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June 28, 2017

John Paul Decena, scholar of Batch 5 of the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP), recently graduated with a Bronze Award from Dr. Carlos S. Lanting College on 31 March 2017 visited the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office – National Capital Region (OWWA RWO-NCR).


After 3 years of hard work and sacrifices, John Paul Decena has finally graduated with flying colors at Dr. Carlos S. Lanting College on 31 March 2017. The only thing left for him to finish is his On-The-Job Training (OJT) before he could finally get on board as a Marine Engineer.


Contrary to popular belief that most of the OFWs are financially stable, John Paul’s family has to manage the meager salary of his parents to provide their daily needs and education.


Family life


OFW Fidelito S. Decena, father of John Paul, works as Fabricator Welder in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His monthly salary is not enough to provide for his family’s daily needs. His mother works as part-time manicurist and pedicurist. John Paul recalled that once they experienced eating meals twice a day and sometimes they simply eat what food is available on their table. “My father’s salary was usually delayed that is why we have to adjust. Sometimes the money we have is not enough until my father’s next remittance will arrive then we will have complete meals. However, my mother will always find a way to get us through those tough times,” he said.


Being the eldest of the 2 siblings, John Paul plans to help his family financially once he becomes a Marine Engineer, “I plan to earn and save money to be able to help my family and also for myself. After I finish my internship, I plan to work right away; I’m not aiming at a certain company, the company name doesn’t matter as long as I can get on board.”


John Paul dedicates his success to his parents who are always around to support him. During his graduation day, he surprised his mother with his scholastic award. “My mom wasn’t expecting any award because I didn’t tell her that I will be graduating with honors. The moment when we were at the stage of the school to receive the medal, my mother keeps crying because of overwhelming happiness,” he said. John Paul wishes his father is also present during his graduation but he has to work. He said that he is very thankful to his father for his sacrifices and perseverance to keep his family happy. He continued that, “even though we are distance apart, you are always there for us, to provide for all our needs. Thank you for everything and I love you dad.”




John Paul learnt about the scholarship from his father. He applied for the scholarship because he knew it would be a financial relief for his family. “The scholarship is a big help because my school expenses will be lessen.  I am also a Dean’s Lister so I was also able to get another discount in my tuition fee and because of that, we are able to save money,” he said.


He expresses his appreciation to OWWA for the scholarship. He hopes the scholarship program will continue so other dependents of OFWs will have the opportunity to complete their education especially those who are struggling financially.


He also gave an advice to his fellow scholars, “To all scholars, just continue to study hard and never give up even if there are challenges along they way. Focus on your studies to maintain your required grade to ensure your scholarship. Again, study hard because it is only you – who will benefit from it.” 


John Paul Decena’s mother putting on the bronze medal on her son.
John Paul Decena, ODSP Batch 5 scholar, from Dr. Carlos S. Lanting College graduated with a Bronze Award on 31 March 2017
John Paul Decena together with his mother and sister during his graduation day.
Ms. Joyce Lorenzo of the Education and Training Unit together with John Paul Decena