#InspiringStory: Cebu maid sweeps her way to graduation in PMA

“From being a housemaid to a soldier…”

BAGUIO CITY – Determined and persistent Meriam Libongcogon, 25, once a housemaid for 5 years, now finally unfolds a new chapter in her life.

She has just graduated along with her mistahs in the PMA Salaknib Class of 2017 this Sunday, March 12!

Libongcogon, an emblem of strength and perseverance, recalled being a “kasambahay” or “housemaid” in Cebu; juggling college and work. How she managed to pull her way up to graduating at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is a totally remarkable feat.

Life was never easy for Meriam and her family. At the age of 6 she has already started helping her father in the farm together with her six other siblings.

They have barely enough food to eat because her father’s income was not enough to suffice their everyday life so they only eat whatever was available; they only have sweet potatoes or bananas to feed them.

However, she never ran out of ways to help her family. By age 9, she began collecting and selling resources for construction supplies like coconut shells, wood, and sand for a monetary gain of only P20 per week.

Judging from the way they live, it’s quite unbelievable that she even graduated valedictorian in elementary and was a scholar in high school in a catholic school in Cebu, which she said was her gift to her parents for their sacrifices.

Armed with her dreams, she worked as a housemaid to support her studies in college as a Computer Engineering student, which unfortunately she didn’t finish because it had been tough to juggle her work duties and studies.

Fate’s been kind

Trying her luck, she transferred to Baguio where she met “Nanay Rose”, who stood as her foster parent and encouraged her to join the PMA, as per an ABS CBN story.

She said she is thankful to the Lord for sending people who were instrumental to her change of path.

“Ang paghihirap hindi sagabal para matupad ang mga pangarap. Mag-persevere ka lang,” she reportedly said to reporters as disclosed in a Rappler article.

[Poverty is not a hindrance in fulfilling our dreams. We just need to persevere.]

Indeed, she swept away all the obstacles along her path. The hardships she has been through gave her all the motivation she needed to finish her schooling at the academy.

Libongcogon aspires to reach her dreams and make it into reality as she enters Philippine Navy and she has plans to have a house built for her family in Cebu.

Truly a woman of substance! Congratulations, soldier!

PTV went live on the grand occasion of PMA Cadets: