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  • Writer's pictureArjay Baysa

Agta widow and mom of three from Sta. Marcela, Apayao finishes college to be a teacher

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

Santa Marcela, Apayao - Mercy Laguimon Valdez, a 26-year-old member of the Agta tribe in San Juan, Santa Marcela, Apayao, has demonstrated resilience by not giving up on her dream of becoming a teacher.

Recently, she graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEED) at Apayao State College -Luna Campus.

Valdez who finished her basic education in 2016 through the Alternative Learning System (ALS) is a single parent to 3 children after she was widowed.

While most of the members of her tribe do not pursue higher education, Valdez took the less-chosen path. With this, she earned the admiration of netizens who rejoiced with her in her achievement.

Valdez's courage to brave stereotypes and discrimination paved the way to attain her aspiration of finishing her degree and later becoming a licensed professional teacher, and being an instrument of change in her tribal community while taking care of her children by herself.

Instrument for others

In an interview, Valdez acknowledged the people who helped her in finishing her studies, stating it would be impossible to reach where she is now if it hadn't been for them.

"It will be impossible for me to succeed alone. Behind this, were people of great heart to help," she said.

Her success which is a clear manifestation of the fruit of persistence amidst obstacles is also dedicated to her family and loved ones who have pushed her to reach her goals.

She also shared the root of her determination saying, "I was really actuated by the pressing need for an educator in our community. The call for a brighter future for our tribe fueled my vision to change the trend of our tribal identity in the area of educational attainment."

Valdez committed to being an inspiration and also an instrument for others, especially her fellow Agtas to achieve their dreams in life.

To become a full-fledged teacher, Valdez is now preparing for the upcoming Licensure Examination for Teachers this September 2023.

'You're an inspiration to us' - Mayor Martinez

Meantime, Mayor Evelyn Martinez of LGU Sta. Marcela couldn't be prouder of this milestone attained by Valdez.

"Congratulations Mercy, you are an inspiration to us, especially to your 'big' family. You're welcome to the LGU. Good luck to your next journey," reads Mayor Martinez's comment on Facebook.


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