Marc Kevin Areta, Municipal Administrator, Bauan, Batangas
AB Paralegal Studies, 2014
“Dreams never die” Gol D. Roger, King of Pirates, character, One Piece Anime Series.
Ever since I was a child, I have always been a huge dreamer. When I was in college, I achieved a lot of praises as a student. Thanks to a scholarship grant I enjoyed that paid some of my fees to truly fulfill my high school dream of entering this University. I was a consistent Dean’s Lister, but it did not stop me from serving student organizations when I was eventually elected as Governor of the College of Education, Arts and Sciences in 2013. I was Top 7 Most Outstanding Student in 2014 and graduated on the same year with Cum Laude Honors. I tossed my cap with high hopes and big dreams. I had this thought that with all these achievements, I can succeed in the next stage just like I did when I was a student. But after I framed, displayed my diploma and hanged my medal, I became unemployed. Looking for a job was my priority, so I searched for many job sites, attended several interviews and submitted numerous resumes to employers trying to land a job that suits me but to no avail. I was in the sala, looking at my medals asking, “What are those for?”
I enrolled in law school after months of being unemployed. Another burden to my family. Then I was hired as a paralegal in a law office. Most of my job was in the field. With me, were my books. I found time reading them when on travel so that I will have answers to the questions being asked by my law professors during night classes. With a tuition fee to pay, I could barely afford to buy new shoes that my old ones were worn out due to long walks. It was tough for a young guy who looks high of himself. Then a university hired me which taught me much discipline. With the necessity of providing for your family, paying your fees and taking the challenge of law school, it was a life humbling experience.
Great despair happened when my father lost his job and couldn’t find one, making me and my mother as breadwinners. With not much in my pocket, I tried many things to provide. I tried to engage in the retail business of biscuits but to no avail. I studied Photoshop so that I can edit photos and offer it in public, but for a newbie like me, it was futile. I came to sell handmade bookmarks and advertised it on social media but only a few availed. I then contributed my digital comic artwork to a local newspaper for free which was published several times with the intention to get paid on the succeeding contributions, but it was not a success. There came a time when I only had 20 pesos in my pocket on my way home and then the rear tire of my motorcycle deflated. My P20 was not even enough to pay for vulcanizing services which cost almost P50, so I was forced to run flat all the way from Batangas City to Bauan. There were days that I just looked at my mother and thought of my father and ask myself, “How can I repay them for the things they have done for me?”. But they weren’t looking for answers on how I can give them those things. They never demanded at all, instead, they showed support. With that, I must go on.
Then one fine day in 2015, a call changed my life and the rest was history. I then became the Chief of Staff of a local politician and set my one and only iron rule- don’t break his’ and the public’s trust.
Today at the age of 25 I am the appointed Municipal Administrator, the youngest in the history of Bauan. I am thankful for everyone who helped me. The high thoughts of this young man of himself were easily burned when faced by real-world situations. I was bamboozled by the glories I received when I was young and thought that I can succeed easily. But I needed situations to put me on the ground and reflect on things I must do. When things were rough back then, I thought that my dreams were dead, but they were not. They were just set on a process, a delay to make me more prepared and more suitable. Dreams never die if you believe in them. This is not yet the finish line as life continues to roll, but just like the quote I told on stage during my thank you speech as LPU- Batangas’ Top 7 Most Outstanding Student of 2014, “Just believe in your dreams and you are halfway there”, and halfway is always a good start.