It has been a great year for 22-year-old Ronald Calamba of the municipality of Catigbian, Bohol. Unable to attend the awarding of new Tzu Chi scholars of Bohol on July 4 due to a busy review regimen, he shares his story of success via prerecorded video. He’s proof that any form of success can be achieved with the will to chase dreams.

Raised in a family of farmers, Ronald struggled with his desire to go to school. His parents could barely pay for his education, even when his mother later took a housemaid job and his father began selling charcoal on the side. Instead of sinking to despair, he took this as an obstacle to overcome.

Like most hopes for families, Ronald also dreams of a better life for his family. He wants to give his parents the life they had also dreamt for him. He doesn’t only want the victory for himself but also want to share with those who witnessed him persevere to the top. This is the spirit he wants to share to everyone: the spirit of making the world a better place.

Through a schoolmate’s suggestion, Ronald went to Tzu Chi’s Bohol Operations Office in Tagbilaran City to apply for a scholarship in 2016. Before, his university scholarship paid for his studies. But it became clear that he also needed a stipend for his daily school needs and his on-the-job training, which Tzu Chi provided on top of his scholarship.

After five years of sleepless nights and compounding problems, he earned his degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Bohol. He graduated magna cum laude and earned three other awards: Student of the Year, Academic Excellence, and Leadership.

Ronald is grateful to all who stuck by him through thick and thin. Special mention goes out to Tzu Chi Foundation for helping him in realizing his dreams.

“Tzu Chi has been part of my success for I had learned more of good things that I never learned in school. I thank Tzu Chi for opening such portal for my success,” Ronald says.

As he takes the next step of his life, he wants to bring with him the lessons taught by the Buddhist organization. He wants to share these wherever his path to success may lead him. Following Tzu Chi’s advocacies, he wants to take with him the seal of being a product of the Tzu Chi scholars in Bohol.

He ends his speech with an aphorism from Master Cheng Yen.

“Do not underestimate yourself because everyone has boundless potential,” says Ronald.

Currently, Ronald is preparing for his upcoming Civil Engineering board exam in Cebu in November. His family and the entire Tzu Chi Foundation wish him all the best and look forward to him to becoming a successful engineer.

Story Highlights:

  • With perseverance, former Tzu Chi scholar Roland Calamba finally reaps the fruits of his labor. Through video, he shares his story of success to new Tzu Chi scholars in Bohol, believing that poverty isn’t a hindrance to chasing one’s dreams.