I am Joey Garcia Pareja from San Miguel, the northernmost town of Bulacan. A Common Man, with interests in hyperrealism pencil portraits and short expressionist poems. I am a Registered Nurse with a corresponding degree finished at Wesleyan University Philippines in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. Thereat, I led my Block as the Block President, as Clinical Group Leader and Block Coordinator from 2003 to 2006.
To graduate with any Latin Honor way back then in my undergrad is not my priority. Finishing college is all I wanted and it was the start of the BIGGEST LEAP of our family`s life according to other people who have heard about it. They alluded to it as “the success story of my life”.
I value education as the basic foundation and passport towards a better future. And “in order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure” (Bill Cosby). I started my BS Degree, way back in 2002 before the dissolution of OGEC (Office of the General Education Curriculum) of the Far Eastern University. A scholarship was granted unto me for successfully hurdling the FEUCAT. It was a big thing for me because I know our family cannot afford sending me to college. My aging mother used to sell (naglalako na may sunong sa ulo) fishes, fruits, kakanin and everything that is profitable even newspapers and bottles. My father who was a barangay police (barangay tanod) also sourced extra income generated from his 2:00 am onwards pasada of his poor tricycle. My seven elder siblings were also struggling in their individual family lives, hence, there is no one else to support my schooling except my parents.
It is because of the above reasons that I persevered more and maximized the value of each single centavo my parents gave to me. Consequently, I moved and finished my BS Nursing at Wesleyan University Philippines where studying is more affordable. My financially challenged undergraduate study includes an allowance of Php50.00 daily which covers only a one way bus fare. There is no more extra money for foods as well as for books, photocopies and fare in going back home.
As for my part, I contracted our local schools for their art projects especially drawings so that I can have extra funds to sustain my Manila affiliations. My life was bold and transparent to my professors who used to lend me extra money so that I can go home after class. The same is true with my classmates who shared their photocopies, books and even their lunch. In return, as my only means of expressing gratitude, I worked for their manila paper presentations which include drawings and other art stuffs required in the school. Our then humbled university and deprived community even celebrated my graduation and more when I passed the Board Examination for Nurses. They kept on asking in surprise how I survived such a life’s challenge.
Instead of practicing my noble profession, I shifted to a different career because I know life should not be contained in a suffocating tiny box. The true essence of life exists outside one`s comfort zones. In my case, to work on an 8-hour shift in a hospital is the last thing on my mind. There are more that I am capable of doing other than clinical tasks. Therefore, I have decided working on a more dynamic, very flexible, cranially challenging and career satisfying world – marketing . Up to the moment, I am working in a local Pharmaceutical Company. A career rewarding opportunity that supported me and my family`s life.
One`s success is nothing without the people who brought us where we are right now.
“I try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value” (Albert Einstein). My personal advocacies in life include my practical application of nursing profession and as a common man such as encouraging our local youths to persevere in schooling. It is their right and opportunity to have one. Finishing college is a lifetime privilege and my absolute license to change lives. I also protect our community in Health empowerment by attending to their immediate/emergency medical concerns regardless of socio-economic status as well as promotion of peace and order towards a holistic health in doing community services such as Feeding Programs and Active Lifestyle Activities in cooperation with the local officials. I remain an active alumnus of Wesleyan promoting camaraderie with other alumni. I am still exerting extra miles to strengthen our family, my siblings and my parents who raised me with the wisdom of righteousness, fairness and to be God fearing.
The campaign and election for the position of 1st Year Representative of the Far Eastern University (FEU) Institute of Law Student Council was held on July 31 and August 1, 2014, respectively. Winning the post is a victory that is nothing without the encouragement and support of my Fraternal Father, Grand Chancellor Juan Karlo Talingdan II alongside with the Officers and Brothers and Portian Sisters. However, I am not a politically-inclined man in presenting any platforms for this post. This is indeed an opportunity for me to stand in behalf of the pioneering batch of Juris Doctor (JD) Program of FEU Makati, where we are geographically exiled away from the brethren in the Institute of Law of FEU Manila.
Another reason why I took such a challenge is the opportunity for us to present to other prospective brothers the aligned values, wisdom and principles of our fold, the TAU KAPPA PHI FRATERNITY. It is a bit challenging to do so in FEU MAKATI for reasons of conflicts of schedules, unknown restrictions from the Administration, misconceptions from current news in joining a fraternity and most importantly our distance from the Manila campus where all of my senior brothers reside. This 1st Year Representative position opens door for us to gain immediate access, to set example to other prospects and most importantly to express, despite the forlorn environment in Makati Campus being away from the Main, the undying support to and constinuous existence of the Brotherhood of TAU KAPPA PHI which shall remain as the Exclusive Fraternal Order of FEU Law.
But finishing Law school is still far away. The least I expected to see myself living into is with regard to my undergraduate degree, that is, being medically-inclined. Unknown to many, I even processed documents and passed examinations to enter Med school way back in 2010. But on my first 30 days in FEU Law School, I eventually realized that this unexpected calling will be a big help for me to strengthen my advocacies especially for the deprived sectors of the community. The knowledge of the law and its application will enable me to protect more individuals and groups from the least privileged sectors of our society. It is a big sacrifice but will be rewarding for my aspirations on the equilibrium and fairness in the law.
“This is my heritage to be. Steadfast, Proud and Unafraid” (Tau Kappa Phi Creed). I am a proud new brother of TAU KAPPA PHI that despite being an inductee, none of my brothers makes me feel as such but rather treated me a a full-fledged Commoner. The way I was welcomed as a new brother of TKP Fraternity is overwhelming. The Grand Chancellors, Officers, Alumni and Residents never fail to extend their support and guidance which continuously empower me from my fraternal birth`s submission to the virtue why TAU KAPPA PHI was created, who we are and what we are for, and the epitome of a PROUD TAU KAPPAN.
Thank you, Brothers! MABUHAY KAYO! MABUHAY TAU KAPPA PHI!
About the Author
Brod Joey Pareja joined the Tau Kappa Phi Fraternity in July 2014 and one of the first enrollees to the Juris Doctor Program of the Far Eastern University-Institute of Law, Makati Campus introduced in 2014. He is under the Grand Chancellorship of GC Juan Karlo Talingdan II. He is the incumbent Freshman Representative in the Student Council of FEU-IL. He is a Registered Nurse and a graduate of Wesleyan University Philippines, Bulacan.