Cementing Dreams: 250 Scholars Renew Hope to Improve their Lives

The opportunity to learn can take people further in life, despite the possible lack of financial means to finish education.

This is what CEMEX Philippines and its partners from the Province of Rizal and City of Antipolo had in mind when they joined hands to establish the CEMEX Information Technology (IT) Training Center at Barangay San Jose in Antipolo City, Rizal. Since its inauguration in 2015, out-of-school youth and unemployed community members of the country’s largest barangay have had a new source of hope to improve their lives.

In fact, 250 scholars just recently graduated from the CEMEX IT Center. They are now ready to realize their dreams and even aspire for higher ones.

During his speech, John Kenneth Padilla, the 26-year-old valedictorian of the batch, described the common aspiration that he shared with his classmates.

“Simple lang ang hinahangad na pangarap ng aming puso. Ito’y makapagdulot ng ligaya sa pamilya at magdala ng maliliit na pagbabago sa aming mundong ginagalawan (The desires of our heart are quite simple. It is to bring joy to our families and small changes in the world where we move in),” he said.

“Kasama rin kami sa mga batang nais iahon sa hirap ang pamilya. Di namin bibiguin ang mga taong nagtitiwala sa aming tagumpay (We are part of the youth who hope to raise our families from poverty. We promise not to fail the people who have faith in our success),” he added.

The Training Center offered its scholars the opportunity to learn from a one-year computer course taught by qualified Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) trainers and instructors. Through the management of the City of Antipolo and San Jose Barangay Council, the learning facility has been equipped with computers and other devices that helped the students learn essential skills that are in demand in the IT industry.

The participants of the program also received a TESDA certification after completing the course and passing the evaluation. This certificate will come in useful for the graduates especially when they apply for work.

Additionally, scholars were equipped with other technical skills like maintenance of IT network systems, computer repair, setting up of servers, and troubleshooting. Aside from IT courses, the Training Center also provided English classes that helped students enhance their communication skills.

Padilla expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all those who gave himself and his classmates the opportunity to open a new chapter in their lives. “Ang aming graduation ay isa sa pinakamakabuluhang saglit ng aming buhay. Ang araw na ito ang magbibigay daan sa katuparan ng aming iba’t-ibang pangarap (Our graduation is one of the most meaningful moments in our lives. This day will lead towards the fulfilment of our many dreams).”

The graduation ceremony was graced by Antipolo City Mayor Casimiro “Jun” Ynares III, together with San Jose Barangay Captain Felicito “Ito” Garcia, who is also the founding chairman of the IT program. Also with them are Dr. Jun Rey San Juan, representing Governor Rebecca “Nini” Ynares, and the other officials from the Antipolo City local government and barangay council.

“We put high importance to education because we believe that our future lies in the next generation who are composed of people possessing the right skills and attitude to help build the nation together,” said Normandy Chan, director of Solid Cement Plant, as he welcomed the graduates and visitors to the Solid Cement Plant Gymnasium where the graduation ceremony was held.

Pedro Palomino, country president of CEMEX Philippines, joined Mayor Ynares in congratulating and distributing the certificates to the graduates.

The CEMEX Training Center also houses the Rizal Quarry Academy where courses on mining engineering, responsible quarrying, and sustainability management are offered. Also nearby is the Solid Cement Corporation, a subsidiary of CEMEX Holdings Philippines.

CEMEX Philippines offers a broad product mix of building solutions to the Philippine market. Its subsidiaries, Apo Cement Corporation and Solid Cement Corporation, produce and market cement and other building materials in the country. These cement manufacturing subsidiaries carry the well established cement brands APO and Rizal. Visit www.cemexholdingsphilippines.com for news and updates or like and follow CEMEX Philippines on Facebook and Instagram. For partnerships, contact the Public Affairs Unit at (632) 849 3600.