Melissa Marvic and her husband, Elmer, with daughter Ishika. Because no one could care for Ishika at home, Elmer brought her along while bringing Marvic to the LET testing venue. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Marvic).

Melissa Marvic had just given birth to her third child, Eufemio II when she received the good news. Not only did she make it to the Top 10 list of the licensure examinations for teachers (LET) for secondary level, but she was the only graduate of Fullbright college to make it to the list.

Melissa described the experience as surreal. She said that she was already strong enough to sit up just a few hours after giving birth when her best friend, Archie, broke the news to her.

“‘Ate, nakita mo na ba ‘yong result? Hindi ka lang pumasa, Top 6 ka! Top 6!’ Tapos hindi pa ako umimik agad, pino-process ko pa kasi parang nagha-hallucinate pa ako dahil sa anesthesia,” Marvic said in an interview with Palawan News.

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Marvic at the Holy Trinity Academy, Manila for the LET, still pregnant with her third child. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Marvic)

Melissa’s total of 91.00 was no easy feat in and of itself. After all, before Eufemio was born, she had already given birth to two other children. She was also a full-time instructor at Metro Manila College, juggling parenting, schoolwork, and family life.

“Yong mga panahon na ‘yon, wala akong kasambahay. Mano-mano akong nagre-review, nagtuturo sa school, at nag-aalaga sa mga anak ko,” she said.

“Before the exams nagtuturo pa ako nyan noong Biyernes. Tapos noong Sabado, nagdi-disseminate pa ako ng grading sheet. Naiiyak pa ako noon kasi gusto ko sana magpaalam muna kahit tatlong araw lang na leave, kasi sa Linggo exam na. Nahiya lang ako magpaalam sa coordinator kasi alam ko sa susunod na linggo manganganak na ako tapos magli-leave na naman at maiiwan ko na naman trabaho ko,” she added.

As if taking exams while pregnant wasn’t challenging enough, she is left-handed, which made writing on a right-handed chair even more difficult. Fortunately, the examination center employees were kind enough to lend her a desk.

“Pag-in ko, naka-arm chair ‘yan. Kabuwanan ko, ang laki-laki ng tiyan ko tapos nakaupo ka sa arm chair at kaliwete ka pa. Paano ko iaabot ‘yong kamay mo doon sa arm chair na sasagutan ko,” she said.

“Ngayon, nakita ako ng representative ng PRC na nag-iikot. ‘Yong mesa na nakareserve for her, binigay niya sa akin pati monobloc nya. Kaya ayon komportable na ako mag exam,” she added.

Never too late to chase a dream
Passing the LET may be merely a formality for some educators seeking a teaching license and a position in a public school. The LET, on the other hand, represented all of Melissa’s hard work and determination to become a teacher.

According to her, she began as a graduate of midwifery at Palawan State University (PSU), then worked at the Alabang Medical Center for six months.

Marvic in the exam room. She could only use a right-handed desk, which made it difficult for her at first to take the LET because she was left-handed. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Marvic)

Her passion to be a teacher, on the other hand, kept drawing her back, so she enrolled at Fullbright College in Puerto Princesa City to study secondary education.

“Kinuha ko itong course na ‘to [BS Secondary Education] kasi gustong gusto ko ito. Kapag gusto mo kasi ang isang bagay, hindi ka kailangan pilitin ng isang tao. Talagang ganado kang gawin,” she explained.

Her husband Elmer fully supported her studies. He also paid for her tuition while she was studying to become a teacher. Having already completed her studies, she now works as an English subject teacher for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Grade 11 students in Metro Manila.

Marvic’s husband, Elmer, and their second child Ishika, while waiting for Marvic outside the Holy Trinity Academy. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Marvic)

She was able to prepare herself by taking coaching sessions from a review center while working at the same time. It all paid off in the end when the results were revealed last April 29. However, her journey to the top was not at all easy. For a working mother who had children early in life, it was a constant struggle for her to achieve her dreams, especially financially.

“Minsan akong iniwanan sa ere na walang-wala kami ng mga anak ko. Akala ko noon, wala na, tapos na ang laban. Sino ba naman mag aakala na ‘yong babae na ‘yon na walang nagtitiwala, nang hihiram lang ng pera, makakain lang kami ng mag-iina, ngayon ay topnotcher na,” she said.

“Yong P900 application fee [sa LET], ‘yong bestfriend ko pa ang nagbigay dahil sagad-sagad ‘yong pera ko that time,” she added.

Marvic hopes that her story will inspire anyone, regardless of age, career, or whether they are mothers or not, to pursue their goals. She said motherhood should not be a hindrance to achieving one’s dreams, and things can be done excellently with the right amount of support.

“Yan ‘yong gusto ko makita ng mga kabataan ngayon, kahit ‘yong mga may asawa na, hindi pa huli ang lahat. Huwag ka bumitaw agad. Huwag ka mawalan ng pag-asa na balang araw ibang tao ka na,” she said.

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