Have you read the book “The Power of Simplicity” by Jack Trout? One of his quotes is “Keep it simple and good things will happen.” True indeed especially so for Lea, an NCean and a simple Lagonoyan who emerged 4th placer in the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) last September. Proudly, she is the only placer in Bicol for Secondary Education.
Some members of the NCF community have already anticipated this good news, yet as simple and humble Lea is, she kept everything tacit and was even unmoved when one of her friends called her up to congratulate her on one of the biggest feat of her life. The only time she accepted the fact of her being indeed a topnotcher was when her Ate Irene confirmed everything… and the rest, as they say, is history.
Maria Cecelia Arel Rodriguez is born third in a simple family in Lagonoy, Camarines Sur. Her father died while she was only one month old; hence her mother, Francia Rodriguez, had difficulty making ends meet for all her children.
So when a scholarship opportunity came at her alumni high school, she grabbed the chance hopeful to fulfill her dream of being a respectable lawyer someday. Her alumni high school had a program, which involved their alumni providing scholarships to deserving students. Luckily, she was considered and ‘taken in’ by Irene F. Acantilado, an alumna of her high school and head cashier of the Naga College Foundation, as her own scholar.
The Acantilados – her Kuya Mike and Ate Irene fondly call her Lea and have always been there to support, protect and act as second parents to her. She remembers her Kuya Mike exerting efforts to coach her in complicated subjects consequently acting as her mentor throughout her college life. Lea made Education her pre-law course; not knowing that she would eventually fall in-love towards ‘teaching’.
Now, a topnotcher in her own righ, in a profession she learned to enjoy, Lea plans to take-up a master’s degree also in Naga College Foundation to further enhance her career.
Lea, who will be celebrating her birthday on Nov. 27, considers this huge blessing an early birthday and Christmas presents rolled into one from God. With the entire buzz of her new found fame, Lea still keeps it simple. She is still her old self – a wide reader, a movie enthusiast and a simple NCean — who is now an inspiration to the many students of the Liberal Arts Department and especially so to those humble students who dream of making it big someday.