Eastern Samar polio survivor pedals way to success
TACLOBAN CITY — For the past four years, 31-year-old polio survivor Jay-ar Abuda has been driving his bicycle from his home in Quinapondan town to study in a university in Guiuan town, Eastern Samar.
Traveling a distance of 49 kms or two to three hours every week did not stop him from pursuing his dreams.
Today, June 1, Abuda reaped the fruits of his labor as he graduated from college.
“My ambition to get a college diploma is for me to have a decent job. It is the driving force why I made all these sacrifices. I want to help my mother who sacrificed so much for our family,” he said in an interview.
“And finally, I will have my diploma on June 1, our graduation day,” he added.
Abuda, who is taking a bachelor’s degree in information technology major in food technology from the Eastern Samar State University in Guiuan town, usually leaves his home in Quinapondan town at 6 a.m. every weekend using his bicycle.
He arrives in Guiuan town three or four hours later, depending on the weather condition.
According to Abuda, he lives in a boarding house whose owner he calls “Lola Telding” allows him to stay there for free. In turn, he serves as the boarding house’s housekeeper.
His 70-year-old mother, who works as a market vendor, has to raise Abuda and his six siblings since their father died 29 years ago.
Abuda, the second to the youngest children, said his other siblings, except for the youngest, now have families of their own.
His youngest sister Blendy, 25, finished a tourism course in a private school in Tacloban City in 2014.
According to Abuda, he used to help Blendy and their mother by driving a pedicab where he earned P300 daily.
He said he had to juggle work and school so they would survive.
“I am proud of myself. Despite all the hardships and my physical condition, I was able to finish my studies and am looking forward to practicing it. Maybe, I’ll work in one of the hotels in Guiuan,” Abuda said.