, surveys, etc. My thesis was to see if the plight of substance-abusing individuals was caused by their peers or by family upbringing. Defending my thesis was nerve-wracking but I did quite well. Revisions had to be done and I got through them. My best friend Trina helped me a lot, plus tons of butong pakwan.
Kyla: It was kind of hard for me to do all the theses, reviews and exams because I was juggling work and studies. I had to drop some shows for school.
Thanks with all my heart to Allan Santos and Rolly Jimenez of my fave haven in Tarsier Country, Bohol Beach Club, for the best accommodations ever; my ‘ninong’ Mayor Dan Lim and Tita Charlene Lim, Mayor Che Toribio de los Reyes, Tess Sumampong and Tina of Riverwatch Floating Resto in Loboc, Jun Pondoc, Arlene Karaan and Mark Monton for spoiling me more than I deserved in Chocolate Hills Land.
(E-mail the author: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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