A Man Destined to Sail the High SeasWritten by Carlo Bejarasco
- Created: 21 March 2013
Three years ago, he arrived late for the test to determine who Dalaguete would send as their municipal scholars to college for the next four years. Christopher T. Ambayec, just 15 then, learned so late about the qualifying exam from their barangay captain in Babayongan that he had to ask his father, Nicomedes, to persuade the Mayor that he be allowed to join the qualifying test. On the day of the exam, Myrna, his supportive mother, had to scavenge their quaint nipa hut for a few pesos more just for Christopher not to amble his way but ride the habal-habal instead – a luxury – just so he be more relaxed and prepared to take the exam. He still arrived late though. But he was also still able to take the exam. These series of unfortunate events play clearly still to his young mind, only to smile now because fate then had really something grand in store for him.
This year, Christopher has finished all his academic requirements for his Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Transportation from the University of Cebu. His voyage, to say, has never been easy. Thrust in the very unfamiliar cityscape, he had a lot of emotional adjustments to do during his freshman year. The Dalaguete Municipal Scholarship Program took care of all his school needs including his books that in his second year Christopher’s mother had enough to spare to rent him a small room where he was able to concentrate in his studies more. His hard work paid off well in his junior year. He enjoyed an academic scholarship grant from Anglo-Eastern Crew Management that earned him an even more comfortable bed in the university dormitory.
While studying in Mantalongon National High School, he never dreamed of going to college even after finishing first honorable mention in his class. As SILAW member family, he knew where he stood; however, this same humble realization of life’s paucity fired him up to land second among a batch of 30 scholarship hopefuls. “I always excel in Math even in college,” Christopher shyly admitted. The second in a brood of four, he dreams of exploring the world once he will pass the licensure examination and land a job sailing the sea, which is completely different from the world he grew up with in the farm.
“Daghan kaayong salamat.” A young man more of action, this was all he said when asked about the municipal scholarship program. More than being grateful, Christopher desires to encourage others like him to excel too, especially in life. He never thought poverty a hindrance to success, though sounding so banal. He is now 18 and has the whole world beckoning for him to explore. But a good boy like he was reared by his parents, Christopher would like to help them first and his siblings. He is one ray of hope – bidlisiw, silaw sa paglaum.