Money makes the world go round—such is the saying that people nowadays live up to. After all, money does play a role in our everyday lives – from supplying our daily needs, to buying food for yourself or your friends, the list goes on. However, receiving money may be easy, but the work you must do to earn it is not.


For our two distinct yet similar agribusiness fellows, they know that the grind to earning such feats is no easy work in this money-making world.


This edition of #TatakViscan features the similarly intertwining lives of Jenbert Espinosa, a second-year Agribusiness major, and Dominic Cardines, a graduate of the aforementioned degree program, mirroring the hopes and dreams of one another as they narrate their path to success.


Jenbert Espinosa: An Industrious and Proud Mulberian at Heart

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Hailing from the beautiful lands of Jagna, Bohol, Jenbert Espinosa sailed the seas in order to reach his dream school, Visayas State University. At first, he was interested in learning about the university from his classmates. Yet, as he stepped foot at Leyte and found himself mesmerized by the sceneries and sights of the institution, he eventually realized that VSU would be his dream school


He was originally taking up Geodetic Engineering way back in 2019. However, when the pandemic happened, he unfortunately had to return to his hometown, putting a pause on his dreams. While mulling over his life during the pandemic, he realized how unhappy he was with his degree program. When VSU re-opened its doors in 2022, Jenbert immediately took the chance again, however, this time shifting to Agribusiness, an inner dream of his. He is currently in his second year of the said degree program.

Dominic Cardines: An Innovative and Impressive Boy-Next-Door

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Although his roots trace back to Tagbilaran, Bohol, Dominic Cardines lived nearly most of his life in Baybay City, Leyte. A VSUIHS alumna, he remembers all the ins and outs of living as a Viscan. The experience alone was fortified when he saw the rise of the family-owned Greenhouse, a top place for students to visit to eat meals. As the boy-next-door who was already immersed in the Viscan lifestyle, VSU became a clear choice for him in college.


Despite his protests of wanting to do business already at a young age, his family discouraged him, citing that earning a degree and a diploma would wager his success in the business world. There, he decided to take up Agribusiness, as it was the only business-related degree program offered at VSU-Main. With a nice twist to fate, Dominic graduated with flying colors last August 2023 as Cum Laude. On top of that, he earned his license during the 2023 Licensure for Agriculturists (LEA). As he lives his dream, working as a staff for a counselor in Baybay, the man continues to chase life’s opportunities.


Life as a University Student, Working and Working


Even before his academic break, Jenbert had been taking up various working opportunities to help sustain his needs. As life gets harder everyday, he resorts to being a working student, vying for any opportunity that is yet to come.

“I used to [do] massages. I also took jobs to clean instructors’ homes during weekends…I [also] resell products made by other students. Anything to at least earn something.” Jenbert expressed.

Currently, he earns from his small business venture of selling spicy peanuts. Together with a roommate who helped him in setting his capital, Jenbert would wake up early just to cook and pack the peanuts which he would be selling to students. He sometimes sells it, slung around his shoulders as he walks around campus and even in between his classes. Most of the time, he sells it online via Facebook. 


“I [usually] earn by bulk…for 5 kilos, for example, I earn 1,600 pesos…” Jenbert humbly revealed.


He had been garnering a little attention online already. With the help of his followers and friends, Jenbert is relieved to at least have more people know more about his business.


Meanwhile, Dominic wasn’t entirely a working student—however, he worked twice as hard as they others have. Apart from helping with his family as a server and cashier for Greenhouse, he found himself doing stock investments, earning little by little.


“Apart from that, a former department head [of CME] asked me to run as a first year representative. After that, the pandemic happened, and I was a second year representative. Then I became a vice president, an OIC-President…Eventually when I was in 4th Year, I became a CME President.” Dominic recounted.


However, these were entirely unplanned. These opportunities somehow slithered its way to him, even networking with him, and he went with the flow. The flow of business helped him in his ventures as a student leader, always aiming for the betterment, yet also having fun.


“It’s fun, I had so much fun learning. It’s one of the things I enjoyed when I was a student.” Dominic said.


On Passing Dreams, A Kismet Waiting


For Jenbert, his aspirations are not too big—he doesn’t wish to be rich, but instead: “I just want me and my family to not be too burdened with the cost of living.”


As the breadwinner of his family, alongside his mother, he wishes good fortune to fall to his family, as he is expected to do good in everything he does. And he believes in his abilities, as Jenbert has long wished to be a businessman, owning a business since he was a child. It was also something that the younger him wanted to do such as selling things to people.

“I hope in a few years, I can own a business.” Jenbert admitted. “Any business is fine; as long as I can get a brand.”


Jenbert may be having some trouble in terms of academics, juggling to earn and at the same time, be a good student on top of his extracurricular activities. Yet, Jenbert stands firm—that it was only a way for good fortune to come.


For Dominic, he didn’t have a clear aspiration, even after he finished his studies. However, on the day of his graduation, his uncle gave him a pass for a LEA review center back in Bohol. Graduates of Agribusiness are allowed to take the LEA, as they are credited with basic units of agriculture. Not wanting to waste his gift, Dominic took the challenge and accepted it.


“But it was so difficult and so different,” Dominic sighed, “[Everything] was new knowledge, because I didn’t know everything.”


There were new terminologies and knowledge that Dominic had to study, something that his degree program wasn’t able to cover. On the day of his examination, he had expected low turnout results due to its difficulty. However, his bearings bore fruit—he successfully passed the licensure examination.


“It opened doors of opportunity for me to go abroad, and I learned that I now have the power to help the farmers, too; execute policies that could be good to them, anything just to help them.” 


Dominic’s selfless wish for farmers made him realize that his aspirations are being slowly realized. He wishes that one day, he’d be able to apply as a city agriculturist, in order to help his dream of helping farmers come true. Apart from that, he noted that life is different, now that he has graduated. Although the workload is similar, like a student leader, he is ordered to do a good job, with his responsibilities upgraded. Yet, he doesn’t mind—in fact, he enjoys the thrill.


Inspirations that Strengthen the Grind


Both Jenbert and Dominic share the same inspiration—their own selves.


“I want to help myself,” Jenbert expressed, “I’m the only one who can help myself.”


“Maybe it’s myself, too,” Dominic acknowledged, “I want to keep building myself, to make my family proud.”


Although the two of them lead different lives, their tenacity in withstanding the turbulence and blockages in the road of development falters away—their strength in relying and seeing themselves as the primary driver in their pursuit of success. Perhaps they are like two mirrors—they may share a different face, a different name, a different life. But they share the same fate: grinding towards a better tomorrow, seeing themselves to being a better person, all for the ones they love.

A Hopeful Message for Himself


“Don’t worry, we can do it;” When asked for a message for his past self, Jenbert replied, “We’ll forget all these hardships. In the future, for sure, we’ll be [even more] successful. We should keep going, although success won’t come immediately, God knows where we are going next.”


While Dominic said, “Don’t lose trust [for yourself]. Who would have thought you’d lead 1,500 students as the President [of CME], while graduating with Latin Honors? We achieved such great heights. Even when everyone thinks that you won’t succeed, you’ll only lose if you stop believing in yourself…just don’t forget to never stop trusting yourself.”


Looking Forward to the Centennial Years


As a reflection of any Viscan, Jenbert sees himself in every Viscan, too. A Viscan is always hard working, even in everything they do.


Jenbert even wishes that VSU would implement more scholarship opportunities for working students like him, too. And he even wishes for VSU to continue prospering, even in the next years to come.


“I’ve always seen VSU as a community, a very diverse one. I knew how to approach people thanks to that.”


Dominic views the Viscan community as something diverse, full of people from different walks of life. For his reflection as a Viscan, this kind of community helped shape his identity and approach to people. In creating connections and bonds, it helped him open his eyes to reality. For VSU, he also wishes it to reach to even more places, to strengthen its alumni relations.


A Reflection of the VSU Core Values


In the business called life, these two fellows believe in the heavy message that VSU carries for its core values: Relevance, Integrity, Truth, and Excellence.


Although the world never stops, these gentlemen believe that chasing the highs and lows, much like the business in the real world, is a fun one. In this money-making world, one must learn to find the fun first, learning to accept themselves, before trusting the grind.



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