A Teacher in the Making

The story of an ordinary person from an ordinary family

Written by: Meryl Y. Hermoso  | Area Coordinator

“Always do your best, and God will do the rest”, a guiding philosopy that pushes Jonel L. Tangelon to move further and further towards his not-so-possible-dream of the past, but now turning into a light on his path to becoming somebody someday, one day.

I used to be a timid person

He was only in the third grade and at the age of 9 when the glaring past changed his view about life, particularly for him, when The Anawim, Inc. in Nabua, Camarines Sur, invited his family to become a member of the foundation. Now, Jonel is turning 21 years old in September 2017.

His late father, Dionisio +, was a rice farmer while his mother, Lorenza, was a housewife, who sometimes accepts laundry work or babysits neighbors to augment family income. After DIonisio’s death (due to a heart attack) in 2012, Mother Lorenza continued to accept laundry works. In July 2017, she had to transfer to work in Cavite as a babysitter and laundry woman and would send her full salary of P4,000.00 to meet the school needs of Jonel and two other brothers in school. 

They were eight (8) children - two girls and six boys. Jonel is the middle son. Two older siblings are already married. 

They live in a small nipa hut, barely packed of amenities and far from the comforts and conveniences one wishes to enjoy in life. 

Jonel received his elementary  education from Nabua Central Public School and high school education from Nabua National High School ,both public and government schools, and was a consistent honor student.  

To step up into a higher level of education was still an impossible dream for Jonel, especially after the untimely death of his father. Had it not been for the helping hand extended by the generous benefactors of The Anawim, Inc., who supported his educational needs since. His achievement as a student on the Dean's list is a manifestation of how he values the support of his benefactors and how determined he is to finish his studies. Who could be prouder, but his parents and The Anawim, Inc. too!  

Jonel is currently a 4th year college student enrolled at the University of Saint Anthony, a private school, in Iriga City, taking up Teacher Education with a major in Biological Science.  He is currently undertaking his in-campus training at the University of St. Anthony. 

As a growing teenager and as a student, life was not easy for him and his family. According to Jonel, he "was not spared of his own struggles". But it was these struggles that taught him to embrace determination and sacrifice. To help out with the family expenses, he remembers very well a time when he would render laundry service to his cousins. One summer, he also accepted a part time job as a carenderia (food service ) crew, so he could earn additional allowance for the next school opening. His allowance this school year of P100.00 a day, coming from his mother’s monthly salary, would sometimes be cut of P20.00 a day to add to the food on the table. This he proudly shared with joy, knowing that he is making life easy for the family. He is so positive life will change for the better soon.


The 21 year old Jonel at the Anawim office, Nabua, Camarines Sur

The 21 year old Jonel at the Anawim office, Nabua, Camarines Sur

A picture with fellow Anawim sponsored  child at the Basilica Hall after the big gathering, March 27, 2017 (far right)

A picture with fellow Anawim sponsored  child at the Basilica Hall after the big gathering, March 27, 2017 (far right)

What The Anawim, Inc. changed in me.

       “I used to be a timid person and could not express myself very well.” admitted Jonel.

"My exposure to different social activities sponsored by The Anawim, Inc. like the annual gathering of children, Christmas party, seminars, exposure trips and the like, help me develop my personality. It also taught me about self-confidence. Now, I am confident in standing before an audience as emcee whenever I am invited or as a sharer in recollections whenever needed. I also get to share my talent in singing and dancing.
Every Sunday, I don’t fail attending Sunday Mass together with fellow Anawim. Catechism taught me to know God better and the value of helping others for Him. I have become an active member of the Parish Youth Ministry involved in the choir group.
My spiritual life is helping me to understand myself more and to becoming the person I have to be. Being part of ANAWIM taught me to dream big.
What is my goal in life?
"With the help of The Anawim, Inc., I will become a teacher one day, and (for) that  I will be most grateful for. I see life changing situations in the family. I wanted to have a house of our own and to support my younger brothers to finish their studies too. That time my mother will no longer be away from us to earn for the family, but we, their children, will be extending our hands to help her enjoy a better life.”
Anawim Sponsored Child since 2005 | Nabua, Camarines Sur


His story may just be something to read. His story may be ordinary. But it has become extraordinary because of generous and beautiful people like The Anawim Inc., who contributed to his life to being the stronger and more confident person he is now and for inspiring him to share his story.