Life cut short after a decade of struggling to graduate

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

JENNELYN MIGABON, 26, was every parent’s dream.

Born from an impoverished family in Barangay Dayhagon, Medellin, Cebu, she worked hard to improve her family’s financial lot. She persevered, despite the obstacles.

Jennelyn was shot dead by a dismissed security guard while working overtime for a rural bank in Barangay Pajo, Daanbantayan, Cebu before New Year’s Eve.


“Murag naa gyuy dakong sala akong anak nga giangani man siya (It seemed like my daughter had wronged him big time since he killed her brutally),” her 44-year-old mother Virginia said.

As her family’s ticket out of poverty, Jennelyn worked different jobs to finish college. She became a store assistant, golf caddie and a sales clerk of a shopping mall.


Jennelyn graduated with honors in grade school and high school. In college, her grades suffered because her parents couldn’t afford the cost of regular school projects.

She was forced to skipped semesters from time to time. The family sold their livestock, but this couldn’t cover all her school needs.

Jennelyn originally wanted to become a nurse and had passed the entrance examination.

Because of the high cost of tuition, she decided to take a management accounting course at the Cebu Institute of Technology.

She earned her diploma after almost 10 years of hard work.

“Lipay kay ko ato kay wa magtuo naa’y makahuman diri. Kasagaran diri sa amo kay magminyo og sayo kung di makaskwela (I was very happy since I never thought she’d graduate. Most of the girls here marry early if they don’t go to college),” Virginia said.

Jennelyn’s first job after graduation was as an accounting clerk at the First Agro-Industrial Rural Bank Inc., or Fair Bank.

She’d wake up at 6 a.m. so she could hitch in the company vehicle going to Barangay Pajo, Daanbantayan. “Adto nalang gud ‘to mokaon sa sakyanan (She would have breakfast in the vehicle),” Virginia told Sun.Star Cebu.

Caring sister

When she started receiving salary, Jennelyn bought food for her family.

“Masuko gane ‘to basta naa’y mausik nga pagkaon o sabon kay dili kuno lalim pangita og kwarta (Jennelyn would get angry if we wasted food or even soap because she would say that money is not easy to find),” her mother said.

As the eldest in the brood of five, Jennelyn paid the tuition of her brother Jevin John, 21, who is studying education at the Cebu Normal University-Medellin campus.

Last Christmas, she also bought her sister Jullyve, 19, a cellular phone. “Grabe kay ‘to kabuotan bataa. Pinanga sad kaayo niya iyang mga igsuon (She was a very good child. She also cared for her siblings very much),” Virginia said.


Jennelyn always worked overtime to finish financial reports. She would also bring work at home where her siblings would help her finish it.

Before New Year’s Eve, her mother bought a kilo of lechon and prepared puto cheese for them. However, Jennelyn couldn’t join them.

“Nalain gane ko gamay kay giuna pa niya iyang trabaho (I felt bad because she chose work over us),” Virginia said.

Jennelyn texted her mother that she’d be home the next day.

On Jan. 1, Jennelyn, a security guard and the latter’s live-in partner were found dead inside the bank with gunshot wounds in their heads.

Jennelyn’s wake is being held at her family’s house that was damaged by super typhoon Yolanda last Nov. 8. She will be buried on Sunday.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 04, 2014.

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