One day in his almost entire adult life driving a jeepney, Catalino Paglinawan Jr., father of four grown children, was offered an opportunity of a lifetime while refueling at a Shell gas station. He was informed that as a loyal member of Shell's Pepeng Pasada Club, he or one of his dependents could apply for a scholarship under the Unlad sa Pasada programme.
First-born son Joebrix recalls the moment his dad came home: "He told me about this opportunity and I was thrilled that I could be in school once again."
Although he dreamed of becoming an electrical engineer, Joebrix knew that a college education was beyond his family's means. He took on odd jobs and handed money to his mother whenever he could -- difficulties that made the scholarship opportunity a treasured privilege.
Joebrix chose electrical and welding as his course and passed the qualifying exams. After some time, he received news from Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. (PSFI) project officer Marifel Somera that he could participate in the Leadership Enhancement and Attitude Development (LEAD) Workshop, where participants are taught the proper mindset to become productive and responsible individuals.
"LEAD was inspiring. It taught me how to dream big again." he shared.
In March 2013, Joebrix began his six-month course at the Keppel Subic Shipyard Training Centre. On graduation day, his efforts were rewarded with an Academic Excellence Award, his first time ever to receive a medal in school.
After graduating with flying colors, the scholar of Unlad sa Pasada was hired to work on the offshore platform for Malampaya 3. He recently signed on for a second contract cycle and is now in a better position to determine his own destination while helping his family with living expenses.
Shell continues to help in nation-building by powering communities in a sustainable manner. Aside from diversifying the country's energy mix by delivering cleaner-burning natural gas and smarter products for clean and fuel efficient transport, and producing smarter infrastructure, the company addresses social concerns by helping improve the lives of public transport drivers and their dependents through capacity-building programmes like the nationwide Unlad sa Pasada initiative for Pepeng Pasada active members.
"Thank you, Papa. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have come to Keppel to start building a future for myself," Joebrix said of his journey. He is also grateful to Shell, PSFI, and Keppel Subic Shipyard for "giving young people like me opportunities to better themselves."