While most students enjoy their weekends at home, Claire Ann Taboy, a Grade 6 student from Pagudpud South Central Elementary School in Ilocos Norte, uses this time to sell lumpiang shanghai on the streets to earn money for her and her siblings’ school allowance.
Her mother cooks the lumpia, which she sells around their neighborhood with the help of her father who is a tricycle driver. This first-time National Schools Press conference (NSPC) qualifier does not mind the scorching heat of the sun, or the inviting laughter of her friends who are playing Chinese garter. Her priority is to help her family.
Poverty did not deter Claire from maintaining a good standing in class. She believes that her decision to join campus journalism two years ago brought about significant changes in her elementary life. For one, it allowed her to discover her talent and passion in writing. She also learned to love reading, particularly newspapers, and realized that through writing, she has the freedom to express her views. She also became more aware of social issues. Claire did not only gain knowledge and skills, but also a lot of friends.
When asked about her most challenging moment in campus journalism, Claire recalled her experience at the start of their training workshop in preparation for the Regional SPC. Hardly making both ends meet, her parents were hesitant to let her join the event. Fortunately, her school, coaches, and other stakeholders helped her pull through until she finally made it to the national level in Lingayen, Pangasinan this year.
“Joining NSPC is a dream come true. I believe that I already brought honor to my school, and to my family. With this, I will continue writing. Of course, I will still sell lumpia for my family,” she shared.
Truly, poverty did not stop Claire from writing her own success story.
Liberty Sino Cruz Casaclang, Master Teacher II
Maria Cristina Lomibao Dela Masa, Master Teacher I
Al A. Villanueva, Teacher III
Pangasinan National High School