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‘Batang sementeryo’ Rises Up From Difficult Childhood To Become a SWAT Member

A former “batang sementeryo” or a child who grew up in a public cemetery is now a proud member of the Special Weapons Action Team (SWAT) of the Manila Police District.

Screengrab: Rated Korina via YouTube

Growing up in poverty shouldn’t define your future. That’s the message Antonio “Yong” Borlongan wanted to share. Growing up in a difficult childhood, it didn’t stop him from reaching his goal to be a police officer.

Looking back, Yong shared that his grandfather was a “sepulturero”, or one who cleans and paints graves. He was born to a single mom, so Yong grew up in the care of his lolo and lola.

Life was difficult and he had to help his grandfather working in the cemetery. They didn’t have enough food to eat. There were times they would eat rice with salt as a meal. Because he was scruffy and worked in the cemetery, Yong was often bullied as a child.

Despite his hard life, Yong held onto his dream eventhough it seemed impossible at that time. He shared on Rated Korina, “Bilang isang bata, nagkaroon po ako ng pangarap sa buhay.Nakita ko po ang aking mga magulang, nakita ang aking lolo kung gaano po kahirap.”

Image by Yong Borlongan via Facebook

When he finished high school, Yong didn’t expect that they could afford sending him to college. But his mother was determined to work hard for his dreams. Yong took the course Criminology at Philippine College of Health Sciences Inc.

He rewarded his mother’s hardwork with perseverance in school. Yong said, “Bilang estudyante, susuklian ko ng kasipagan. Kahit hindi matalino ang aking isipan, basta pasok lang nang pasok, makakapasa…”

In 2016, he graduated and passed the board exam.

Despite his success, Yong still lives in the cemetery with his mother. His grandparents already passed away. He said he has no plans of leaving because the cemetery is where his heart is.

“Dahil andito po ang aking comfort zone. Dito po ako masaya. Andito po ang buhay ko. Walang sasaya pa sa lugar na ito.”

He said he also wanted to inspire other “batang sementeryo” that there is hope for a better life. Despite their hardships, they too can achieve their dreams.

“Paglabas ko ng bahay tinatawag nila akong Idol Yong. Boss Yong, Sir Yong. Nakakataba po ng puso yung ganoon.”

According to Yong, he strives to be a good role model and to be good at his profession. He said, “Sinisikap na maging isang mabuting pulis. Kaya nakakaiyak dahil sa tuwa. Walang mapaglagyan ng tuwa.”


Elementary Students Praised for Playing “One Day” Using Ukuleles

Elementary students at a school in Mindanao earned praise online after playing “One Day” using their ukuleles for a presentation.

Many netizens were impressed about their skills, with some commenting that it’s a difficult piece to play on a ukulele, yet most of them nailed it! Wow.

Elementary Students Play “One Day” Using Their Ukuleles

A lot of people these days have this mistaken notion that kids are only fond of using cellphones and no longer enjoy playing with traditional toys or learning how to use a traditional musical instrument – because you can find lots of options for those online or with their phones.

But a group of students from Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School impressed netizens with their skills in playing the ukulele as they presented “One Day” for the school’s 100-year celebration.

Seated on the steps of their school, the kids played the musical instruments seamlessly, except for a few issues.

Photo credit: Kung Taga-Oroquieta City Ka

And while some netizens pointed out that one of the kids appear to be struggling with the proper chords and kept shifting around during the entire performance, the overall presentation is still quite impressive!

Many netizens even commented on the post of the Facebook page “Kung Taga-Oroquieta City Ka” that they were deeply touched by the kids’ presentation and were crying while watching. Awww.

A lot also praised the coaches who made this possible – and others felt proud of the children even if they had no idea who these little ones are.

It’s also quite impressive to see that the class had so many ukuleles. It is unknown whether the kids own the musical instruments or if the school provided them, but what’s clear is that their presentation is truly admirable.

What’s a Ukulele?

A ukulele is a type of string musical instrument that’s smaller than a guitar. It usually has nylon strings as opposed to the metal used in standard guitars.

The instrument also has four strings but isn’t considered a “kid’s instrument” only. Instead, it can be played by kids and adults alike.

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Proud Vendor Dad Offers Free Taho after Daughter Passes Board Exams for Teachers

One proud vendor dad offered free taho for everyone when his daughter passed the LET (Licensure Examination for Teachers).

Netizens were even more impressed to learn that the young lady passed after doing a self-review.

Truly amazing, right?

Vendor Offers Free Taho after Daughter Passes Teacher’s Board

Passing the board exams is truly a milestone that everyone can be proud of – and most of the time, the parents are their children’s proudest cheerleaders!

Of course, spouses and kids also feel the same thing. For example, a taxi driver offered free rides after his wife passed the LET.

Photo credit: Rose Torallo

The proud parents of a student who passed that same LET are also offering free taho to their customers.

Bobby and Rose Torallo happily got a tarpaulin up to celebrate the success of their daughter, Rosebel Cielo Torallo. The young woman had graduated cum laude from Baao Community College in Baao, Camarines Sur.

Photo credit: Rose Torallo
Photo credit: Rose Torallo

Apparently, based on her mom’s post on Facebook, she had also self-reviewed for the licensure exams – and this made her success even sweeter for the family.

In the post of her mom, Rose, it showed that the family’s main source of income is from selling taho. It was through this that the parents were able to send their kids to school.

Photo credit: Rose Torallo

Rose lamented that there were times when people looked down on their because they are “just” taho vendors.

Thankfully, the family didn’t mind what these people are saying. Instead, they persevered and put their faith in God.

She thanked all her kids for cooperating and striving hard to succeed in their studies even if their parents are only supporting them by selling taho.

Photo credit: Rose Torallo

How to Celebrate Passing the Board Exams

There are many ways to celebrate passing the board the exams. Some of these are:

  • Throwing a party
  • Buying cake
  • Going on a trip
  • Treating your family, friends, or even strangers to something (such as a free rides from taxi drivers or free taho from vendors)
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Jollibee Praised for Hiring PWD Crew (Communicates via Writing or Sign Language)

Jollibee recently earned praise for hiring a PWD crew who can only communicate via writing or sign language.

What’s great is that this isn’t the first time that the Pinoy fast food brand went viral for a similar thing.

Jollibee Goes Viral for Hiring PWD Crew

In the fast-paced world of a fast food restaurant, especially one as popular as Jollibee, the service crew is often busy.

Everyone needs to be ready to help out the customers and work hard to achieve the company’s goals of making them satisfied.

Photo credit: Mylene Manalo Consignado

Still, the fast food company is making waves online for hiring a crew member who can only communicate via writing or sign language.

Netizen Mylene Manalo Consignado shared that she was in tears upon seeing a young woman named Maria Celeste working at a Jollibee outlet.

Photo credit: Mylene Manalo Consignado

The young lady is in full Jollibee uniform but has a large nametag that also indicates she’s a PWD (person with disability).

The nametag isn’t there for shaming her situation but to warn the customers that she isn’t like the rest of the crew. They can only communicate with her through writing or sign language – and the communication is preferably in English.

Photo credit: Mylene Manalo Consignado
Photo credit: Mylene Manalo Consignado

The situation is heartwarming, especially because many business establishments aren’t likely to hire PWDs because of their limited abilities. Consider that Jollibee is a busy work place, it’s amazing that Maria Celeste got her chance to be part of the team.

Photo credit: Mylene Manalo Consignado

Amazingly, this isn’t a first for the company.

Some months ago, Jollibee was praised for hiring a tattooed guy – considering that people with tattoos are often judged for their inks, particularly in the workplace.

Where to Learn Sign Language

Sign language classes are often offered in special schools, such as those for children/people with disabilities.

You can also find online tutorials or classes.

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