The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office-RWO NCR was recently visited by Ar Filip Ilagan, one of OWWA’s scholars who graduated Cum Laude last June 26, 2016.
Like his father before him, Filip wanted to be a civil engineer, too.
“I was exposed to his line of work early on. Buildings and design fascinated me,” he shared. “It was during high school that I really decided to follow in my father’s footsteps.”
After more than five years, his dream is now within his grasp. Ar Filip Ilagan graduated Cum Laude from the College of Engineering, University of the Philippines, Diliman with a degree in Civil Engineering last June 2016.
When he first entered UP, Filip wasn’t confident that he’d graduate with honors. “I thought, this is UP. Expectations and standards are very high,” he said.
Eventually, he learned how to keep up with everybody’s pace. “I was an honor student in high school, so there was an expectation that I could do just as well in college. Besides, my parents are overjoyed when I get good grades so this is also one way for me to show my appreciation for them.”
Aside from academics, Filip also immersed himself in extra-curricular activities. He waited until his fourth year before deciding to join a student organization. “I realized I wanted to experience life within an org, too. The prospect of meeting more people and discovering new opportunities also prompted me to join my first organization,” he said.
He eventually joined two organizations. The first was UP Aggregates, an academic organization within his college for Civil Engineering majors. He was also introduced to UP Green League, Inc., a university-wide environmental organization, since he has wanted to join an environmental organization since high school.
“During the course of my study, I became interested in the field of Environmental Engineering: designing structures in a greener way. Hopefully, when I become a financially-stable professional in the future, I would also be able to contribute to this field,” he remarked.
His father, Rodel C. Ilagan, a site engineer in South Africa, was the one who encouraged him to apply for the Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), to which he is very grateful for.
“The scholarship significantly lessened our financial burdens, especially since my parents have two college students to provide for. This also allows us to help other relatives like my grandmother,” he said.
Aside from this, Filip also get to meet new friends and co-scholars during get-togethers and other events organized by OWWA-NCR.
A driven young man such as Filip is excited about the wisdom that he can share to other young people, especially his co-scholars.
“Study hard and well even if you fail.” Bouncing back after failure is one thing Filip has already taken to heart, after failing and acing a major subject in two consecutive semesters.
“Whenever you feel unmotivated or uninspired, remember your parents, your goals, and all the reasons why they started doing what they’re doing in the first place. It has worked for me: going back to the start to find the strength to keep going…Most probably, you’re studying hard not just for yourself but for the people around you. If looking inward doesn’t help, then try to look outside of yourself,” he shared.
Currently, he is focusing on reviewing for the board exam later this year. Afterwards, he plans on joining either the design or construction areas of engineering. He would also like to take up his Master’s degree after finding a stable job.
While his professional goals are admirable, more inspiring are the plans he has for his family.
“A business for my parents would be nice. I’m thinking of a restaurant with residential spaces on top for convenience. I’m also interested in putting up a resort farm, aside from a flower shop and furniture shop, all so I can provide a better and more comfortable life for my family. A Civil Engineering firm would also be a perfect fit for me and my father to work together here in the country,” he enthusiastically shares.
Filip has made it a priority to give back. May we all share his example.
(Filip during his family during the University Graduation and College Graduation.)
The Education for Development Scholarship (EDSP) program is a scholarship grant offered to qualified dependents of active OWWA members who intend to pursue a 4 to 5 year baccalaureate course in any preferred college or university.