Education Knows No Color

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By Dennis Limlingan

The Advocate

Monday, February 10, 2014

LEONARDO Ramos has finished his engineering course at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF). It seems that there is nothing unusual to the graduating student, except that he is an Aeta and he graduated Cum Laude.

Worthy of giving our congratulations is Ramos, his family and the rest of the Aeta communities who has produced brilliant students numbering to 40 who were given education scholarships to study at the AUF by the Clark Development Corporation (CDC).

I would like to congratulate too, the AUF for producing graduates who comes from Aeta tribes and for giving one of them the recognition of being a Cum Laude.


The CDC also deserves to be lauded for giving scholarship grants to our indigenous brothers as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. Such endeavor is worthy for the CDC and more worthy for the tribesmen who were given the opportunity to learn and earn their educational degrees.

Ramos, who hails from Madapdap Resettlement in Mabalacat City, is now working at Texas Instruments, a locator at Clark Freeport Zone that manufactures semi-conductors for electronic products.

Other Aetas will be graduating this year in different courses as part of the scholarship program of the CDC in partnership with the AUF.

In 2001, 87 Aetas were granted scholarship privileges but 43 of them quit their schooling due to various reasons. Nevertheless, with the success of other scholars, the program is worth continuing and expanding to our Aeta brothers.

Often, those deserving students who come from marginalized communities are the beneficiaries of scholarship grants. They are usually the ones given attention to by civic groups and charitable institutions.

This time is quite different as the beneficiaries come from tribal communities although they may belong to the marginalized sector too.

Our tribal brothers, dependent on their crops that they sell in streets and in front of public and private buildings, are often neglected too as they have the hard time to cope with urbanization and development.

They have the hard time also in marketing their products for a living as they are sometimes abused by middlemen who buy their crops at a much lower price and sell the same in markets in a much higher value.

The CDC, after giving the Aetas the opportunities to learn and have academic degrees, also give them the opportunity to be employed as the Freeport Zone have a quite number of locators as prospective employers.

It can be noted that there are thousands of workers are employed inside Clark including government offices and government-owned corporations.

Some Aetas scholars on the other hand, have tried their luck abroad. Three Aeta scholars have migrated to the US while five are now working in the Middle East. They have not found greener pastures perhaps, without their education.

Education today is quite expensive and is sometimes considers it as a mere privilege and not a right because of the high cost of learning in schools.

It’s good that these Aeta graduates and those who have availed and graduated out of the scholarship programs, have pursued their studies and not missed the opportunities they were given.

It’s good too that we have institutions that share their benevolence even to those who are from Aeta communities. Thank you AUF and CDC.


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Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 11, 2014.


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