CARISTAS YSLEP Success Story: Alfredo Dimaculangan

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DIMACULANGAN, ALFREDO
Bachelor of Science in Commerce maj.in Accounting
San Sebastian College
Magna Cum Laude, Class of 1972

 

“The Caritas Manila, they were the one who guided me and thousand others to rise from obscurity, from poverty to become dependable pillar not only of our family, but also of the society we live in.”

 

By the way, I am Alfredo Santos Dimaculangan, a college scholar alumnus of Caritas Manila. Educational Assistance Program. Batch 1972 form San Sebastian College, Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude. I took the CPA board after the declaration of martial law and narrowly passed. But passed just the same. Since then, with God’s grace, Life’s been good to me. Now on my way to my retirement, I am pleased to enumerate the achievements I have so far accomplished. First of all, I have had a blissful married life for 37 years having been wed three times with the same woman by the same priest. First when I got married in 1979 the second was during our silver wedding anniversary and the third one was in Cana when we had our pilgrimage in the Holy Land of Israel. I have three children, now all gainfully employed and graduates of exclusive and prestigious schools. I am presently a senior vice president of a government financial institution extending loans and credit guarantee to micro, small and medium enterprises. In partnership with my wife who is incidentally a CPA and a Masteral Degree in Entrepreneurship, we stablished an auditing and accounting firm the Dimaculangan, Dimaculangan and Company CPA’s since 1995. I have since gained respectable practice of our profession made sure that my family have regular domestic and foreign travels. I have brother and four sisters who have all graduates from college despite our humble beginnings.

Yes humble beginning because our family rose out of the ruins of World War II. Having no higher education to rely on nor rich relatives to depend on my parent, who were both tailors, got married in 1949 and raised a family through sheer guts, hard work and determination. They imbibed on us the virtue of how to be frugal in life, to be industrious, the importance of education and most of all to pray to God for blessings and good health. At my young age, I had observed the hardships of those who have less in life. So I was won over by a friend to try selling paper bags or supot during my free time on weekdays in Pasay Public Market. It was fun. Afterwards I realize I could make better margin if I make my own supot than just buy it from the supot supplier in the market place.

And since the supply of paper was just near our house I started producing what I sold. Soon I found ways to improve my products to be sturdier than the rest. How, instead of having the paper bags glued, I had them sewn. Remember my mother was a tailor, so I sewed my paper bags. Its clean not messy, I also placed a cut-out box of cigarettes inside each paper bag I sold to protect it from wet items that will be put on it. See even in that stage of my life, I didn’t know that I was already applying the concept of product development or product differentiation. During weekends, I tried to be a small time kargador of the matronas who were used to doing their marketing on weekends. It was hard work and back breaking but compensated with higher kita than my supot business. But neither of these bothered me. Instead I took to liking it for it gave me the pleasure of earning my own money and of course I shared half of it with my parents.

As I grew older, after growing tired of calling out “ Supot kayo Mama” I turned to selling newspaper and cigarette along the busy Taft Avenue and its side streets. I learned to wake up early in the morning to have my share of daily newspaper allocations from my favorite dealer. These things I did without prejudice to my daily class schedules and ensuring that I had time left for the day to do my home works.

It was at the stage of my life when I came to know “ Catholic Charities and its Educational Assistance Program” It was summer of 1967 when a social worker of Catholic Charities, (the forerunner of Caritas Manila) chanced upon us in a fire evacuation center and ask about any possible assistance they could offer. Since I was still on my way to 4th year high, my eldest sister who stopped her college due to financial reasons got offered a 5 year college scholarship, a nursing course in PWU. My sister jump for joy and grabbed the opportunity to enlist, got endorsed by our local parish priest, got interviewed, took the exam and passed.

A college scholarship grant for a “lost home”. Ain’t quite fair, my Lord, I said. But lo and behold, as I graduated from high school, a salutatorian at that, I got the same offer from Catholic Charities despite a one scholar per family policy I knew then existed. And without second thought, I grabbed the same opportunity to enlist. Got endorsed by our local parish priest, got interviewed, took the exam and passed.

But then in spite of the scholarship grant and a monthly transportation allowance provided us under the program, one still has to spend for books, uniform, school supplies, school events and other extra-curricular activities. So I decided to drive a tricycle during my spare time to earn extra money to pay for my school expenses and also to support my parent’s earning. Another 4 years had passed and my story now turned into a full cycle.

Yes, as young boys and girls then, we persevered and dared to dream. We dreamt that someone, somewhere out there, a helping hand will emerge to guide us through life’s challenge. Someone who will encourage us to gain self-confidence, overcome failure, to train and lead us to become a leader in our own way to contribute in our own little way to the upliftment of others, to stand and be counted as an asset rather than liability to our society.

This is what Caritas Manila, did that made us what we are today.

Therefore, as a fitting tribute, I would like to propose a toast to the great men and women of Caritas Manila, its Board of trustees, its Executive Director, our benefactors, sponsors and contributors to the YSLEP program, to the participating schools we pray.

PRAISE BE THE LORD

GOD BLESSES CARITAS MANILA.

CHEERS!

 

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