Elementary Class Valedictorian Eats ‘Kamote’ Daily Due to Expensive Rice Price

Elementary Class Valedictorian Touches Many Hearts Over Heartfelt Speech

An elementary class valedictorian regularly eats ‘kamote’ (sweet potatoes) due to the high price of rice.

During a recent graduation ceremony in Davao del Norte, many attendees were moved to tears by the heartfelt speech of the elementary class valedictorian, Jenilyn Maylas. Her story was featured in an episode of “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho.”

Jenilyn, a 13-year-old from Sitio Linayapan in the mountainous region of Talaingod, comes from the Ata-Manobo indigenous community. The student began her speech with gratitude, saying, “Isang malaking karangalan po ang makapagsalita sa harapan ninyo.”

Elementary Class Valedictorian

Maylas then shared the struggles of their life, bringing many in the audience to tears. “Kamoteng kahoy, saging at kamote ang aming kinakain minsan. At kahit sa mahirap na pamamaraan mabuhay… nakuha pa rin namin na mamuhay nang masaya,” she said.

The people in Jenilyn’s community earn a living by planting sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, and abaca. Despite the challenges, Jenilyn excelled in her studies, topping her class of 20 students at Malapanit Primary School Linayapan Extension.

Teacher Jarlord Marsamolo described Jenilyn as an excellent reader and highly sociable, standing out among her peers. Jenilyn loves math and dreams of becoming a doctor someday.

Every school day, Jenilyn cooks or boils sweet potatoes for breakfast and packs the same for lunch. Without a school bag, she wraps the sweet potatoes in banana leaves and then places them in a plastic bag.

When she sees a classmate with a bag, she asks them to carry her lunch until they reach school. Rice is considered “gold” in their area due to its high cost.

Elementary Class Valedictorian

“Masaya po ako kapag nakakanggap na kami ng galing sa 4Ps, may pambili na kami ng bigas, Ang bigas parang ginto. Masaya ako kapag may bigas kami dahil mabubusog at matagal kami makakaramdam ng gutom,” the elementary class valedictorian said.

In a previous post, a student who was homeless graduates valedictorian, receives P2.2m for housing and meal plans

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