Try imagining yourself belonging to a family of achievers and being the youngest sibling at the same time. How would you measure up?
I’m sure that a lot would say that they would feel pressured, and like the youngest of the Baticulon siblings, Marimar said she feels the same.
“I realized that pressuring myself to do well meant being an alien to the class, isolating myself in one corner talking to my books. I didn’t want that to happen, but there was always this side of me telling me that ‘I want to equal their (her siblings) feat,’” she said in her valedictorian speech at her graduation.
The youngest of five siblings, Marimar Baticulon recently graduated high school as the class valedictorian. She followed in the footsteps of her siblings, who also graduated with the same honors back in high school.
Marimar’s parents, Pablito and Rosemarie, admit that it wasn’t an easy job for them to send five children to school. They are faced with financial problems and they have to work all day and attend to their children’s needs at night.
However, despite the challenges that they have faced as a family, Pablito and Rosemarie made sure that they provided the needed support to their children while they were students.
The father, an engineer, makes sure he teaches his kids math and science when he gets home from work. The mother, on the other hand, irons her children’s few sets of uniforms when she gets home from selling food at the market.
Even being in this situation, the Baticulon siblings did not let their life hinder them from excelling in school. In fact, the five siblings even saw this as an opportunity to do well in school with the hope of giving their family a better life in the future.
“We pursued excellence, because at the end of each school year, every medal, plaque, and trophy was a token of gratitude to them,” Ronnie, the oldest brother, said.
“We don’t have the latest gadgets, fancy cars, or posh houses. But I enjoy being part of this family,” Marimar said. “The thought of living another life with different parents and siblings didn’t really cross my mind because I’m happy with how we go through our life as a family,” she added.
Now Marimar is set to enter college this school year, and is also expected to do well. Ronnie, the eldest sibling, graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines Manila College of Medicine and is now a neurosurgeon. Sheila, the second child, also graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering and is now working in New Zealand. Shyne, the third child, also graduated with the same honors with a degree in chemical engineering at the same university. John Paulo, the fourth sibling, is currently in college taking up electronics and communications engineering. Lastly, Marimar plans to pursue a degree in management engineering at Ateneo de Manila University.
To say that their parents are proud of them would be an understatement.