• paul of Others

    Sharing your story is not an easy job. But let me share my story: My journey of becoming a CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT was like a roller coaster ride. And I used those to keep me motivated and continue the fight. I was born in a poor family living in a remote place in Antique. My father and mother are jobless with our only source of earnings was through farming.

    My elementary life was a struggle, a walk because the school was accessible. It took an overwhelming desire and persistent for me to go to school. Just imagine traveling everyday using my slippers as vehicle carrying my backpack that contained books and other school materials. It was my daily routine. Though I enjoyed it because I was not alone in the journey and I have friends with me.

    At the very young age I learned to be independent. Effectively, it was me that fixed everything. I’ve done things not typical children could always relate with: woke up every 4 am, cook our meals, wash our clothes, and at the same time studying my lesson with the use of “kingki” (oil lamp) because there was no electricity available. Childhood memories is nothing to me since school, home and farm are my routine places. Our lifestyle served as my inspiration to excel in school. I managed to graduate in my elementary years despite of all the hardships. It was indeed an overwhelming feeling that after 6 years of hard work and perseverance, finally my effort has paid off. But it could be bittersweet because I was heading into another tough journey: my high school life.

    I was able to experience a feeling that a typical HS student could relate to: study, struggles, lovelife, etc.. Equipped with necessary tools for me to become effective in my studies, I graduated as Valedictorian in our high school. My heart is filled with happiness and joy that slowly but surely I was in the right track of realizing my dreams in life.

    Knowing our financial status, it is impossible for my parents to send me to the city where Nautical, as my desired course, was being offered. Actually, accountancy is not on my list. I decided to enroll in engineering, as my second choice. Before entering the gate of the college, I was struck by a tarpauline saying, “Congratulations to the new CPAs”. I enrolled in accountancy. I tried to find ways to support my studies. I decided to apply for a scholarship assistance but unfortunately, it is only 1 year. I applied as a working student during my second year, but still a headache to my parents on where to find my weekly allowance. As much as possible, I tried not to add burden to my parents by borrowing books from my friends ahead of me.

    Accountancy is not easy. Most of the enrollees graduated as valedictorian in their respective schools. Then the heck of the battle begun. Considering I was a working students, I have a limited time to study. I was heading into the road of profession that was less travelled by. Mathematically, 2 out of 10 HS graduate chose the course, 5 out of 10 able to survived and 4 out of 10 survivor make it to the actual CPA exam. Since I already love accounting, I pushed myself that someday before I reach the age of 25, I will be a CPA. 

    I pushed myself into limits and poured the last ounce of my sweat just to survive the program. I trained myself to be disciplined: more sleepless night for me to cope up with accounting subjects, no social life, no love life and etc. I couldn’t blame myself not to perform well in our school. Most of our teachers trained us in a “Do it yourself” culture. A short discussion, for us to raised question on the topic we haven’t understood, and a series of assignment and exams. It was not the problem that you solved but the concepts and principles that you understood. Most of the time I feel surprised because I thought I solved it correctly but nope, sablay pala and sometimes I thought I was wrong but I got it right. But still I gave all my best to conquer the subjects.

    I was supposed to graduate as cum laude because I maintained my grades but sadly my general average was not sufficient enough; though if it could be round off, I could have still make it. After graduation, I looked for a job in Manila to save up for my review and to support my younger brother who was in college that time.

    Friday night gimmicks and party party every payout -- I experienced it all. But one thing was in my mind every time when I'm alone - there's something missing. As one of the graduates of courses with board exams, title is missing.

    Four years of working until my brother finished his course and I think that was the time God planned for me. I decided to review at CPAR. Working while studying is not a joke. There were times that I feel sleepy in the review sessions during weekend because I was tired - no holidays, no Friday night. And so, I've gotten used to this as my daily routine. Weekdays at work and weekend at the review center. I did not skip a night without spending 2 hours reviewing. All I needed to do was to balance my time at work and studies. I just set my goals to be a CPA by Oct 2016.

    Fast forward today, I can now proudly say that I have reaped and harvested the fruits of my labor. I’m so thankful to God Almighty for this gift. If you want to achieve something, please don’t stop believing - hold on to the feeling. Every success is a cycle and your struggle is part of the process. Yes, I passed the CPA examination but education, ethics and experience are continuing phenomenon. My life experience taught me the following values: Courage, Perseverance, Action and Prayer.

    Courage: Pursuing your dream takes a lot of courage specially if you want to become a CPA. You should believe in yourselves and in your own abilities. Set your goals/plan in life. Remember: what you see and think, you become; and I think therefore I am.

    Perseverance: I did not pass the CPA exam on my first take. It took years before I did. And do I have to be ashamed of it? Of course not. CPA exam is one of the toughest board exams in the Philippines. Takers need to arm themselves with a great accounting foundation. And considering my accounting foundation is not good, it was not a surprise that I failed; although it hurts. But failures and heartbreaks are part of living. These things happen to us because somehow they teach us a lesson in life. And suddenly you will realize that these are blessing in disguise. Stand up, keep your heads up and continue fighting. Rest when you are tired and never ever stop fighting. Just believe that you can get everything. Treat all kinds of challenges as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks of finding your dream. Stay true and stand firm to what you believe in regardless of intimidation and doubts, and do it not for yourself but for your loved ones. Be calm and don’t be afraid to fail, and when you do, consider you haven’t achieved yet your goal - to be successful. Don’t give up for there are so many opportunities or it is not yet your time. Make yourself a better person.

    Prayers: The most important ingredient of all is prayer. It really changes things. Im not sayIng that I didn’t pray during my first attempt - I did pray - but now I prayed differently. I asked God to change me; make my effort to be successful and He did. I have refreshed and I had a very good outlook on what lies ahead. Humble yourself and know that there is someone greater who is willing to help you get through it because God knows what is best for us.

    Action: You alone should act on your dream. You should know your goals in life. You could not just leave everything in prayer. Don’t let opportunity passed you by. Grab it as early as you can. Pero kung hindi mo nagawa, don’t lose hope and try it next time.

    Presently, I'm here in Australia as an Accounting Manager. Working here as a CPA is far different from Philippines. And I proud to have extraordinary experiences which I'm applying here.

    Godbless everyone!

    ATS, CPA