Future doctor proud of his fish vendor mom for sending him to medical school

by Nikko Tuazon
Jun 5, 2019
Future doctor John Nico Ronquillo to his loving mother, Aling Nenita Ronquillo: "Habang nabubuhay po ako, mamahalin kita ng buong puso at susuklian ang pagmamahal, pagsasakripisyo, pagtitiis, paghihirap at sakit na naramdaman mo habang ginagabayan ako."
PHOTO/S: @drnicoronquillo on Instagram

"Edukasyon ang maipamamana ko sa 'yo na hindi maagaw ng sinuman."

Whoever said that was voicing the wish of many Filipino parents.

They want a secure future for their children, and they pin their hopes on education to make it happen.

But for Filipino parents with limited income, putting a child through college is a huge challenge.

Nenita Ronquillo, once an overseas Filipino worker and now a fish vendor, is only one among the many parents struggling to raise the money for his son’s tuition fees, school supplies as well as food and transportation expenses.

And for that, future doctor John Nico Ronquillo ranks his mom Nenita one in a million.

In recent weeks, Nenita and Nico have been inspiring netizens who follow their story in social media.

Nico, 30, dreamed of becoming a doctor from the time he was a boy—seeing how his mother, a single parent, struggled hard for their survival.

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Now a medical intern, Nico shared his story with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an interview.

He narrated, "Bata pa lang mataas na ang pangarap ko. Gusto kong maging abogado o kaya ay doktor.

"Naging motivation ko ang lola ko na na-diagnose na may Nasopharyngeal Cancer.

"Ginusto ko na maging dalubhasa sa medical field.

"Gusto ko makahanap ng lunas para sa mga malulubhang sakit.

"At higit sa lahat ay gusto ko makatulong sa pamilya ko, at maitaas ko ang pangalan ng nanay ko mula sa mga taong nangmamaliit sa kanya dahil, single mom siya, walang asawa pero may anak."

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NENITA'S SACRIFICE

The 55-year-old single mom wanted a better life for her son, hence, she decided to work as a domestic helper in Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands.

His mother’s decision did not sit well with the young Nico who became resentful for a long time.

Nico told PEP.ph he came around eventually as he recalled, "At 5 years old… Hindi ko naiitindihan kung anong ginagawa namin sa airport.

"At nung niyakap ako ng mahigpit ni mama nung time na yun, umiyak na lang ako ng umiyak kasi umiiyak din sya.

"Tapos hindi niya ako mabitawan hanggat naging late passenger siya.

"Kinailangan niyang magpunta ng saipan para maging domestic helper for five years.

"Ito yung mga panahon na bilang bata, mahalaga na nasa tabi mo ang mga magulang mo.

"Hindi ko man naiintindihan yun noon, ngayon alam ko na kinailangan nya itong gawin para sa kapakanan ko."

Nico's mom returned home after five years and decided to work as a fish vendor.

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For over 20 years, Nenita has been selling fish, her main source of income to see through the education of Nico up to his medical degree.

Nico continued, "When she went back home to the Philippines, she worked very hard ceaselessly habang kasabay nito ang pagaalaga, pagaasikaso, at pagpapalaki sa akin.

"Sobrang naa-appreciate ko kung gaano ka-selfless si mama, na kahit wala ng para sa kanya basta maibigay nya at makatulong pa siya sa iba.

"Hindi lang para sa akin na anak niya dahil ginawa nya ang lahat para sa akin kundi pati na rin para sa mga taong nasa paligid niya.”

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GRATEFUL SON

Meanwhile, Nico became firmer in his resolve to make it better for his mom as he witnessed her sell fish in the market from sunrise to sunset to earn about PHP1,000 every day.

Aling Nenita worked tirelessly until her son was able to finish his degree in nursing and his medical school at Far Eastern University Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation.

Although Nico wanted to finish his studies in the shortest time possible, he could not.

He needed to take long breaks from studying to help earn the money for their daily expenses and his studies.

To help his mom, Nico juggled side jobs from a nursing review lecturer to clothes and perfume reseller.

He also made use of his other talents such as singing and painting to earn more money.

He said, "Sa buong anim na taon ko sa medisina, hindi sya bumitaw sa pagtulong sa akin para mapalapit ako sa finish line.

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"Kahit umabot na sa punto na nagkaroon na siya ng sakit sa puso ay hindi pa rin sya tumigil sa pagtitinda.

"Sinuportahan niya din ako sa desisyon kong magtrabaho at mag-sideline para kumita hindi lang para sa amin kung hindi pati na rin sa pang tuition ko.

"We struggled a great deal, financially. But even in those hard times, we knew we had one another and as I discovered, that was more than enough

"The amount of self-sacrifice that it required for her to bring me up in a loving home, while simultaneously providing for my care still blows my mind.

"Single mothers are deserving of all the applause."

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Nico said his mom has motivated him to work hard and do his best in everything he does.

"Dito ko na-realize na walang imposible as long as you keep grinding for it.

"Maaaring ikaw na lang ang naniniwala na maaabot mo ang mga pangarap mo, pero hanggat hindi ka bumibitaw ay magkakaroon ito ng katuparan sa takdang panahon.

"At dala-dala ko ang mga aral na ito as I always want to give as much of myself as I possibly can to my work sa pinili kong propesyon at sa lahat ng gagawin ko."

Nico is now gearing up for the medical board exams this September. He has already listed some of the things he wants to give his mom.

He told PEP.ph, "After kong makapasa ng Boards this coming September, ang una kong gustong gawin ay magtrabaho at makapag-ipon ng pera para sa sakit ni Mama sa puso.

"Gusto kong maipagawa lahat ng kailangan ipgawa para maging okay na sya at gumalng.

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"Gusto ko mabigyan sya ng pagkakataon na tumigil sa pagtitinda, at makapagpahinga, maipasyal sa mga lugar na gusto nya, at maprovide ang mga pangangailangan niya."

Toward the end of the interview, PEP.ph asked Nico to write a touching message for his mom.

His message read: "Maraming salamat po. Inalagaan mo po ako noong mga panahong hindi ko kayang alagaan ang sarili ko.

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"Pinrotektahan mo po ako at ginawa ang lahat para sa akin.

"Binigay mo po ang buong atensyon mo sa pag-aalaga sa akin.

"Salamat po sa pagiging unang kalaro ko, unang taong nagpangiti sa akin at nagpakita sa tunay na ganda ng mundo.

"Ma, maraming salamat. Dahil ginagawa mo po lahat para mapakain, mapag-aral at mapaganda ang kinabukasan ko.

"Kahit pa ang kapalit naman nun ay ang hirap at pagod mo.

"Ma, maraming salamat. Sa lahat.

"Sa lahat ng bagay na ginawa mo po para sa akin, sa buhay ko at maging sa buong pagkatao ko.

"Sobrang laki ng parte ng buhay mo ang itinuon mo para lang sa akin.

"Maraming salamat dahil ginabayan, pinangaralan at hindi mo po ako iniwan.

"Pinalaki mo po ako ng may disiplina, magalang at may takot sa ating Panginoon.

"Nilatag mo po sa harapan ko ang tamang daan at mga makakabuti para sa akin.

"Habang nabubuhay po ako, mamahalin kita ng buong puso at susuklian ang pagmamahal, pagsasakripisyo, pagtitiis, paghihirap at sakit na naramdaman mo habang ginagabayan ako.

Continue reading below ↓

"Hindi ko man po nasasabi ito ng palagi pero Ma, mahal na mahal kita.

"At kung bibigyan po ako ng pagkakataon na pumili ng ibang ina, ikaw parin po ang pipiliin ko.

"Mahal kita, Ma, maraming maraming salamat!"

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Future doctor John Nico Ronquillo to his loving mother, Aling Nenita Ronquillo: "Habang nabubuhay po ako, mamahalin kita ng buong puso at susuklian ang pagmamahal, pagsasakripisyo, pagtitiis, paghihirap at sakit na naramdaman mo habang ginagabayan ako."
PHOTO/S: @drnicoronquillo on Instagram
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