Blaine Davy Matugol graduated from college at the age of 66 and wants to continue studying

General Santos City (MindaNews / July 31) – 43third General Santos of Mindanao State University’s July 14 preliminary exercise marked important milestones in the university’s history: a return after a two-year in-person ceremony for a total of 3,505 graduates from the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022; receiving his third summa cum laude; and 66-year-old Barangay Kagwads graduate of Swadeshi Blans, the oldest graduate of the Class of 2022.

Berry P. Lauron, summa cum laude and top of her class, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with an overwhelming GPA of 1.16. She is the third summa cum laude graduate of the university after Josh Elisa P. Octura, a BS in animal sciences in 2008, and Lemuel Benedict Nonn, BS in biology in 2003.

MSU-GenSan has six colleges and one School of Graduate Studies.

Lauron Bach represents Hiara’s best and brightest, while Dewey Matugol, 66, affectionately called “Tataye (Father) Davy” by his classmates and professors, is a testament to his enduring spirit.

Davy Matugol, 66 (center), Glen, a Blain from Sarangani, is among 3,505 students who graduated from Mindanao State University in General Santos City on July 14, 2022. Matugol graduated AB in Political Science and is the oldest graduate of the Class of 2022. Photo from Davy Matugol’s FB page

Davy Matugol was born on September 6, 1956 and is a member of the Blain Lumads (Indigenous Peoples) of Batutuling, Glen, Sarangani Province (Glan was formerly part of South Cotabato).

The oldest of eight years, he completed primary school at Big Margus Elementary School and secondary education at Big Margus Barangay High School in Glen Padidoo Annex B in 1979.

During his formative and secondary school years, Tata Dewey helped ease his parents’ financial burden by raising a family of ten by selling fruits and vegetables grown in their backyard. He brings guava, onion, dalnaghita (oranges,And avocados and sell them to their teachers and anyone who wants to buy them.

Every school day, Tata Dewey walked nine miles from his home in Battuling to Big Margus to attend classes and sell his farm produce. On his way home after school, he took coconut seedlings that he had received from his Blain uncles and planted them over the weekend on land his father inherited from his ancestors.

About 1,500 coconut palms that Tata Dewey planted in the 1970s are now bearing fruit and generating income for his family. His farm of about 20 hectares is soon to become a more youthful coconut producer. The skilled farmer also grew a variety of grains and agricultural crops that helped support his family.

First attempt at college education

After graduating from high school, Tata Dewey was sent by her family to Kabakan in northern Cotabato at the age of 30 to study a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in 1986. After two years in the BA English program, he returned to Glenn at the age of 59 due to the untimely death of his father.

The Chancellor’s death forced him to drop out of USM school to take care of his mother and seven siblings. As the eldest son, Tata Davy fathered his younger brothers and sisters by taking over the farm bequeathed by their late father. As head of the family, he toiled on their ancestral land and made sure he could meet the needs of his family. Today, Tata Dewey is still a generous brother to his siblings and uncle to his nieces and nephews, many of whom were able to attend college thanks to his unwavering financial support.

Tata Dewey is also a respected politician in Butuling. He entered politics in 2010 and was elected a member of Barangay Parishad. Kagwad Matugol serves his barangay three times in a row. He remembers meeting the late Chancellor Dr. Ansari asked P. Ali as a favor in order for him to agree to forgo his classes during the regular Barangay Battuling Legislative Council meeting, which is scheduled for the first or second Friday of the month. , He is serving his final term as Barangay Kagwad (Counsellor).

Throughout his political career, Tata Dewey has consistently advocated for government to make education a priority for development. His bachelor thesis was on the role of the Barangay regime in promoting local development and improving people’s well-being.

The Senior High School Graduation’s Journey to MSU

Although Tata Dewey attended USM for two years, he was not directly eligible to pursue a college degree when the Kto12 education policy went into effect in the Philippines.

Unconcerned, he enrolled in 11th grade in 2016 when the first senior high school opened at Leonard Young Senior National High School in Glen. In 2018 he was one of the first high school graduates in the country.

According to him, despite his advanced age, he was confident in pursuing and finishing 11th and 12th grades. Tata Dewey was 62 when he graduated from high school.

While celebrating her high school graduation at a restaurant in Barangay Margas, Tata Dewey met two MSU Jensen professors – Jerry Della Cruz, director of admissions, and Richard R. Pernia.

Della Cruz was the keynote speaker at a junior high school in Margas, while Pernía José Abad Santos stops by after delivering his keynote speech at a graduation ceremony in Davao Occidental.

Both professors were fascinated by this senior high school graduate. So he encouraged Tata Dewey to get accepted into MSU General Santos. At the age of 62, he passed the entrance and scholarship exams at an exam center in the city of Malapatan in Sarangani. Unfortunately, he got a score of 50, which was below the minimum score of 75. He said Admissions Director Dela Cruz told him he was not eligible to directly enroll in courses at the university, not because of his low score, but since he is a member. From Blanes, he was eligible to be admitted through MSU’s Cultural Bound Program (CBP).

As a CBP student, he completed 45 days of remedial classes in the summer of 2018. Later, the Institute for Political Science accepted him as a regular freshman. In the BA Political Science program, Dewey was treated as “Tate” by his classmates.

Student life and health secrets

Like a typical college student, Tata Dewey spent his college years attending classes and engaging in normal student activities. Like his classmates, he was spotted on campus in the MSU athletic uniform during his freshman and sophomore years. As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the Philippines, leading to a nationwide lockdown and forcing the university to adopt online classes, Tata Dewey stayed in Battuling and continued taking online classes despite his advanced age.

Steady Mind: Blaine Davy Matugol graduated from college at the age of 66 and wants to continue studying
Davy Matugol is taking online classes with a smartphone in November 2021. Photo from his fb page

Leveraging newer learning methods, Tata Dewey bought a new smartphone and prepaid WiFi router to connect with his classmates for classes conducted through Zoom or Google Classes. Like his fellow students, Tata Dewey completed four semesters at MSU through online courses.

Tatati Davy was able to get a college scholarship from the Higher Education Commission, which gave him a stipend of 20,000 pesos per semester or 4,000 pesos per month. While at MSU General Santos, his scholarship helped cover the cost of meals and transportation. In addition to his scholarship, he receives a fee of 6,000 pesos in the form of Barangay Kagwad in Batutuling. According to him, a good part of his monthly stipend and fee goes towards educating his nieces and nephews.

Despite his age, Tata Davy is healthy and energetic, has no degenerative diseases, and his health secrets are a combination of a healthy lifestyle and a simple diet. He works out every day and prefers to walk rather than ride a motorcycle. He is proud to say that he is still very capable of climbing mountains without getting tired. He attributes his healthy health to a diet high in vegetables and less meat. Another interesting health secret he shared is a special type of concoction he drinks when he’s in his community.

Tata Dewi does not take any synthetic vitamins. Instead, they believe their strength and power was enhanced by an esoteric Blain brew made by boiling the bark of a certain tree. Kayo Linti, which the tribe claims has many strong ethnographic characteristics. According to Tata, he takes Kayo Linti Juice day and night whenever he is buttulling.

What will happen next?

After graduating on July 14, Tata Dewe was determined to learn and continue her education. He wants to enroll in the master’s program in public administration at MSU’s School of Graduate Studies and says that after completing his degree, he will pursue a Juris Doctorate in the university’s College of Law.

Steady Mind: Blaine Davy Matugol graduated from college at the age of 66 and wants to continue studying
Davy Matugol, AB Political Science, Class 2022, Mindanao State University-General Santos, with the author Dr. Jovani Esperos, Chair and Professor of the University’s Faculty of Political Science. photo dr Espesor. decency

Tata Dewey’s story is proof that MSU gene Santos is fulfilling his cause of survival and enabling fundamental changes in the lives of the Moro and Indigenous peoples of the southern Philippines.

Tata Dewey’s graduation is also proof that age is no barrier to graduating from a prestigious college, so long as there is an enduring spirit and an unwavering determination to reach the pinnacle of success.

(Dr. Jovani C. Espeshore is Director of Research and Chair of the Department of Political Science at MSU-Jensen. He thanks Jesibel L. Manasang, Associate of the Vice Chancellor’s Office of Research and Advice at MSU-Jensen. -Jensen in his interview for transcription) .

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