70-year-old lola graduates from college

And it wasn’t easy with classmates who bullied her

This lola is living proof that you’re never too old to learn new things. Marina Loloy, at 70 years old, graduated with a BS Hotel and Restaurant Management degree from West Visayas State University-Calinog campus earlier this year, just in time before the lockdown happened. 

Twenty-eight-year-old May Joy “MJ” L. Fernandez, posted in her personal Facebook account the latest graduation pictures of her student Marina. “It is her greatest dream to graduate from college,” shared MJ on how Marina finished both elementary and high school levels through the Alternative Learning System (ALS) that was offered by Calinog Elementary School. 

“It wasn’t easy, but she was able to catch up with her classmates despite the age difference. So many passed judgements about her. Some even underestimated her because she was old, but nanay is always eager to learn. Nanay Marina is also very diligent in her class,” adds MJ about the elderly student who was, coincidentally, her former student for subjects Tourism 1 and 2. 

MJ also shared that her lola went to school every day, and had her fair share of challenges. “She was bullied before for wearing the school uniform, but I encouraged her to wear it. Even if she was older than most of us, she observed the rules of the campus. She served as a model and inspiration to a lot of people,” says the MJ. 

Friendly and nice, MJ recounts how Nanay Marina was concerned about one of her classmates who was going through tough times. “I was their class adviser at that time, and I asked the students if they wanted to go with me to visit the said classmate. She was the one who volunteered to join us.”

NEVER TOO OLD (from left to right): her daughter Leonor Loloy, Nanay Marina Loloy, Angelica Mandate (who assisted in the photoshoot), and teacher MJ

MJ, who wanted to document this amazing feat with pictures, decided to mount a photoshoot for Marina. “We shot the graduation pictures in my house and observed physical distancing," she beams. "We wanted to give her a chance to have her own graduation pictorial.”

What’s in store for Nanay Marina? MJ says that she plans to have her own business or work for any company who wishes to hire her.