Former Star Magic Filipino coach graduates after 18 years

July 31, 2023 - 5:05 PM
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UP Diliman-oct-2017
Quezon Hall in the University of the Philippines-Diliman in this photo posted by the campus on its Facebook page on Oct. 25, 2017 (OfficialUPDiliman/Facebook)

A Filipino language coach who worked for ABS-CBN’s Star Magic finally received her college diploma after 18 years.

Freelance teacher Helweena Sadorra wore her “Sablay” and officially graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philippine Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman on Sunday, July 30 after initially enrolling in 2001.

UP Diliman held its 124th 112th General Commencement Exercises on Sunday, where a record-breaking 305 students graduated summa cum laude (“with greatest honors”).

The 40-year-old “iska” mentioned Miss Universe Catriona Gray, her fiance actor-singer Sam Milby, and actor-host Edward Barber in her lengthy graduation post on Facebook, where she thanked a multitude of people who helped her in her journey.

“Salamat din sa mga naging estudyante kong nagpaunlak ng interview para sa thesis: Edward Barber, Sam Milby at Catriona Gray, pati na sa aking boss, Direk Rahyan Carlos at sa dating head ng Star Magic na si Mr M.,” Helweena wrote.

“Thank you din sa lahat ng students ko na naghintay sa akin hanggang makabalik mula sa pag-pause ng pagtuturo habang nagti-thesis,” she added.

Helweena also mentioned other people who would always recommend her when they needed a coach in the Filipino language.

“Ate Susan Carandang Lim Alcantara , ang ‘refuge’ ko sa DFPP at naging default ‘manager [or] handler’ dahil sa palaging pagbebenta sa pangalan ko sa tuwing may naghahanap ng tutor sa Filipino,” she wrote.

“Salamat sa pagtutulay kay Direk Rahyan Carlos ng Star Magic Workshops (missing my family there too)! Salamat din sa DFPP staff noon na ‘nag-alaga’ sa akin: Kuya Rolly, Kuya Boyet, Ate Marie, at Kuya Eric,” the fresh graduate added.

Her Facebook post garnered 17,000 likes and “love” reactions and over 3,300 shares on the platform.

Helweena added that her graduation picture was taken when she was either 21 or 22 years old.

According to ABS-CBN News, Helweena worked as a Filipino coach for Star Magic, working with personalities like Catriona, Sam, and Edward.

Her LinkedIn profile said she was a Filipino language instructor who had worked there since April 2016.

Catriona was born in Australia, while Sam was born in the United States. Edward, meanwhile, was born in Germany.

All of them have Filipino blood, but they are more fluent in English, having grown up overseas.

A language coach is someone who helps a language learner reach their goals through professional know-how and by supporting them on their journey to fluency.

Meanwhile, Helweena said it took her a while to attain a diploma because she took various jobs to support her siblings’ studies.

ABS-CBN News reported that she worked in UP, Star Magic, the British Council and the Korean Embassy.

Helweena said that balancing her studies and work was a daunting task, making her earn her degree at a later stage than her batchmates.

“Nahirapan talaga ako na matapos noong year na iyon [2004], noong nakuha iyong picture na iyan,” she said, referring to her graduation photo she posted online.

“Even if bumabalik ako ng university, ina-attempt ko siyang tapusin… Babalikan ko siya, pabalik-balik ako na nagsa-stop ako. Kasi feeling ko hindi na siya kaya talagang tapusin. Kasi laging pagod sa trabaho,” the fresh graduate added.

Helween said that finishing her college studies was important for her since she wanted to be a teacher, which required at least a college degree.

The UP graduate also said she wants to pursue graduate studies and a career in the academe.

Earlier this month, 18 graduates of a school in Davao Occidental were lauded for pursuing and finishing their kindergarten studies despite their age.

RELATED: ‘Very inspiring’: 18 adults finish kindergarten in Davao Occidental