Sixteen-year-old Iva Jamelarin, a student-achiever from Iloilo, wrote a poem, presented it in class, and uploaded the recording on her Facebook account. Little did she know that this would go viral on the internet and change her family’s life.
“I did not expect that kind of reception with my spoken word performance. I was just thankful that I was able to express my feelings and gratitude towards my mother,” Jamelarin said in Filipino.
Her mother, Eva Jamelarin, is an overseas Filipino working in Hong Kong.
“I always tell Iva and her siblings to study really well and finish school because that is the only treasure that their father and I could ever give them,” she said.
Because of Iva’s achievement in school and her inspiring poem, Philippines’ leading digital services provider PLDT, together with Gabay Guro and Free Bee, awarded an education package to the young spoken word artist in time for the graduation season.
“Free Bee supports overseas Filipinos and their families in fulfilling their goals and dreams. When we heard about the story of Iva, we were inspired to lend a helping hand so that she could make good on the promise she so bravely made to her mom on the internet,” said Albert Villa-Real, PLDT Global Chief Commercial Officer.
“We teamed up with PLDT Gabay Guro to come up with a package which includes tools and services to help her be the best student that she can be. And to make sure that their family’s connection is stronger than ever, we also provided Mommy Eva with 12 months’ worth of Free Bee minutes, so that she can call home whenever she’s overseas,” added Villa-Real.
With Free Bee, overseas Filipinos can make free, ad-sponsored long distance calls to any PLDT, Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers in the Philippines. Their families back home receive the calls without the need to download the same app, connect to the internet or even own a smartphone.
Free Bee also offers premium calls for ad-free call experience at very affordable IDD rates while delivering high-quality voice calls.
“This is very important to me as a mother to stay in touch with my children, check on them, make sure that I can be there for them in any way, especially since I am working overseas,” said Mrs. Jamelarin.
“We also awarded Iva an education package, which includes a year’s worth of free LTE home internet connection, a tablet that she can use for school, a cash incentive, and more importantly, a four-year college scholarship grant for a B.S. Education degree at any of the Gabay Guro partner schools throughout the country,” said Melanie Manuel, VP and Head of PLDT International Business Operations Management and Scholarship Pillar head at PLDT Gabay Guro.
Technology for all, technology for good
PLDT-Smart Foundation’s Gabay Guro has been aiding deserving but financially challenged students in state colleges and universities nationwide.
“Young Filipinos like Iva are the future of our country. It is important that we help them achieve their dreams so that they can contribute to nation-building,” said Chaye Cabal-Revilla, PLDT SVP and Group Controller, Smart Communications, Inc. chief financial officer, and PLDT Gabay Guro Chairperson.