Joanne, Mac IV, Julius, Janiz, Joey & Donji




“We are six, and we all graduated from the University of Baguio.”



Donji: “Our youngest, Janiz, works as a nurse in Texas. Our eldest, Joanne, works at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Three of my brothers are IT PM-executives – Julius in New York, Mac IV in Chicago, Joseph in Seattle. I worked in Manila doing project logistics support mostly for various Philippine oilfield offshore activities.”



“We didn’t have enough when we were kids. We ate mushrooms and other edible stuff from the mountains, collected firewood for cooking, and we slept in one bedroom with three double-decks. We just had discipline, strong will and confidence along the way. We have learned to be as frugal as possible and work hard. Our parents constantly taught us those two. They also impressed upon us respect for authority. But the most important lesson we learned from them is to always put family first.”



“Mom had this thing for learning. She had this profound perspective towards education. One time in Washington while she was out walking on a weekday, she saw these young boys who, instead of being in the campus, were hanging out, skateboarding. She knew it was school hours and so – the teacher that she was – told the boys, ‘You should be in school now.’ She was always a teacher to everyone, even after she retired. Perhaps her last mission as a teacher was when she, for years, encouraged a poor girl in their neighborhood in Washington not to give up on her studies. When the girl graduated from high school, you could see that mom was really happy and proud and had this great feeling of accomplishment. When the girl's parents came to mom's memorial service, they were teary-eyed, and they were grateful that mom had been instrumental in encouraging their daughter not to give up and that she taught her the importance of education.”



What are your words on achieving?

“Start small, quietly, slowly. It is also wise to remember to succeed on your own merits.”



The Flores siblings are launching the Mac & Mila Educational Assistance Program which will sponsor incoming college students who wish to pursue a degree in Education at the University of Baguio but are unable to finance their education. Their mom, Mila Flores, taught at the University of Baguio for over 30 years. On setting up the scholarship program, the Flores siblings said:


“We need not have enough to help others.”





Interview by RONA LIN






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