Poverty is not a hindrance to success, as shown by a poor sugarcane farmer from Medellin town in Cebu.

Melvin Osabel Buracho, a 27-year-old farmer from the northern part of Cebu, shared his inspiring story with Cebu Daily News, hoping that it will motivate others to work hard to achieve their dreams in life.

Melvin worked as a “tapasero” at a sugarcane farm in Medellin, Cebu, while studying to become a teacher at the Cebu Normal University.

A “tapasero” is a farmer who harvests sugarcane for processing.

“I came from a family of grade-schoolers. I graduated elementary with honors paving way for me to apply for a scholarship for high school. None of my family members has gone to high school except me at that time,” Buracho said.

“I used to walk for three kilometers from our house to my school but that did not stop me,” he added.

Melvin worked as a tapasero in his free time during his high school days, but tragedy struck when his father died just days before he graduated from high school.

With nobody else to support the family, Melvin was forced to stop schooling and find work to provide for the needs of his mother and siblings.

“When my father died I had to step up for my family, to help my mother and to support my younger sister so she can also finish high school, so I left the province and worked in malls,” Buracho said.

Melvin worked for six years but he never gave up on his dream to finish college.

In 2016, he went home to Medellin and went to his father’s grave to ask for guidance.

Melvin applied for a scholarship with their local government unit (LGU) and was fortunate enough to be chosen. He then enrolled in Cebu Normal University Medellin Campus taking the course Bachelor of Elementary Education, Major in General Education.

While in college, Melvin spent his free time tutoring some kids in their school. He seldom worked as a tapasero.

With hard work and determination, Melvin graduated as cum laude last May 2019.

But his struggle didn’t end there. Melvin had to juggle his tutoring job with his review for the licensure exams. He often missed review classes because of his work as a tutor.

“During the review sessions, I sometimes missed classes because I worked and at the same time was reviewing, but I see to it that I can cope with the lesson by making extra efforts, and time to study,” Buracho explained.

Melvin is now a licensed professional teacher.

“I did it! I fulfilled my promise to my father and will pay it forward to others hopefully with this story,” he added.

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