We don’t usually see people as they try repeatedly to climb the ladder and all the times they’ve been set back, told to get off or even fallen down on their own.

We don’t see their frustration, we don’t see their struggle, we don’t see their rejection letters or the tears streaming down their face on the days they feel like they’ve failed and aren’t good enough.

This is true in the life Juan B. Planas- a former trainee of TESDA-ISAT. Before enrolling at TESDA, Juan promises his family to become a successful engineer to give them the life they deserve. Being aware that his parents could not sustain his studies in college because of their status in life, he strongly believes that his interest to enroll in techvoc would be a better path and a practical decision for him to have a better life in the future.

Just like any other individual fighting for his dreams, he experienced a lot of ups and downs. But instead of living his life in vain, he repeatedly climbed up his ladder even if he was told to get off or even fall down on his own. Juan never took ‘no’ for an answer, he kept on pushing forward when the world was telling him to quit.

After finishing Automotive, he continued his training at TESDA and enrolled in hard trade courses. One of his former trainers, now the Acting Vocational School Superintendent of ISAT, insisted to pay all his school fees and in exchange Juan did his best in different skills competition.

After finishing his course at TESDA, he was again encouraged to enroll BSIE, in other words, to become a teacher. Juan thought it was a good idea; an easy way to fulfill his promise to his family. But things just won’t work out for him. After finishing a degree, he wasn’t able to pass their board exam. Most people quit when their dream is taking too long to accomplish but not Juan. He went to Manila and work in a company where he was given the chance to practice his learning at TESDA. After years of trying to climb his ladder, Juan finally made it to the top and became the CEO of his own company.

The short film entry titled, #AngPagbabalik is inspired by his story. A story of a man’s return to his alma matter, his dream maker, his home.


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