Palo, Leyte—A son of chicharon (deep-fried pork rind) vendors in Palo, Leyte is this year’s top graduate of the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College.
Kim D. Limosnero, 21, graduated magna cum laude, with cumulative GWA of 1.256, in Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, besting 246 scholars of the country’s premier state university on June 26.
“As small children, the only help my two brothers, sister and I could offer was to pack chicharon pieces by hand into small transparent cellophane. A pack of chicharon is normally sold for P2 in small sari-sari stores,” Limosnero said on how the family worked hard to support their daily needs.
When his father Loe (sic) died, Limosnero drew the strength and inspiration from his mother Rosalina who successfully managed the family business despite not being able to complete her college degree.
“Throughout the years, I have seen how my mother untiringly supervised alone the operations of our family business,” he said.
“My mother is one of the most hardworking persons I have ever known—even more diligent than I am,” added Limosnero in his valedictory speech at the UP campus in Tacloban City.
He said his mother regularly leaves their home to deliver bundles of chicharon to their customers in Samar and Leyte.
They travel hundreds of kilometers in each delivery cycle, Limosnero said.
“Every morning, she would wake up around 4 am to start managing our business,” he added.
As he understood the value of entrepreneurship and hard work early in his life, Limosnero also tried selling chicharon to his classmates at Palo National High School, where he finished as valedictorian.
“Upon entering college, I continued selling chicharon, although only on occasional times. I was even able to sell around 6 packs, selling at P50 each, per day when I started my internship in Leticia Chu Accounting Office,” he said with pride.
All these allowed Limosnero to buy the things that he needed as a student.
“I do not really want my mother to spend so much for me and my education,” he added.
During the University’s 42nd Commencement Exercises, her mother shed tears of joy as she was completely surprised by the overall academic ranking of her son.
“To my mother, the summa cum laude of my life, you have sacrificed so much to bring me to where I am today. You haven’t found the ‘forever’ in working hard for over 15 years, since I was in Grade 1, and you barely rest every day just to take care of me and [siblings] Kenneth, JR, and ate Loelie,” Limosnero said in his speech.
“Even if you didn’t finish college, it’s amazing that you’ve managed to support us all and send us through school in these 15 years. Even more astonishing is you have managed to take care of yourself—you still look young, beautiful, and without a hint of stress. You are really the summa cum laude of my life,” he added.
“This sablay [sash] and medal are for you, Ma. Sorry if I never told you that I was graduating as the valedictorian of our batch. I intended to make this day super special and memorable to you by surprising you on this day of the graduation,” Kim said.
By passing the CPA Licensure Examination this October 2018, he hopes that “I can finally lift the burden from your shoulders, help earn income for the family, and contribute as well for the education of my younger brother,” Limosnero added.
Also an outstanding student awardee, Limosnero is now a review scholar of SyCip Gorres Velayo & Company (SGV & Co.), the Philippines’ top multidisciplinary professional services firm.
He thanked the University and his professors for the “values of honor and excellence” they inculcated, and called on fellow “Iskolars ng Bayan” to “always remember that we owe our UP education to the Filipino people.”
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