Scholarship dismantles the cycle of poverty, scholars thank TGU (Second of two series)


As I See It


Answering a question raised by TGU President Yvonne SJ Sera for scholars to respond to, Andrea Carpio Llemos said: “Being part of this family is a blessing. I met second parents, new siblings, advisers, and friends. My college life wouldn’t be this great without TGU’s help for me and for my family… I thank God for sending His angels to help me reach my goals.

The learnings and advices they shared with me were very precious. I am one step closer to my dreams now and The Global Urdanetanians (TGU) is the reason behind this success.”

Jeremy Carpio has this to say: “TGU is a family, a friend, and also an adviser for me. I’m a second year college right now, taking Bachelor in Science in Secondary education major in Mathematics. With a year and counting, TGU continue to mold me to improve me for better, help me financially and spiritually. Not only has that but also helped me do to do harder and better for the future. Looking back when I was a kid, swelling Baguio beans and potatoes, just to help my parents. Right now, thank God there’s TGU that can help me, not only me, but also my family.”

As to Michael Jervi Leano, the latest scholar said, “My journey with TGU whom I considered as my second family, begin with four letters and four numbers – June 2019… They visited our house and made an ocular inspection and a one-on-one interview. They strictly enforced the process on the requirements of becoming a TGU scholar. I was accepted and they offered me a scholarship, and they are willing to support me to enroll in my law school this coming academic year. They welcomed and showed me how TGU treated their scholars as their family. It is an honor and great privilege for me to be a part of this family. From the bottom of my heart, maraming maraming salamat po!”

Other scholars, who were not able to submit their testimonies on time, are Jerimae Benagen, Christian dela Cruz, Donnae May Sibayan, Ray Dula, Venus Cea, and Judith dela Cruz. The first scholar Marcelino Ordanza is part of the 22 original count, so with Michael Jervin S. Leano, the latest addition who will be pursuing a law degree. They are part of the 22 scholars for TGU since its inception six years ago.

All the scholars complied with the requirement that they belong to a poor family which was duly verified in their interviews and on-the-spot visits to their respective homes by coordinators. The officers and coordinators, led by TGU President Sera, in their inspection trips, have to traverse rice paddies and weather the rains and the hot sun to be able to reach the applicants’ residences in remote barangays during the verification stage of the scholarship process. Their verification reports are submitted to the Scholarship Board and discussed for validation purposes. This is a very important component of the scholarship application process.

The applicants were recommended by their respective principals as among the top 10% of the graduating class and duly attested to by their barangay captains that they are residents of the barangay. Before the actual face-to-face interview, which is usually held in the month of February every year, they are screened by TGU Urdaneta coordinators headed by distinguished persons of Urdaneta and the TGU Scholarship Chairman Dr. Clare Adalem.

In January last year, President Sera and her husband Ron Sera flew to the Philippines to spearhead the face-to-face interview of the latest batch of candidates. Before the interview, the applicants were asked to submit an essay which was one of the steps in the selection process.

After the interview, final selection was based on ocular inspection of candidates’ houses, livelihood, and parents’ interview to determine if they really are qualified under the category belonging to a poor family. The confirmation of their scholarship is then relayed to the students after thorough deliberation of the ocular inspection.

The signing of the scholarship agreement (Memorandum of Agreement) followed at the Audio visual Room of the city government.

Just like the current scholars, the new scholars who are poor but deserving, are pinning their hopes on the TGU scholarships to be able to earn their college degrees and be successful in life thereby enjoying life to the fullest!

So, the complete 22 TGU scholars are as follows: Samuel Parinas, Mark Erwin Gatchalian, Hana Quero, Teofilo Sarafica, Andrea Carpio Llemos, Jayson Leano Tabal, Jevie Tamondong Molina, Johara Egar, Jazel Castanaedda, Marvin Gabayan, Harold Mercado, Jerimae Benagen, Christian dela Cruz, Christian Soriano, Jeremy Carpio, Donna Mae Sibayan, Judith dela Cruz, Ray Dulla, Venus Cea, Dani Suyen, and Jezreel Cayetano. Also included in the list of scholars are Marcelino Ordanza and Michael Jervin S. Leano.

Half of the scholars are now college degree holders/professionals while the remaining ones are in their sophomore, junior and senior years.

The scholarship program won’t be a success without the generous contributions of the sponsors who committed themselves to subsidize the education of their scholars for a minimum of four years until they graduate/finish their college degrees. Their financial contributions are remitted every year just in time for the scholars to enroll for the coming school year to take care of their tuition, books, and other miscellaneous school expenses.

Sponsors contribute about $700.00 every year or its equivalent in pesos for four years or five for those sponsoring scholars taking five-year courses. Although some sponsors weren’t able to continue their sponsorships, TGU stepped in through its fund raisings, donations, and solicitations. Sponsorships were also based on sole, triple scholarships, or up to four sponsorships per scholar.

The sponsors are Ron and Yvonne Sera; Dr. Clare Adalem; Julio Parayno 111; Melinda Gonzales Ajlouny; Maria Gonzales Busceni; Cerlito G. San Juan; Fabro Family (Flor, Dom, Dado and Gloria); Fe Gonzales Sepulveda; Paz Fontamillas; Gilda Bravo; Nestor and Myrna Lopez Calix; Nestor and Magi Flores; Gus and Girly Castillo; Joe and Cynthia Cortez; Lino and Jennifer Caringal; Rey and Bernadette de Vera; Abelle Ann Ave; Gerry Casison; Julie Agojo; Alex Gonzales; Norma Torres Agulo; Alfredo Gonzales; Gina Rafanan; and Anonymous

Scholarships change our lives… it dismantles the cycle of poverty and makes recipients successful and become worthy members of society!

(Elpidio R. Estioko, was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email author at