Staying in school was difficult for 17-year-old Rajiskan, “Nawalan na talaga ako ng gana sa pag-aaral (I just lost all interest in going to school).” For three years, Rajiskhan Hadjula from Barangay Mariki, Zamboanga City was out-of-school. During those three long years, he considered himself as “tambay” (from the word standby, meaning being idle). When…

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For Virgo, the Alternative Learning System (ALS) is not only the home of her profession; it has also been the tool for her to reach her dreams. Among nine siblings, Virgo Lumanao was the only child to step into high school, a milestone for their family. Although because of their family’s hardships and scarce resources,…

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In this season of graduation, it would be normal to see waves of people in black togas throwing their caps in the air. This speaks of a celebration of reaching a new milestone. Out-of-school learner Franuel Follosco, 24, has found satisfaction in simply being a mere spectator to this time of festivity—for three times now. …

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Joshua Labra was only 16 years old when he decided to quit school and work instead to support his four younger sisters in their education. Living off only with the income from his mother who worked part-time as a laundry woman and his stepfather who worked as a jeepney driver, Joshua knew, being the eldest,…

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He looked at the sky, trying to count the times he has been involved in a trouble: “It has been more than one hundred times,” he said. Bensar Tan was only 13 years old, on his first few months as a high school student, when he was recruited in a gang. As a sign of…

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