Rogelyn Cautivo, 12, graduated as class valedictorian at Lumondao Elementary School in Marilog, Davao City. Rogelyn is one of the 405 top performing Pantawid students in Davao Region for school year 2014-2015.

DAVAO CITY -Wearing her trusty backpack and clasping her textbooks on both hands, her bare feet covered in mud, 12-year old Rogelyn Cautivo traverses the usual hilly, mud-laden 1.5-kilometer path to her school in Lumondao, Marilog District, Davao City.

Rogelyn has been a consistent first honor student since Grade 1 and she graduates as class valedictorian this year.

Belonging to a Bagobo family, Rogelyn is the eldest of two siblings. Her family is one of the 1,461 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries in Marilog, Davao City.

Rogelyn’s parents –Rowena, 38, and Roldan, 34, work at a local Nata de Coco factory in Calinan, Davao City. Working 7 days a week for a Php 120 daily salary, her parents squeeze in the little time they have to be able to visit their three children in Marilog.

Wala mi makalampos og high school sa akoang bana. Busa dako kaayo amoang kalipay nga luyo sa kalisod sa amoang kinabuhi, nakita gyud namo ang paningkamot ni Rogelyn nga makalampos sa esklwela (My husband and I did not finish high school. That is why we are overjoyed that despite our impoverished situation, we saw how Rogelyn really worked hard to finish her studies),” Rowena shared.

Rogelyn and her siblings are left to the care of their 74-year old Lola Rosita who stood as both a mother and father to her grandchildren. “Dako kaayo ang akoang kalipay nga makatapos na si Rogelyn sa elementarya. Kugihan kaayo ni ang akoang apo. Inig human sa iyang klase kay motabang pa na siya og pangabo og tubig didto sa pikas buntod dayon mag-study (I am very happy that Rogelyn will now finish her elementary. She is very diligent. After class, she would help us fetch water from a spring in another hill before she works on her school assignments),” recounted Lola Rosita.

Rachelle Cuaton, Rogelyn’s adviser lauds how Pantawid Pamilya has helped the children beneficiaries in her school.

Dako og nahatag nga suporta ang Pantawid Pamilya ilabi na sa edukasyon sa mga bata. Ma-engganyo ang mga ginikanan nga magpa-eskwela sa ilang mga anak ug ang mga bata malipayon nga moadto sa eskwelahan tungod sa programa (Pantawid Pamilya has provided a huge support especially in the education of children beneficiaries. Parents are encouraged to send their children to school  and the children, as well, are excited to go to school because of the program).”

Out of 14 graduating students from her class, 11 are beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya.

Rogelyn is one of the 405 top performing students in Davao Region who will graduate this year from elementary and high school.

Ang Pantawid Pamilya usa sa instrumento nga gihatag sa atoa sa Ginoo aron makatabang busa atoa gyud kining ampingan. Sa mga kauban nako nga estudyante nga mo-graduate, dili kita mawad-an og paglaom, dapat maningkamot kita aron makahuman ta sa atoang pag-eskwela (Pantawid Pamilya is one of the instruments given by God to help us, hence we should take care of this. To my co-graduates, we should not lose hope, we should strive hard to be able to finish school),” stressed Rogelyn.

Now with her new umbrella and new pair of boots, Rogelyn will continue on walking the familiar path with confidence in her heart that she will be a step closer in achieving her dreams of being a teacher. DSWD