Former Shell Service Champion Warry Bregente Marata still could not believe that he is now living his dream of becoming a school teacher, five years after being employed in a gasoline station and managing the demands of being a working student.
Looking back, however, Warry acknowledges that he could not have done it on his own.
Six years ago, the Marata family moved from Cebu to Bulacan in pursuit of a better life. But things did not turn out as planned and his parents said they could no longer afford to send him to school.
But Warry would not let any obstacles stop him from chasing after his dreams.
A consistent honor student, Warry was determined to continue working his way up through college, whatever it took.
At 18, he took on a job as a dishwasher and utility worker for a bus line in Bulacan until he stumbled upon a job vacancy for a gasoline attendant at a Shell station in San Jose, Bulacan. He took it as an opportunity to be able to help his family and continue his college education.
With support from his superiors and colleagues, Warry was given consideration so he can attend school in the morning and do his shifts in the evening.
“I had many sleepless nights, experienced a lot of discouragement and financial issues, but quitting was not an option,” Warry said.
He credits his faith, sheer determination, hard work, a lot of support from his family and friends and a constantly positive outlook as his fuel for success.
“Malayo ang mararating `pag nakangiti (A smile can get you a long way),” Warry says, citing this work principle that he learned from his time at Shell, and which he continues to live by now that he is a teacher.
“Sobrang laki ng pasalamat ko lalo na kay Ma’am Cynthia Teodoro, siya po yung dealer ng branch namin. Pinayagan at in-encourage niya ako na mag-aral kahit minsan late ako at inaantok sa trabaho (I am very thankful to our boss, Ma’am Cynthia Teodoro, dealer of this Shell branch that I worked for. I sometimes reported for work late and sleepy, but she understood my situation and encouraged me to finish college).
All his hard work finally paid off when he went up on stage to receive his diploma in Education from the Bulacan State University.
Instant Facebook Celebrity
Warry was overwhelmed with joy on his graduation that he posted on his Facebook account, TEACHER na ang GASOLINE BOY!, which chronicled his 5-year journey towards becoming a teacher.
The post instantly went viral, was shared 1,624 times, and received hundreds of congratulatory comments from online readers who were inspired by his story.
Today, Warry is referred to as “Sir Warry” by grade school students at the St. Ignatius School where he is teaching multiple subjects.
But Sir Warry’s dreams do not stop here, as he still intends to take up a Masteral course in the future.
“Malaki po ang ipinapasalamat ko na nakapagtrabahao ako sa Shell, binuksan po nila ang pagkakataon na makapag-kolehiyo ako at matupad ang pangarap ko na maging isang guro. Sa ngayon unti-unti ko na naiiayos ang pamilya ko. Ang dating gasoline boy ngayon isang guro na.” (I really feel grateful that I have worked for Shell, it opened doors of opportunities and the chance to fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher. I am glad that I have accepted the job from Shell, that gasoline boy is now an educator)” Warry ended.