Beauty and brains: Makeup artist graduates magna cum laude

Joyce Clavecillas, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 31 2017 08:46 PM | Updated as of Apr 01 2017 08:52 AM

Marie Nabor. Handout photo

Banga, Aklan- It was a long, arduous road to a college degree for Mabini "Marie" Nabor. 

But the hardship was worth it, as Nabor, 45, graduated magna cum laude at the Aklan State University for her Bachelor of Science Education major in Social Studies program.


After graduating from high school, she worked as a hairdresser and makeup artist in Boracay. She then became an entertainer in Japan and opportunity-finder in Germany before embracing a major life decision: sex change.

Mabini Nabor soon became known as Marie Nabor and got engaged with a foreigner. The relationship however did not prosper.

Nabor returned to Boracay and continued her career as a makeup artist and hairdresser and managed some establishments in the island. But she soon fell into depression that led to substance abuse.

"I was bored, I was desperate for happiness. I was desperate for fulfillment," Nabor told ABS-CBN News. 

Marie Nabor. Handout photo

Nabor soon realized she wanted to go back to school. 

So when the opportunity to study came, Nabor, known as "Mabi" to her teachers, took learning seriously. She was even class president and project leader. 

"Kung gagraduate ako, 45 na. By that time I will have lesser opportunities because of my age. But if I do good, the opportunity will come. It's all about my security," she said.

Marie Nabor. Handout photo

Melyn Toledo, one of Nabor’s instructors, swore by Nabor's determination and intelligence while Prof. Eduardo Sumanga, Dean of the College of Teacher Education of Aklan State University was happy about Nabor’s recent feat.

“Yun talaga ang layunin ng State University na makatulong at kupkupin itong mga taong gustong makarating sa tugatog ng kanilang mga pangarap," Sumanga said.

Nabor was the sole magna cum laude in the College of Teacher Education.

Nabor said despite her age and life experiences, she was a testament that passion and determination can make one’s dreams come true. Nabor now looks forward to begin her work as a teacher.

"If I have to sacrifice something for the benefit of the young generation, I will do it by giving up myself," she said.