Erwin Macua is all smiles during his graduation at the Saint Theresa's College in the Philippines. Image Credit: Facebook

For years, Erwin Macua juggled being a father of three, working full-time as a school security guard and studying to earn a college diploma.

Just this Saturday, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Elementary Education degree from the same school he has watched over for nearly two decades now. The story of the 38-year-old Filipino is proof that with determination and hard work, anything is possible.

“Age is not a hindrance, poverty is not a hindrance. Just pursue your dream with the formula: hard work plus determination plus prayer and you will reach your aspirations in life,” Macua told ABS-CBN.

Macua has been working as a security guard at Saint Theresa’s College (STC) in the Philippines for 16 years now.

Only four years ago, he enrolled in a college course to become a teacher. He used the money he had saved up during the first year in school and was eventually offered by a sponsor to become a scholar for the succeeding three years.

“He was genuinely determined to finish his course, so much so that he asked the management to let him work in the evening so he could attend classes during the day and still work full time at the same school,” a former STC teacher who knows Macua personally, told Gulf News.

So, for four years, Macua managed the demands of school, work and attending to the needs of his family. From 7pm to 7am, Macua, he manned the security post at the campus and during the day, he attended classes as early as 7:30am.

“He was not only focused on both his study and work, he was attentive to his family’s needs as well.  He’s such a good man through and through,” the source said.

Macua told ABS-CBN that he has always wanted to have a college degree, and that he’s attracted to the idea of working as a teacher, as he has a special fondness towards children.

“Education is a good course to deal with students and you can really change their lives,” he said.