By Juri Dagio | Staff Writer

Marissa Tabaldo is a 30-year-old Hospitality and Tourism major who is from Tuguegarao City, Cagayan in the Philippines. As a young woman, she began looking for better opportunities 12 years ago when she arrived on O’ahu.

Tabaldo will be graduating at KCC this semester after years of being a working student.

“I have a lot of personal plans besides finishing my A.S. [Associate in Science] degree,” she said during Thursday’s Grad Fest. “I figured as I grow older, it’s good enough that I have this degree with me.”

Currently, Tabaldo works in a restaurant on Kūhiō Avenue in the heart of Waikīkī.

“After this graduation, I’ll be just focusing on what job I have right now,” she said.

Although Tabaldo has already been accepted to University of Hawai’i in West O’ahu, she has decided not to transfer to a four-year university yet. She plans to enter the airline industry in the near future.

“I kind of want to travel,” Tabaldo said. “Even though you don’t have that much money, why not just travel while you can? Life is too short.”