Despite the odds, the triumph; Dr. Jonathan Glorial: THE GLORY OF OVERCOMING


By Phyllis Claire Zarriz, Orlando M. Gamilla Jr.

His last name somehow predicted that in this lifetime, he will end up triumphant and “glorious”.

“Someday I will buy those luxurious clothes and eat sumptuous meals,” he mumbled even when in his hunger, he watched his classmates eat their lunch with gusto. Dismissing all other thoughts, he then opened his algebra book and focused on studying the equations for a quiz. As he immersed himself in studying hard, he vowed that someday, he will triumph over life’s difficulties.

The first rung

Dr. Jonathan C. Glorial aka “Atan” grew up in an impoverished community in Ungka in Iloilo City’s Jaro District. At the early age of 9 years old, he experienced the hardships of poverty.

“My mother was a plain housewife and my father was a fisherman. Things were hard especially in terms of finances. It even came to the point that I had to work odd jobs like selling ice candy, doing maintenance work in a nearby cemetery and even be a trisikad driver just to help out in the finances of the family,” recalls Dr. Glorial, a Math professor at the College of Education.

When he was studying, he worked his fingers to the bone just to survive. Being the breadwinner of a family of nine and being the fourth of seven children, the challenge revolved between balancing academics and finding the means to add to his family’s finances but this did not stop him from persevering with his goal of lifting the status of his family. Later on, he helped his siblings go to school and become professionals as well.

“What is worth learning is worth working hard for. Don’t let frustrations get the best of you — persevere, ask for help, keep trying,” says Dr. Glorial who graduated one of the Most Outstanding Student Teachers with a degree in Bachelor of Elementary Education with specialization in Mathematics from the COE in 1993.

From being an impoverished child, Dr. Glorial now enjoys the fruits of his labors, turning his failures into success as he is now the Director of the West Visayas State University (WVSU) Alumni Affairs and Center Coordinator of Mathematics Teachers Guild Philippines for 25 years. He also owns two tutorial centers and is soon to open a Potato Corner franchise here in Iloilo City.

“After working really hard, I can say I have already achieved a lot being not only an educator but an entrepreneur as well. I will never forget my father’s advice which is to keep both my feet on the ground. Be willing to keep on learning, maintain a positive attitude, a helpful disposition, and a willingness to try new experiences,” he adds.

The cycle of struggles and triumphs does not end with Dr. Glorial as stories of the new breed of Glorials now unfold…


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