by Glenda B. Gutierrez
“There are people who look down on me. Therefore, I made my weaknesses into my strength. ” says Algin Tan, 17.
Gin, as he is fondly called is gay. He experienced discrimination due to his gender preference. He knew when he was in grade school that he had a female heart in a man’s body. But he says his family especially his parents supports him. Outwardly, he looks happy but he has some insecurities.
He stopped his schooling due to an unexplainable illness. He had skin sores that lasted five months. Due to embarrassment, he went to Nueva Ecija, a province north of Manila, to recuperate. He was in fourth level of high school then at the San Roque National High School in Navotas, a city north of Manila.
Their family also experienced financial lack. His father, Avelino, is a laborer and his mother, Ma. Gina, is a “kasambahay” (housekeeper.) Gin has a sister who is in second level of college.
He learned about the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program of the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) from his aunt.
“I really want to continue my studies so I enrolled in ALS,” says Gin. “I want to get a good paying job so I can help my family,” he added.
Surrendering never entered his mind. He is set on his goal to pass the Accreditation and Equivalency (a & e) examination.
When asked what he did to pass. He answered “I prayed and encouraged myself I could do it.”
“I feel blessed and proud to be me,” exclaimed Gin. “I am ready to achieve my dreams. My passing is a sign for me to achieve my dreams.
Indeed, he did it. He passed the A & E examination and has enrolled in a university to take up BS Accountancy. People may looked down on him but he never made it an obstacle in achieving his dreams. He made his weaknesses into strengths.