It's never easy being apart from your family members—the loneliness and longing can be overwhelming, something that UST's Cherry Rondina knows all too well. All she ever wanted was for her family to be around especially for her milestones, but unfortunately, life dealt her with a different card; during first grade, Rondina's mother had to leave to work overseas.
Rondina's mom returned recently to the Philippines, but it took her 14 years before she was able to go home from working in Brunei. And while Rondina started out with bitterness and heartache because of her mom's absence, as she grew older, the Lady Tigress slowly gained a deeper understanding and love for her mom and family. Read on for her discoveries and how she was able to realize that life is what you make it to be:
1. Turn misery into determination. Her mother's absence, which once made her feel lonely and rejected, is now a source of inspiration and drive for Rondina to keep pushing harder in life, especially when it comes to filling the void that her mother left to her siblings. "Mas inisip ko kung pa'no ko sila matutulungan, pa'no ko sila mabibigyan ng gusto nila kahit wala si mama," she shares.
2. Do something productive instead of wallowing in self-pity. When her mom left, Rondina had enough reasons to be bitter toward life. But instead, she channeled her feelings of resentment and turned it to feelings of passion—she immersed herself in volleyball and honed her skills in the sport. Her reward? An athletic scholarship in the University of Santo Tomas, becoming one of UAAP's most talented players today and clinching the title of team captain for the Lady Tigresses.
3. Realize your parents’ sacrifices for your family. Yes, there are times when they get on our nerves because we think they can never understand us. But our parents actually make sacrifices for us that they never speak of, as in the case of Rondina's mother, who chose to be away from her family so that she can provide them a better future. And so we should appreciate our moms and dads with all our hearts because they deserve it!
4. Prove that you can do it even if other's don't have faith in you. "Dapat totoo ka muna sa sarili mo. 'Yun ang biggest achievement ko. Maipamukha ko sa mga taong 'di naniwala sakin, na kaya ko. Gusto ko rin sabihin sa sarili ko na, I'm proud of myself," Rondina says.
The UST Growling Tigresses may not have been able to charge into this season's finals, but their persistent and superb performance all throughout Season 79 have definitely made Rondina proud and hopeful, and we're cheering her on as she continues to #DareToDream and end UST's seven-year Finals drought next UAAP season!
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Banner photograph courtesy of UAAP Magazine.