Jayvee Calayag, 26, currently has a well-paying job.
He was a Dean’s Lister and graduated in 2016 from the Bulacan State University with a degree in Electronics Engineering.
In his graduation photo, Jayvee holds a piece of paper with the words: “#JUNKSHOP BOY NOON #GRADUATE NA NGAYON”
Those words sum up the life story of Jayvee.
He started working at a very young age as a garbage trader to help his parents.
Jayvee would rummage for junks (called kalakal), which he would bring to the junk shop to earn a little money.
In a Facebook post on April 12, 2016, Jayvee laid out a brief summary of his colorful and successful life story as a college graduate.
He dedicated his diploma to his parents.
“Thank you for all the SACRIFICES,” his opening statement read.
“It all started with a dream.”
Jayvee also revealed that he cheated death when he was just a baby.
In his reflection, he said he was given a second life for a deeper purpose.
He posted (published as is), “Lumaki sa hirap, kung kaya’t namulat na mangarap, nablessed ni God kasi binigyan Nya ako ng second chance na mabuhay,
“Kasi 6- months old baby pa lang ako, tinanggalan na ako ng left kidney stone.
“Maswerte sabi ng mga Doc, pero for me, I have a mission pa; syempre sa family ko.”
He recalled tagging along with his parents to pick up kalakal in barangays.
He wrote, “Kailangang tumulong para makaraos sa pang-araw araw.
“Namulat agad na mahirap pala kumita ng pera,” he said.
Jayvee continued his post with a message to his parents in which he apologized for not being around to help them when he went to college.
His message read (published as is): “Alam ko po yung hirap na ginagawa ninyo magkaroon lang ako ng baon sa araw araw.
“Hirap na hirap po kayo sa pamumulot ng maduduming kalakal. Pero itinaguyod ninyo po ako sa aking pag-aaral sa loob ng 16 years.
“Alam kong di po yun matutumbasan ng anumang halaga.”
When he received his diploma, Jayvee vowed to take good care of his mother and father.
He said, “Pero wag po kayong mag-alala, ako naman po ang babawi sa inyo makapagtrabaho lang ako, ganun din po kila Kuya.”
He then named all the people who contributed to his college studies.
Before he ended his post, Jayvee gave an advice to the readers: “Isa lang masasabi ko, huwag lokohin ang iyong magulang instead sundin sila.”
He added that poverty is not a hindrance to success.
DREAMS ARE FOR FREE
Jayvee’s inspiring story was featured on Korina Sanchez’s magazine TV show Rated Korina in September 2021.
Apart from garbage trading, Jayvee’s father worked as a tricycle driver.
He related in the show, “Simula bata pa lang, nagsimula ako Grade IV elementary, nag-start akong tumulong kila nanay, tatay mangalakal.
“Siguro yung pinakamahirap na naranasan ko is kailangan mong mangalakal sa ilalim ng araw, sobrang init.
“Yung tipong pawis na pawis ka na, hindi ka puwedeng magreklamo kasi wala kang kakainin.”
The family’s meager earnings hardly brought food to the table for which Jayvee’s was forced to borrow.
They were always in debt, which served to firm up Jayvee’s resolve to finish his studies.
He believed it was his only ticket to redeem his family from poverty.
Luckily, Jayvee was a scholar from grade school.
He shared, “Simula nung elementary ako, I have benefactor from Norway.
“They are the one[s] who provide me the tuition fee, the book allowance every semester.”
Jayvee is the youngest among three siblings, and the only one who finished college.
Today, Jayvee earns PHP30,000 a month.
From his earnings, he was he able to have their house repaired and to buy his father his own tricycle.
His advice may sound cliché, but it is still one of the proven steps to achieve success.
Jayvee said, “Sabi nga nila hindi masamang mangarap. Hindi ho binabayaran iyon.
“For those people na talagang walang-wala na, pero may pangarap sa buhay, isang stepping stone na iyan para makamit yung mga pangarap nila.
“Basta palagi ka lang may goal sa buhay, makukuha mo iyon.”