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CHARLENE FRANCO: A Winner Takes All



By Li Eron
Ontario-Canada
September 3, 2016

 
 


The sanctity of marriage and the sacredness of ones family is a unique Filipino heritage. We all make immeasurable sacrifices for our families. It is an invisible chord that binds the father to his child and of a mother. Some lost their fathers in tragic circumstances. Charlene lost hers to another woman.
Overseas deployment wreck families. The children are the collateral damage of that thing called "poverty" where one has to leave in order to provide so that their children do not suck on their thumbs at meal time. This brings me to that time when I left and I was seated at the airport waiting to board my plane and here beside me was a mother leaving behind her barely 2 months old baby. That scene of which I can see the face of a mother holding the baby in her arm for some stolen moments before departure was immortalized in my brain. That pang of separation that seemed to consume a mother's heart was the most heartbreaking of everything I have seen in my life. Some goodbyes are truly painful. Poverty, according to Charlene Franco, forces her father to go abroad. It could have been a chance to live a life where comforts are the tokens of being away had she not lost her father forever. Being young, stuff like this is hugely insurmountable. Losing someone, because in life and in any relationship, be it paternal or not, distance wrecks havoc to many emotions.

Charlene, is definitely not immune to pain as her father builds another family in the Middle East especially when she agreed to follow his wishes on what career to take; to become an Engineer. As a student in full Scholarship at Technological Institute of the Philippines, one can imagine the devastation of losing the strength and strong willed father. Charlene lost her balance at this point in her life becoming a mother at 17. We all make mistakes. We all are allowed to crawl on the ground. But it is that moment when after the rain and storms, you are able to get up and face another dawn in your life. Something that Filcore's Miss Caregiver 2016 Candidate # 4 did in her life. Many lost their footing when something like this comes into their lives. But Charlene may not have known it, that she does have one of her father's character traits; strong will. Miss Caregiver 2016 2nd Runner Up, Charlene Franco, will not be on stage to declare a new found empowerment had she  not learned something in the past. Intelligent women, like Charlene, basically knows how to get up and walked the stage in life without a wobble. Pains gave us strength. Who would know that the winner who took home four awards on a Beauty Competition at the 2016 Miss Caregiver Pageant for a cause had a difficult past? No one but herself, because then she knows that in front of her, is a world she needs to conquer. Charlene Franco from Cavite, Philippines who graduated with a degree on Secondary Education at St. Dominic College of Asia is now standing tall and proud. This winner, literally, takes all. From being Miss Popularity (On an online voting) chosen as Miss Photogenic and then Miss Compassionate and coveted the 2nd Runner Up Title is something few contestants achieved. Wearing a wedding gown during the Gown competition, she painstakingly created it in between her jobs. It's made of bio-degradable plastics but you can't hardly tell as she glided on stage like all of them who made their gowns from scratch and showcased their talents. Didn't someone dreamed of wearing a gown like Charlene for her wedding? I think I heard it.

Taking home more than one award, it's a conquest most women like Charlene are deprived of. Currently, Charlene has completed her Personal Support Worker Program and is aiming at becoming a full-pledge Social Worker. I guess there are many aspects in life that switches our focus for the love of self and the motivation to help others. But most of all...true inspiration belongs to the one that made her see the rainbows in the horizon; her son. ​Success is climbing the life with many detours. What matter is how we reach the top. The past will then becomes a blur because for Charlene and her son, the future is blinding. And here's why she needs to wear dark glasses to the future. Charlene's exemplary academic achievements;: ​ Dean’s Lister, semesters 1 and 2, Academic Year 2009-2010 Dean’s Lister, semesters 1 and 2, Academic Year 2010-2011 Founder’s Full Scholarship Award Academic Quiz Bee 2010 2nd Place Poetry Reading 2010 2nd Place Poetry Writing 2011 2nd Place Best Thesis in Education Award (Metacognitive Awareness and Reading Proficiency) Best Student Teacher Award Doesn't this winner takes all?

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