A Story of Hope: Sampaguita Peddler, Cemetery Dweller Graduates From College

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For 21-year-old Khay Ann Igle, growing up in Manila North Cemetery became the driving force to reach her dreams and free herself and her family from poverty.

The Will to Succeed

She was exposed to the hardships of working at an early age of 5, when she was forced to sell Sampaguita in different churches from Cubao, all the way to Quezon City and Sampaloc, Manila.

And even when Igle began school, she continued to sell flowers which at times interfered with her academics.

She admitted that there were times she when her situation overwhelmed her to the point of almost giving up, but her love for her parents enabled her to persevere and endure.

She states:

“May mga panahon po kasi na down ako at feeling ko hindi sapat ang ginagawa ko. Pero mahal ko ang nanay at tatay ko, and ginamit ko ang mga salita nila bilang inspirasyon at motibasyon. Ang sabi ko sa .sarili ko balang araw makakapagtapos din ako at matutulungan ko sila.”

(I was down because I felt my efforts and sacrifices were never enough. But I love my parents, and I tried to challenge myself and I used their words as inspiration and motivation. I told myself that someday, I will prove to them that I can help them by finishing school.)

After 16 years of roaming the streets to sell Sampaguita flowers, Igle graduated college with a degree in Tourism from the Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology.

She hopes that just like her, people to overcome hardships and to trust God in times of need.

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