Graduate Shares Inspiring Journey: “Poverty Was a Hindrance to My Success”

With silver hair, cross earrings, and makeup on his face, Rene Principe Jr. stands out in his graduation photo but the UP graduate says that it his poverty that was the hindrance to his success, not his dyed hair!

Many people often say that poverty is not a hindrance to success because they were able to achieve their dreams. But Principe said that he refuses to glorify extreme poverty because the reality is that poverty is really a hindrance to success!

Photo credit: Rene Principe / Facebook

Contrary to popular belief, dyeing your hair is not a hindrance to success, but poverty is,” Principe said in a now-viral post on Facebook.

I used to eat restaurant leftover scraps for breakfast… and lunch… and dinner. It’s painful to see my classmates have Chicken Joy while all I had in my lunchbox was a half-eaten, reheated drumstick from people I never knew and met.”

He explained that they lost their house in Compostela Valley to a fire; thus, the family moved to Cagayan de Oro. Due to extreme poverty, they understood that education is their only way out, but even that was hard to accomplish.

At just 8 years old, he wanted to leave the planet for good because of the many hardships that he and his family faced. But it wasn’t in a bad way; instead, he wanted to be an astronaut.

It was this dream that led him to study BS Applied Physics (Instrumentation), saying it was the closest course he could ever be to study Astronomy.

Photo credit: Rene Principe / Facebook

I refuse to glorify the extreme poverty that I went through. Because the same poverty that everyone might think inspired me to make it all the way is the same poverty which hinders millions of Filipinos access to quality education,” Principe explained.

I am with the poor and I know what it’s like to lose your spirit over a hungry stomach. I refuse to believe that poverty is NOT a hindrance to success because it is, my victory is an exception but it is not the norm.

Indeed, Principe was able to study at the University of the Philippines (UP), thanks to being a DOST-SEI scholar and an ESGP-PA scholar. He recently graduated as Cum Laude, but it is his journey to this milestone that truly inspired many netizens…

Congratulations po!