Quality and Dedication

Story of An Alumnus:

Ismael-Aguinaldo

Ismael Aguinaldo  A-55, Batch 1997  

Technical Consultant - Operations and Security HEWLETT-Packard Malaysia

I would like to express my utmost gratitude to all exceptional and dedicated professors and staff of Dualtech where I was given the opportunity to be a better person. You provided me quality and first class technical education developed my full potential and molded me to be morally upright human being. These and more are the qualities they have imparted me that I could never forget and now part of me, my life and my personality. “Quality” and “dedication” are for me, the synonyms of Dualtech.

Quality,  hindi pwede ang pwede na! Do the right thing the first time!

Dedication, hindi pwedeng lumabas ng class room ng hindi naiintindihan ang pinagaralan. Put 100% of your performance and knowledge in everything you do.

It was in my hometown in Santiago City, Isabela where I realized to pursue a college education. With a meager amount of money, but a lot of guts and enthusiasm, I went to Manila thru palay cargo truck.  I was welcomed in my uncle’s home who took me in as a car wash boy. I realized that I was doing this for almost 6 months just to have roof over my head and food. I took the liberty to find a second job and I worked in Talipapa (public market). At night until the wee hours of the morning I was a kargador (I accepted galunggong fish and vegetable as a payment) and sleep in one small room with my cousins. But these hurdles and tribulations did not stop me from pursuing my dreams.

Until that fateful day when one of my friends who was also a kargador mentioned that Dualtech was providing scholarship to unfortunate people like me who could not afford to pay for education. I went to Dualtech Pasay in EDSA extension and I was officially accepted as student or what was so called “butihing mag-aaral sa Dualtech”.

Basic Stage Training Program was not easy. I still remember having lunch UTMT (Under the Mango Tree) and sharing of food with my fellow students. Minsan kain kami sa turo-turo carinderia na ang ulam ay sardines. Hati hati pa nga kami at humihingi ng mainit na sabaw. Lahat yata ng pagtitipid ginawa na namin to survive and pagkasyahin ang allowance, every centavo counts during those days. I had to walk few kilometers from Pasay to Signal Village and traverse Edsa to Mantrade to Villamor  to FTI to Signal Village just to get home. In the morning  going to school, sasabit nalang ako para libre ang pamasahe. I had to sell balut (duck embryo) in the evening just to have allowance in school. I also had to be a “takatak boy” and sell candies, gums and cigarettes in the street and on jeepneys just so I could save on jeepney fare going to school. During the weekends, I had to be a “barker” in FTI Terminal for me to earn extra money for my expenses for the coming weeks or months. Yes, I had to juggle between all these part time jobs and my schooling but somehow I got through life pretty well mostly relying on my own hard work and the Lord’s provision.

I have survived all these because  God  continuously blessed me with good health and the wisdom to always make the right choices in life, to always choose the right path to take. And He sent me the right people who played significant role in my life. They inspired me to study harder and aspire for a better life. I won’t forget my adviser and something he said stuck to me in that crucial time of my life and I quote “Hindi hadlang ang kahirapan sa inyong tagumpay”.

Applied Stage Training Program was tougher like passing through a needle’s hole. Maintaining a GWA of 2.0 was not a joke, but it was a great journey. I was 1 out of 20 fortunate students who qualified for OJT in ETSI/SIEMENS Technologies Inc. 

Financial struggle was my primary issue during these days. With limited time to make money, the allowance that I received from the company every month was not sufficient enough to sustain my basic necessities. I need to strategize and put a lot of efforts for me to survive financially.  I concentrated being an entrepreneur by selling Balot during night time and sell as many when there was a PBA Basketball Games!! Pag nanalo ang Ginebra or San Miguel I have more than the regular profit I get every night that sustained my financial needs. I put up ihaw-ihaw na isdang Bangus and Tilapia on the side for extra income.

Year 1997 was the turning point of my life. Leap of faith and a start in fulfilling my dreams. This marked the year of my graduation from Dualtech. I was blessed to have been accepted in this kind of institute that provides not only technical training but the honing of interpersonal skills and ethical development which was instrumental in molding my character and helped me get to where I am today.

After few days, I called the manager in ETSI/SIEMENS to finally inform him that I already graduated and fortunately, I got the job offer. The monthly salary I was receiving was beyond my expectation. I started as a junior technical support. They sent me to a several trainings so I could be more effective and contribute to the company’s profitability.

At the end of that year, I  received an award as one of the efficient employees, thereby achieving the maximum of 15% salary increment. On top of which, I was still given performance bonus. I feel like I won the lottery because I was getting up to 16th month bonus by the end of the year! 

Blessings pour unto me and was overwhelmed (it’s true, when it rains it pours), my bank account consistently increased over time and was better off financially. After a year of working in ETSI/SIEMENS, I received a call and an unexpected offer from my previous mentor in SIEMENS who was at that time working in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I was finally ready to go abroad and embark on a new life in a foreign land. 

I am a happily married man and we are currently based here in Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

Now on my third year here in Malaysia, I have worked my way up to be Shift Lead SME (Subject Matter Expert) of the Messaging Collaboration at Hewlett-Packard Malaysia. 

This is my story. I owe Dualtech so much for the success that I am now reaping. Hopefully, this story will inspire a lot of students to take action and take control of their destiny. They too can create a bright future ahead of them. If I can do it, so can you!

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