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Closest to Home
My family belongs to the 58% of Filipinos who are classified as low-income families. Both my parents cumulatively earn less than $160 a month. That being said, my parents opted to send me to public institutions since elementary until highschool. Given the fact that we are financially challenged, I used this as an ultimate motivator to strive 5x harder than a normal student in terms of academics and extra curricular activities. I have been a consistent honor student since 9th till 12th grade. Infact, I graduated With High Honors, ranked as 7th in the whole batch in my previous institution.
For five years, I have been part of the Campus Journalism through the consistent award-winning official school paper of our school, XXX. My position started from Staffer, to Feature Editor, to Associate Editor, until I oathed to office as the Editor-in-Chief for one year before I graduated. Since I was a late-bloomer, it was in the latter part of my Junior High School when I started joining contests and brought the banner of my school in Divisional, Regional and even National Competitions. For three years in a row since 2017, I have won many contests in Journalism, specifically in the field of Feature Writing and Editorial Writing.
Not just that, I was also hailed as the first-ever champion of Extemporaneous Speaking Contest during the XXX in Region XX that was held in 2017. Starting that year, I've been making the name of my province ring a bell in the whole Region XX. That is the greatest feat I considered reaching so far in my Junior High School. When I was a already a senior, I didn't stop the passion in public speaking. I even joined the same contest again. This time, it tackles social and contemporary issues and by then, it started my interest in Political Science. In 2018, I won once again in our whole province as 2nd placer, but I claimed what is supposed to be mine last 2019. I sustained the title that I'm holding as the best extemporaneous speaker since 2017 and was hailed as the Champion in the whole province of XXX and became the 4th placer in the whole Region XX.
Since I have already a background and interest in the contemporary issues happening in our community and already had the guts to pursue public service, I ran as the President for Supreme Student Government (a student-led governance) in our school in 2018 but failed in my first attempt. The second time I tried, year 2019, I won but this time, I lowered my position, from XX to XX, due to the rules in our institution. Nonetheless, I still felt motivated to serve my schoolmates whatever my position might have been, cause I truly believe that whatever and however high you may get, if you have the guts to help, you must always stoop low to reach the hands of your constituents. In 2018, I also joined the community reach-out for less privileged kids in the community as a Humanities and Social Sciences student. And all my endeavors for the previous school year was never in vain because I, among all the students in our institution, received the Leadership Award (an award given to students who showed exemplary skills in leadership) given directly from the capitol house of the provincial governor.
Year 2020 was the most challenging year for me. Human as I am, I failed a lot of times too, but that didn't chained me from trying to help myself in college. It was the month of June, on its XX day, when my close friend introduced Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP) to me and since I was already self-studying Korean language through the K-dramas I've watched for a while now, I thought of it as an advantage and a better idea to use it to contribute to the achievement of my goals. Since then, I never slept soundly thinking that I should get a slot at all cost. By that very night, I searched immediately what it's all about, downloaded all of last year's guidelines and comprehended every item, every bullet. Since I have known KGSP, I have already been so excited to show off my skills in public speaking, journalism and how interested I am to study Political Science and International Relations in South Korea where I know the technology is advanced, the professors are indeed professionals and offers a higher-than-ever-quality education. I have downloaded the list of 2020 Undergrad passers and searched for their names and asked them tips about personal statements and study plans. Some failed to respond to my message but there were also some who were generous enough to share their knowledge to me. For two weeks and more, I have studied the guidelines of both Embassy Track and University Track. I also searched for the institutions that offer the said major and tried weighing it bit by bit according to my skills and capabilities. I tried so hard before finding my guts to apply and finally, I chose to be courageous and found myself testing my fortune.
The truth is, there are many scholarships abroad that I could try availing but to be more honest, KGSP hooked my interest so much that whenever I think about it, my heart flutters and feels excited. Since I am living in a small town which is the hotspot of tourism in our province, I have been seeing lots of tourists, especially Koreans, visiting our place. Some of them even settled down here for good and started their businesses. Given the fact that I have already been engaging with South Koreans here, I found out some differences and more similarities between Filipinos and South Koreans, that pushed me to start dreaming about getting into high-quality institution outside my country without feeling homesick, and South Korea is the first thing that's in my mind. To add, I am very certain that South Korea is more capable to cater my needs in terms of Political Science and International Relations which my country can't completely give me. With this, I can gain more knowledge, skills, techniques and strategies to give idea to my home country especially about how good governance looks like.
Yes, my family may belong in the 58% of Filipinos who are classified as low-income earners but I, as part of that family, belongs to the whole percentage of students worldwide who wanted to finish college, at all cost. I may have found the guts to leave my country and study overseas, but I will always make sure to come back even smarter to share my knowledge in order to contribute to the development of our country and that is for sure.