“Success comes to those who try.” This quote best describes the boss of Peak Excellence Training Academy and Review Center… Marivic Yamit Tabasan. Blessed with almost everything in life; a successful business, a happy marriage, and a loving family. But lots of people do not really know the obstacles that she went through before she had attained her status today.
Born in the 17th day of September, 1973, this martial law baby is the eldest of the six. When I asked her to describe her childhood, she immediately replied, “very tough and full of challenges.” Ma’am Avic, as I call her, had to help her mother look for money at a very young age. In order for them to survive, she had to sell plastic bags at Cogon Market together with her brother Bobong. She went through the pains, so painful that she would rather not dig into it anymore.
Poverty did not stop Ma’am Avic from realizing her dreams. She still went to school and at the same time became a working student. But despite that, she was a consistent honor student at Bulua Elementary School, graduated high school at Liceo de Cagayan with honorable mention and special awards namely Best Orator and Best Debater. “Magpa honor ko every March kay that is the only time na maka new ko dress ug shoes,” she said.
After high school, she worked as a cashier at Dunkin Donuts. And she also went through summer jobs at Wacky Garments as a saleslady. Because God gave her the talent to dance, she maximized that gift and became a dance instructor. Her earnings sustained her daily expenses during her college years. She even applied for scholarship so that she would have discounts in her tuition fee. “From first year to fourth year, promissory note ko sa TF.” With her hard work and determination, she finished two college degrees with flying colors. First, she finished Midwifery at Liceo de Cagayan and then Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Cagayan Capitol College, presently known as Capitol University.
As a registered nurse, Ma’am Avic worked at Northern Mindanao Medical Center, then at Sabal Hospital. Without her knowing, the owner of a review center where she reviewed for Nurse Licensure Exam already noticed her potential. As a reviewee, she was very active and was unafraid to ask questions to the lecturers. Her guts impressed the owner and offered her to manage their Cagayan de Oro branch. Ma’am Avic resigned at Sabal Hospital and embraced the opportunity. Eventually, she became the franchise owner in Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, and Iloilo.
Some good things never last. On 2010, she decided to let go of her franchise and started her own, Peak Excellence Training Academy and Review Center. As a new player, it was really difficult for her to compete with those who have already established their names. A lot of people whom she thought her friends left her. Life was so cruel then. But she succeeded. Never did she think of quitting. “I dont entertain of quitting. I’m a risk taker. Basig lisod na kaayo, go pa rin.” Even though having a business is not an easy task but Ma’am Avic finds it very fulfilling especially when her reviewees pass the exam and get good rating. She also gets the chance to help her family and relatives who are in need of money.
Aside from being a review director, Ma’am Avic is blessed with so many achievements. She was elected by the Philippine Nurses Association as PRO last 2010, vice president for program and development in 2011, and president in 2012. She was also one of the ten outstanding recipients of Capitol University’s Madam Laurena Rosales Award 2011. So far, she is the only one from the field of nursing that got this prestigious award. But when I asked her what is her greatest achievement, here is what she said. “My family are all intact. I have a loving,understanding, and responsible husband. And I have healthy and wonderful kids.” Her husband may not be her ideal man and it was not love at first sight but according to her, “God gave me for not what I want but for what I need.” That is how she describes Sir Ogie Tabasan, also a registered nurse.
Salon, spa, shopping, and travelling… Ma’am Avic already had all the comforts that life can offer. She was already so contented with her life in the Philippines until Sir Ogie was granted an immigrant visa by the United States of America. As a wife, she has to be with Sir Ogie at all times that is why she packed her stuffs and left for America. Life’s transition from Philippines to the US was another challenge for Ma’am Avic. “Life is full of challenges. Anad na pud ko ana, Mike. I have to sacrifice in order [sic]one to be happy. Isa ra nawala, ang comfort lang. No yaya or driver, diri imo tanan pero anad na pod ko ana Mike. For the family kakayanin ko. My family is my first priority now.”
On a lighter note, I asked her on certain trivial things. Her best friend is Kling Kling Awa. Her greatest inspiration is her family and children. Tinolang bisaya na manok is her all time favorite food. She has diamond jewelries as her most treasured and expensive material wealth. Her greatest fear is to go through financial difficulties again. And her ultimate dream is to have her own agency that would deploy nurses specifically Kagayanons abroad.
Now based in New York, Ma’am Avic still continues to give hope to those who aspire to become registered nurses and teachers through her Peak Excellence Training Academy and Review Center which is located at Julio Pacana Street, Cagayan de Oro City (former NSO building) and in Butuan City which are now managed by her siblings. Ma’am Avic is also waiting for the approval of her post graduate studies scholarship in the U.S.
Whenever life gets tough again, Ma’am Avic just look back. “I just think of my childhood, na wala ra naka tupong ni sa kalisod. I just smile then I’m okay.” That is Madam Marivic Yamit Tabasan, the name that made thousands of registered nurses in Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, Iloilo, and its respective neighboring provinces. An iron lady… PROUDLY KAGAYANON.