Blind at 3, a teacher and on TV at 32
Oliver was born in the small town of Pilar, Sorsogon, Philippines, on June 3, 1989. When he was very young, he suffered an infection in both eyes. Unfortunately, because of the family’s poverty he did not visit a doctor, resulting in the permanent loss of his sight.
Discrimination and oppression
As he was growing up, he suffered discrimination and oppression - even from his family. At first they didn't support him. Two people from his elementary years even argued with his sister just to encourage Oliver in his studies. When he was at his lowest point in life, God sent him a catechist who helped open his mind to positivity and to keep moving on. God sent angels in the form of strangers who helped him push forward in achieving his goals. Faith and prayers were all he had to hold on to.
In high school, he received a BELIEVE scholarship
Armed with courage and determination, he continued on to high school where he received a scholarship from BELIEVE International in 2011 and was mainstreamed (attended regular classes with sighted students). He is shown here as he began attending Jose Panganiban National High School.
Oliver listened attentively to the teachers, and a classmate or a friend would lend him a hand in writing his answers during examinations. Although few people helped him with his schoolwork, he finished high school after much struggle.
A BELIEVE college scholarship
When he began college, one of his teachers helped him apply for a government scholarship in addition to his BELIEVE scholarship. Still it didn't suffice his college needs, so a few individuals kept helping him. To help with his expenses, he would search in garbage containers in every corner of the street for empty bottles to recycle. He did this because he wanted to prove that his incapacity would not keep him from achieving his goals and he didn't want to be a burden to his sister's family.
He was lucky that he had a sister near the town proper where he was studying. With his strong will, he could travel alone even in far places to attend training. To succeed, he used the same strategy he had used in high school. His seatmates helped him do the hand work while his mind was working. During exams his seatmate partner was the one who wrote his answers. When a friend of his got tired and gave up on helping him cope with his everyday life, he continued alone.
This photo shows Oliver receiving his BELIEVE scholarship funds for his final semester of college from his BELIEVE area coordinator (on the right).
In 2019 Oliver graduated from college
Oliver finished his 4-year course in Education and graduated from college in 2019, but due to the pandemic the licensure examination for teachers was not offered for two more years.
It's amazing that he was able to take the exam. He insisted many times just to be included in the 3rd batch of examinees, sending his name to be included in the examination through email to the Philippine Regulatory Board. Because of his persistence, the officer in the commission finally included him on the 3rd batch of examinees.
Taking the licensure exam
Finally, in March 2022, he was able to take the exam. He traveled alone to the examination place, 6 to 7 hours away from where he lived in Jose Panganiban. There were 2 proctors. One seated beside him wrote his answers, while the other read the questions. The exam lasted from 8am until 1pm. He was successful!
He passed the exam and became a celebrity
At the age of 32, Oliver F. Mojar passed the one-time licensure examination for teachers, becoming only the second blind person in Camarines Norte province to achieve that honor. Because of his unique achievement, Oliver has had many speaking engagements and interviews, including this interview (in Tagalog) that appeared on GMA Regional television May 6, 2022.
This is a photo of the crew filming the TV clip.
Oliver thanks God, who helped him through the adversity in his life
Oliver believes God has been with him throughout his journey. He expresses appreciation for all those who helped him on his journey. When asked about his plan now that he has passed the licensure exam, he said he wants to serve as a teacher in Jose Panganiban, his hometown.
Update: in September 2022, Oliver was hired as a teacher in Jose Panganiban Elementary School, fulfilling his dream.