Nothing could deter one determined student in Quezon, Philippines, from excelling in studies, not to mention even an approaching typhoon. His zeal to continue studying even during this dire situation has touched the hearts of many.

On Sept. 13, 2018, at around 7:30 p.m., Mark Pee Ortil Pornasdoro, a teacher from Malusak National High School in Atimonan, returned to school in order to inspect the classroom ahead of Typhoon Ompong.

Classes had been suspended due to the “approaching typhoon” that was slamming into the Philippines. However, much to his surprise, he saw his student Jeric Reyes bowing down, conscientiously working, to complete his homework in the classroom.

Why did Reyes stay back in the classroom to finish his homework after school hours?

According to Pornasdoro, he was completing a school assignment that was initially due at 5 p.m. a day before but was postponed to the next day as classes were suspended.

Touched by Reyes’s commitment, despite all the difficulties, Pornasdoro shared a photo of the boy completing his homework in the classroom on a Facebook post, while writing in Filipino, “He also said that he would eat later. As if the pain of hunger was his friend. As if he had to get used to the pain of suffering,” Coconuts Manila translated.

“He just lives here in Barangay (Village) Malusak. No electricity, only uses a gas lamp.”

“People shouldn’t let go of this source of light. Even if it gets late, even if he gets hungry. [He stays] just to study, just to learn. It’s noble,” he further continued.

Seeing hardworking students like Reyes gives teachers like Pornasdoro the reason to continue their profession in the education field in spite of all the hardships that come along with it.

“Makes me cry, but my soul is smiling. There is hope,” Pornasdoro concluded.


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