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What if we had more of the likes of 'Lola Filomena' - the 72-year-old high school sophomore - in our midst?

Lydia Reyes, Bataan: Well, it only proves that education has no age limit. Lola Filomena should be a role model both to the young and adults who want to succeed. 

Benjamin Nillo, Las Piñas City: The DSWD and the DepEd should act in unison to help ‘Lola Filomenas’ them in the fulfillment of their dreams. 

Age is not a hindrance to achieving our dreams

Llara Jane Rivera, Metro Manila: ‘Lola Filomena’ is proof that age is not a hindrance to achieving one’s dreams. She’s a good example to the youth that we should not waste our time if we have a chance to study. 

Ernesto Oliquiano, Las Piñas City: She serves as an inspiration to everyone that age is not a hindrance for anyone to get, at least, a high school education for as long as one has the will and the determination. On the other hand, it also shows the inability of the government to provide proper education to most Filipinos. I am sure there are millions more ‘Lola Filomenas’ in our midst who could not pursue their education at the right age simply because of poverty. 

Ruben Viray, Antipolo City: In life, nothing is impossible as long as the will is alive. Lola Filomena is a great influence to all of us, that inspite of her age, the challenge is still there. Her enthusiasm and determination is without question. Age is no hindrance for knowledge. We need more of the likes of Lola Filomena especially coming from the countrysides and remote areas of our land. 

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June Deoferio, Cavite: ‘Lola Filomena’ is proof that age doesn’t matter in attending school. She provides encouragement to old persons to continue their studies. 

Alexander Raquepo, Ilocos Sur: ‘Lola Filomena’ is an indicator of two things: First, it indicates that in education, age doesn’t matter and it proves that education is for all; and second, it indicates that there’s a growing number of our population who would rather work (as laborers, workers, maids, etc.) to earn than go to school because of poverty. Her case is worthwhile studying. 

It’s too late

Ruel Bautista, Laguna: At 72, it’s too late. It’s just a matter of fulfilling one’s dream. Sponsoring an apo to finish what she didn’t would be better. 

J.R. Mondonedo Jr., Paranaque City: I have nothing against an older person who wants to go back to school to learn but at her age, she should just enjoy her twilight years with her grandchildren or do other things she enjoys. But if schooling is what she wants, then let her. For one thing, it’s hard for the teacher to fail her if she does not do well. She will feel out of place with her classmates like they would listen to rap songs and hip-hop while she would prefer listening to kundiman and many more. She should instead devote her time with God and her family.

Our literacy would improve

Ishmael Calata, Parañaque City: ‘Lola Filomena’ must have a tremendous motivation to want to continue her high school education even at this late stage in her life. If we have more of the likes of this lady, especially among the illiterate, the literacy level of our nation would improve. What I hope would happen is for those at a younger age to follow her example so they can improve their lives and contribute to the nation. I must say here that at 75, I am still schooling, motivated by my limitless quest for knowledge. 

Manuel Abejero, Pangasinan: Our literacy rate would jump a hundredfold. We would have educated senior citizens and a discerning majority of voters. Dirty politicians, beware. 

Renato Taylan, Ilocos Norte: Nobody is too young or too old to learn. If we have more students of her kind, we’d be promoting literacy for all. This is good for the country. 

Concepcion Gaspar, Laoag City: Of course we would have a higher rate of literacy because more people will be inspired to go back to school. In fact, some years back, I read about a grandma at 90 who was able to acquire a college degree. It’s true that no age is too old to get an education but there are some factors we need to consider: First, a person must possess an ambition to reach a goal in life. Second, he/she should be able to find a means to finance his/her schooling and have enough time to pursue it. A purpose-driven life knows no bounds. According to Rick Warren, living with a purpose is the only way to really live. Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without direction and events without reason. Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty and pointless. 

Eric Gopilan, Quezon City: If we had more ‘Lola Filomenas’, our country would prosper due to our high literacy rate. She showed us that age does not matter in education. 

A failure of our educational system

Jim Veneracion, Naga City: The case of ‘Lola Filomena’ gives me a sense of wonder, but it might elicit a wrong signal. For me, it’s another failure of our decrepit educational system. 

Francis Santos-Viola, Quezon City: Then our educational system would be an even bigger laughingstock since people would think it really takes us that long to complete our education. 

Hats off to ‘Lola Filomena’

Jose Fabello Jr., Cagayan de Oro City: Education is not the monopoly of the young. It is the key to open doors to limitless opportunities. Lola Filomena dear, may your tribe increase. Go, go, go! 

Roger Caravana, Bulacan: It is indeed nice to know that her determination to learn knows no boundaries. I have a high regard for persons like ‘Lola Filomena’. 

She is an inspiration to the youth

Edwin Chinel Monares, Rizal: It offers an inspiration to the young who are blessed with so much strength and intelligence. Education should be universal. It should free humanity from the bondage of ignorance transcending age, sex, nationality, religion, race and socio-economic status. - Abelardo Abilay, Laguna: ‘Lola Filomena’ joins the ranks of Efren Peñaflorida and Charice Pempengco. They are all icons in their own right. In the case of the 72-year-old wonder, the Filipino youth must follow suit. Not everyone has the passion that she possesses for her age. 

Joe Nacilla, Las Pinas City: The vision of ‘Lola Filomena’ is to go to school but maybe because of poverty she was not able to do so. Two years more for high school plus four years in college will make her professional at the age of 78. She provides encouragement to the youth and shows them that education is very important in life and should not be taken for granted. Take all the opportunities and do not waste the time while you are still young. 

Ed Alawi, Davao City: Having more of ‘Lola Filomena’ would be an inspiration to the young. They’ll know how important education is if even senior citizens want to learn. 

Education is one’s greatest legacy

Rodolfo Talledo, Angeles City: I feel very proud of ‘Lola Filomena’ for although late, she realized that education is an indispensable factor in one’s life. 

Dr. Jose Balcanao, Benguet: It implies that education is the greatest legacy that one can inherit and that no material thing can substitute it. Education is a natural right of everyone to acquire knowledge regardless of age, religion, economic status and race. I salute Lola Filomena for recognizing the importance of education as a tool of raising one’s esteem and as a way of improving and touching lives.  

Carmela Ramento, Cagayan de Oro City: The elderly study for many unexpected reasons. An 85-year-old wanted to take up Law and went to the Registrar’s office to enroll. The girl in the counter asked inquisitively if it is not yet too late for the lady to get an education since she was quite old. The lady replied: “Girl, I simply wanted to have ‘Atty.’ before my name in my tombstone.” 

Why not? My ex-NSO OIC, Nanay Auring, always related to us that they were so poor, she finished high school when she was 38 years old and had seven children. She is now 63, graduating from her BS Education. Our talangka colleagues tell her, ’pag graduate mo, retired ka na. She shoots back, “It’s for my apos. When they see my diploma, they’ll say, aba, titser pala si Lola. Hats off to all the ‘Lola Filomenas’ and Ma’am Aurings in the world. 

Johann Lucas, Quezon City: ‘Lola Filomena’ serves as an inspiration to elders who want to go back to school, knowing that education is the most important treasure that you can have because this can’t be stolen from you. 

William Gonzaga, Marikina City: So much the better to have more of her kind to inspire the youth and the rest of the citizenry that education is very much important in everyone’s aspiration for a better life. 

I’d do the same thing

Ella Arenas, Pangasinan: I would definitely do the same thing given the opportunity. I wouldn’t let poverty and other obstacles stop me from accomplishing what I dream of. 

C.B. Manalastas, Manila: Why not? I might even join the bandwagon and avail of educational benefits offered for senior citizens under the expanded senior citizens act of 2010. 

Life is a continuous process of learning

Deo Durante, Camarines Sur: Lack of enough education is disadvantageous to a nation. The likes of ‘Lola Filomena’ show us that life is a continuous process of learning and that we should not lose hope. 

Robert Young Jr., San Juan: The Chinese have a proverb, “Xue wu zhi jing (No end to learning)”. There is no end or boundary to learning. There is always something new to learn. There are so many things to learn especially from the Internet. You can get answers to almost anything, from the latest findings on diseases, their cures, to who are winning the World Cup in South Africa. People should emulate ‘Lola Filomena’, who realized that it’s never too late to start learning. Like the saying, it’s better to ask and be a fool for a moment than be a fool all your life by not asking. 

Germi Sison, Cabanatuan City: A sage once said, “Once a pupil, always a pupil.” The search for knowledge is a never-ending process in life. Many intellectuals, with doctorate degrees, are still searching for knowledge that would answer the many questions that puzzle them. The case of ‘Lola Filomena’ sounds too late as she is only in sophomore high school but the search for knowledge has no timetable unless she is aspiring for employment. 

It would keep the elderly productive

Dennis Montealto, Mandaluyong City: We’d have more of our elderly spending precious time in school rather than waiting for their bugle call from angels above. That would keep their minds busy and productive rather than suffer in senility. 

We’ll make it to the Guinness Book

Eufrocino Linsangan, Isabela: I think we’ll make it to the Guinness Book of World Records as a nation with the most number of aging high school students. I’m just wondering, at that age, can they still graduate from high school? 

Leonard Villa, Batac City: That would be great and one for the Guinness Book of World Records. Age doesn’t matter for anyone who wants to avail of a formal education. 

Her passion for education is admirable

Lucas Banzon Madamba, USA: The reality of ‘Lola Filomena’, the 72 year-old high school sophomore, is an indication of the drive of the person towards her desire for education as well as her quest for knowledge which she can eventually make use of sometime in the future. 

Louella Brown, Baguio City: We should have more of the likes of Lola Filomena in our midst. At the age of 72, her passion for education is admirable. Indeed, education is life. 

We should start early

Rey Ibalan, Antipolo City: Encouragement to study should be at early age. If we have more 72-year-old students, then it’s best that we have special schools for them. 

Pedro Alagano Sr., Vigan City; Others might follow the likes of ‘Lola Filomena’. In this free country, one can chart his or her own destiny. 

Views expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The STAR. The STAR does not knowingly publish false information and may not be held liable for the views of readers exercising their right to free expression. The publication also reserves the right to edit contributions to this section as it sees fit.


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