MANILA - Imagine this: You just gambled much of your life savings to book a flight to New York and audition for the school of your dreams, and you get accepted.
Now, you only need about a month to come up with more than a million pesos or it will all be in vain.
This is the dilemma of award-winning Filipina theater actress Regina De Vera, who has been accepted to New York's famous Juilliard School.
The Ateneo de Manila University graduate was chosen from a pool of nearly 2,000 applicants to become one of the 18 students admitted to the school's Masters of Fine Arts in Acting program.
Juilliard has awarded De Vera with a scholarship amounting to around P1.1 million, but according to her, she will need a total of P2.7 million for her first year alone.
She will also need to come up with P1.5 million on or before June 15 to qualify for a student visa.
The actual bill for the first semester is due on August 10, she adds.
De Vera has started an online campaign, setting up her own page on crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
"This opportunity comes rarely in the lifetime of an artist especially for someone born and raised in the Philippines," she wrote. "I am determined to pursue this path and hopefully make my country proud."
As of writing, De Vera has raised nearly P300,000. It is P900,000 short of her minimum goal.