Kwentong NCAF – Lady with Dreams


Lady with Dreams

ASA Philippines Area Administrator Lady Ann Lawaman, an NCA Leadership Journey Companion, recounts the story of her life so far: retracing the steps of her aspirations intertwined with her life’s purpose.

A First Dream Reached

Lady Ann begins by recalling that she was a typical High School student with two primary dreams – the first was to finish her studies aiming to land a decent job; and the second was to consequentially be able to provide for her family. As luck would have it, these dreams were given a nudge towards reality when, in October of 2007, her mother became a member nanay of the ASA Philippines Foundation. Satisfactory performance within the microfinance program of the foundation led Lady Ann to become one of its first scholarship grant beneficiaries in Mindanao. She remembers this with fondness, as manna from the heavens, as it eased the burden of financial constraints for school fees. The choice of taking a two-year course was made for practical reasons, and being a scholar served as an anchor to her motivation. Apart from the fact that high grades were required to maintain the grant, she was determined to see her hopes through. “The journey was tough, of course” she says, but by “entrusting everything to God, through the help of ASA” she triumphantly finished her studies.

Lady Ann Lamawan in her earlier years as a student
Lady Ann Lawaman in her earlier years as a student

Weaving Two Dreams into one thread

The providential role of ASA in Lady Ann’s life was emphasized when, upon graduation, she was employed by the Foundation as loan officer. Her dreams of finishing her studies and getting a job to provide for her family have come true. But Lady Ann’s story continued.


Mid-year of 2011, she was deployed in her first assigned area. While initially jarred by the condition of living so far from home, she remained untethered in her quest to enrich a professional life. “It was a roller coaster experience working with the foundation, but I discovered new talents,” she says. “With my scope of work, I also developed my interpersonal skills.” A new environment, away from her comfort zones allowed for her to uncover hidden strengths of conquering her fears and witnesses.


Dreaming Onward

The aspiration to be a degree holder never escaped the heart of Lady Ann. Even while working with a foundation as busy as ASA, the aim to pursue further studies remained even when it was hard to see how. “I felt it was close to hopeless and impossible with the workload we have,” she says. In her fifth year in service, she was introduced to a new program of the foundation. As though her prayers and hopes had been answered, ASA instituted a system that aims to assist staff who wish to return to the academe. Even then, Lady Ann felt hesitation. Comparing the pros and cons weighed her down. But the words of her supervisor- “Ituloy mong maging dahilan ang ASA para ikaw ay makapag-aral”- gave her the encouragement to grab the golden opportunity to study once more for a degree. 2018 was the year that saw her take up the pen and notebook once more: she enrolled in a Cebu City university and was transferred to an ASA branch near school. Bigger dreams proved to present bigger difficulties as well, since for the first time in her life, Lady Ann simultaneously took up the cudgels of employment and academic requirements. “My patience and willingness to succeed were tested,” she recalls with fervor. “Following the path to your goals is never easy, but I decided to look at it with optimism.” That optimism got her through numerous sleepless nights, terror weeks, and stress filled months.


Today, Lady Ann is proud to say that her penultimate dreams have, so far, all been reached. The High School student who first dared to hope now provides for a family and holds a full degree. But it seems Lady Ann has no plans to cease just yet. As those inspired often do, she mentions a favorite quote by her favorite author, Walter Elliot: “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”