Meriam Libongcogon, works as a housemaid for 5 years. On Sunday, Meriam will be facing a whole new life as a 2nd lieutenant after graduating from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Meriam’s father is a farmer and carpenter while her mother stays at home to take care of their family. Her father’s income was not enough to sustain their family so when Meriam was 6-years old, she started helping her father farm rice.

According to Meriam: “Madalas wala pong makain. Pero minsan ang kinakain na lang po namin, kamote o saging. Kung ano pong meron.”

At the age of 9, Meriam started collecting and selling coconut shells, wood and sand, as construction supplies to workers. She earned P20 every week. They put in a piggy bank what they’ve earned, then used their savings to sew their clothes.

Meriam managed to finish valedictorian in her elementary school, then finished her high school as a full scholar.

Inorder to fund her college studies in computer engineering, Meriam started working as a housemaid. However, she was not able to finish her degree because of her health — she 
 could not juggle her studies and work as a housemaid, because she was also expected to care for her employers’ children.

After 3 years of being a housemaid in Cebu, Meriam transferred to Baguio City where she met foster parent named Nanay Rose, who encouraged her to join the PMA and helped her enroll in the academy.

Meriam said: “Ginamit po ni Lord yung mga nakilala ko sa pagkakatulong para makapag-aral dito sa PMA. Tinanong po nila kung ano yung grade ko. Tapos tumulong po sila na kunin yung credentials ko sa Cebu.”

The hardships Meriam overcame before enrolling at the PMA gave her the strength of mind and body and finish her schooling at the academy.

Meriam added: “Hindi ko naisipang mag-resign kasi sanay na po [ako] sa hirap. At saka lagi po akong nagdarasal sa Panginoon na tulungan niya po ako.”

Source: abs-cbn

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