Eugene Bolaños & Family
October 18, 2010

        The Miravite scholarship was a magnanimous gesture to help the less fortunate but deserving students to at least finish secondary education and had the chance to earn a college degree. I know I am just one of the hundreds grantees who benefited from your benevolent and altruistic acts. Yes, the Miravite Scholarship played a very important and significant role in my life for what I am now in my professional career. I am fully convinced that being materially poor is not an absolute hindrance to success. With hardwork, patience, perseverance and faith in God, everything is possible. There are people out there who are more than willing to share their blessings, to do a Samaritan act, and the Miravite clan is one among those.

        With my family, I want to express our most sincerest gratitude. We may not be able to personally meet the Miravite clan and say THANK YOU, THANK YOU AND THANK YOU. But to pray that our good Lord repay you a thousand fold in riches and health.

        My full name is Eugenio (Eugene) Barbosa Bolaños, Jr. born on November 15, 1959. I am the 5th child among the six children of the late Eugenio Vallejo Bolaños, Sr. and Salvacion Yniego Barbosa. We were then living In Bgy. Amurao which is around 3 km from the town proper.

        Since our childhood, our parents instilled in our minds and soul the value of hard work,that we have to strive for a living. Even at our younger age we learned how to till the soil and waive handicraft out of bamboo trees.

        Year 1972, my father died due to possible cardiac arrest. Because of his untimely demise, I was not able to proceed to secondary education. I was out of school youth for three years. During that span of three years, at my early age I helped my older brother attending our farm for our existence. Life was so hard for me- it was very demanding, we have to sweat to eat. Young as I was, I learned and knew a lot of works just to earn for a living in the countryside. I have to wake up as early as 4:30 in the morning to pasture our carabao. There were times that I seemed don’t want to wake up especially during cold and rainy days. What I did was to wear a plastic (kapote) taken from empty fertilizer bag and put on a waived hat(salakot) over my head for protection. Sometimes I used to lie atop the carabao and have a sleep for its heat let me felt better against the cold of the morning. Because of my style, once, our carabao moved its head sideways to let the flies get away and its long horn accidentally hit my right eyebrow that left a scar until today.

        In the area of farming from the field preparation such as to plowing, harrowing, sowing seeds nor planting seedlings, pulling weeds, spraying the herbicides and insecticides, to harvesting using the sickles of scythe to winnowing, I learned to master them all. To augment our income, we cut our bamboo trees, make them as raft(balsa) and transport these to other towns through the Tigum river, one raft consists of around 30 to 45 length. Sometimes we cut trees and sold them as panggatong .

        I took my elementary education at APIA Elementary school from 1966-72 (without honor), situated in the boundary of Bgy Amurao and Amerang . Then I stopped for 3 years due to the untimely demise of our father.

        After three (3) yeard of being out of school, I came to the realization that if I’ll remain just in the farm, what would my future be, just tilling the soil, not able to finish a degree. I started to save an amount and enrolled at Cabatuan National Comprehensive High School in the year 1976. I took an entrance examination (which I found hard being out of school for 3 years), and luckily landed in section II. Even when I was already studying in high school, I did the same routine works I used to do pasturing our carabao early In the morning and late in the afternoon after class until around 9:00PM. After which, I took my dinner and started to study my lessons. I used to sleep at 12:00 midnight and sometimes 1:00AM using the kerosene lamp just to cope up with my subjects. To keep me awake up to that time, I boiled banana to eat. Every morning I have to leave our house at around 6:45AM and walk(since no money for fare) for almost 45 minutes to reach CNCHS and same in the afternoon… for four years. I just brought rice (kanin) for my lunch wrapped in the banana leaf and more often with a piece of dried fish as my viand.

        Sometimes when we have an exam for the following day/s, in the afternoon upon reaching home from school while pasturing our carabao I studied my lessons atop its back and early in the morning while walking towards school over the rice paddy, I was still memorizing my lessons.

        All my efforts were rewarded, I was promoted to section I in my second year and was able to avail the “MIRAVITE SCHOLARSHIP”. This encouraged me to study harder. From 2nd year to 4th year I enjoyed that scholarship and was able to maintain my standing to be among the top five of the entire class. I graduated In 1979 as 1st Honorable mention. I was so thankful for the Miravite scholarship, without it maybe I was not able to finish my secondary education.

        As the high school graduation was fast approaching, I was pondering how to proceed to college considering that my family had no financial capacity. So every opportunity I grasped. I took a lot of scholarship examinations; the NSDB, UPCAT, Insular Insurance Scholarship and many others. I also applied for Study Now Pay Later Plan and was qualified and got rank 3 priority. I also took the National State Scholarship examination which luckily I made this one. I was so delighted because I had my monthly allowance, books allowance and free tuition.

        I enrolled at Central Philippine University taking up BS mechanical Engineering and graduated in 1984. After graduation I went to Manila to take the Board Exam but due to lack of necessary papers I was not able to take the exam. There in Manila I worked as missionary volunteer under Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ (PCCC), an international interdenominational Christian organization committed to spread the gospel of salvation to all people for almost 4 years. my work was so fulfilling seeing people coming to the Lord crying and asking Christ to be their Lord and Savior.

        In 1988 I passed the mechanical Engineering Licensure Examination with a very good rating, and in 1999 I took the Professional mechanical Licensure Examination and was able to make it.

        I am married to former Josephine Cañete Sulangob. A Commerce graduate of University of San Agustin Iloilo City. We are blessed with three children. Gezzah Mae (18 years old now), a 2nd year college student at UP Miag-ao taking up BS Applied Mathematics, Jezreel(boy)- 3rd year high school at Sagay Special Science Class and Mizpah(girl)- a grade 3 pupil at Holy Family School (HFS- a La Salle supervised school).

Miravite Scholar, Class 1979, Cabatuan National Comprehensive High School
Cabatuan, Iloilo