Whether we like it or not, there exists a part of society that makes us judge others based on their appearance or their gender orientation or things that we believe make them different from us.
Recently, a young graduate shared his inspiring graduation story of how he struggled with hurtful words from people who judged him because he’s gay. Many called him ‘salot ng lipunan’ just because he was gay – and a lot believed a college degree is not appropriate for him because he’d most likely end up in a parlor, anyway!
Photo credit: Roniel D. Alupit (Savannah Gonzales) / Facebook
Roniel D. Alupit (Savannah Gonzales) lamented in a post on Facebook:
“Mahirap Ang maging bakla pero mas mahirap Ang baklang Walang pangarap!”
Student + Beauty Queen + Make up Artist + Performer + Leader + Dancer + Anak + Kapatid + BAKLA = Syntax Error 😕😞😵😢
Is this not enough?
He shared how he was condemned by society for being gay, angrily called a ‘bayot’ (gay) with the negative connotations that came with the word.
He was often told that gays have no place in heaven, that gays are really just looking for money so they can support their men or that he might not finish his studies because he will just look for guys, that he does not have a right to be gay because he has a big masculine body, and that he didn’t deserve to join in pageants because he’s fat.
Instead of letting these people bring him down, however, Savannah simply enjoyed being gay and found an ally in the school’s LGBT community.
“To my Beloved LGBT Community don’t let the barriers stop you, there is nothing wrong for being ambitious as long as it has a positive effect on you. Let the positivity spread not just in our community but to the whole universe we are the real Unicorns 🦄 that hold the the spirit of love, passion and dedication we are all queens keep the fire burning let’s us show to the world to the universe rather that we are confidently beautiful with a heart and we dont deserve to be rejected! Hail Queens 💕”
As he thanked the people who were instrumental in helping him find success in his studies, he also enumerated the many achievements and awards he garnered throughout the years. Yes, he might be bayot but this bayot has dreams and plans for the future – and he was able to achieve a lot in his college years despite a lot of people putting him down!
As Savannah graduates from Bachelor of Secondary Education, Major in Music Arts Physical Education and Health from Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, his story has also inspired many netizens.
Photo credit: Roniel D. Alupit (Savannah Gonzales) / Facebook
Here are his impressive achievements:
- Dean’s Lister
- Montagne Scholar
- Socio-Cultural Scholar
- Pama Scholar
- Physical Educators Guild of Gensan, President
- Young Educators Society, Member
- Young Educators Society, P.I.O
- PEHMA Society, 1st year Rep.
- PEHMA Society , Treasurer
- PEHMA Society , Member
- LikasTeatro, Member
- Sarimanok Dance Troupe , Vice-President
- Sarimanok Dance Troupe , Vice-President
- Sarimanok Dance Troupe , Member Confederation of Clubs, Socio-Cultural
- Colleges of Education, Treasure
- Colleges of Education, HIYAS HEAD
- Montagne Club, P.I.O
- Batch Hiraya Course Rep.
- Technolympics Awardee7
- Outstanding Member of the year
- Outstanding Performer of the year
- CHAMPION, Folk Dance, Intramurals 2016
- CHAMPION , Folk Dance, NDEA Meet 2016
- CHAMPION Folk Dance, Local Prisaa 2016
- CHAMPION, Folk Dance, Local Prisaa 2017
- CHAMPION, Karadyan, University Week 2017
- CHAMPION, Folk Dance, NDEA Meet
- CHAMPION, Folk Dance, Local Prisaa 2018
- CHAMPION, Kaadyan, University Week 2018
- CHAMPION, Folk Dance, Regional Prisaa CHAMPION, Folk Dance, Intramurals 2018
- CHAMPION, Barrio Fiesta, University Week
- 1st Runner Up Hiphop, CEHS Acquaintance
- 1ST Runner Up , Bario Fiesta, University Week
- 1st Runner Up, Campus Patrol, UWeek
- 1st Runner Up, Dance Sport, Intramurals
- 1st Runner Up , Comical Skit, Intramurals
- 1st Runner Up, Folk Dance, Regional Prisaa
- 1st Runner Up,.Folk Dance, Regional Prisaa
- 1st Runner Up Dance Sport, Malambuon Festival 2018
- 1st Runner Up, Mardigras, T’nalak Festival
- 1st Runner Up, Comical Skit, University Week 2019
- 2nd Runner Up, Make Up and Hairstyling, Division Technolympics 2014
- 2nd Runner Up Hiphop, Intramurals 2015
- 2nd Runner Up, Comical Skit, Intramurals
- 2nd Runner Up, Dance Sport, Intramurals
- 2nd Runner Up Karadyan, University Week
- Miss Gay Pyap 2016 👑
- Miss Gay Universe 2017 👑
- Miss Gay Q and A Palkan 2017 👑
- Miss Gay People’s Village 2018 (1st Runner Up)
- Miss Gay Sta. Cruz 2018 (2nd Runner Up)
- Super Sireyna Turismo 👑
- Miss Gay Landan 2018 (1st Runner Up)
- Miss Gay Kiamba 2018 (2nd Runner Up)
- Miss Gay Manatad 2018 👑
- Super Sireyna Kalikasan 👑
- Super Sireyna Townsite 2018 👑
- Miss Gay Fernandez 2018 👑
- Miss Gay Lebe Universe 2018 (1st Runner Up)
- Miss Gay Asuncion All-In 2018 (1st Runner Up)
- Hiyas Ng Balabat 2018 👑
- Miss Gay Universe 2018 (Quilantang) 👑
Badjao Girl Who Used to Dive for Coins at Pier, Now a Teacher and Master’s Degree Holder
A half-Badjao girl who used to dive for coins at the pier is celebrating her success now that she has become a teacher and a master’s degree holder. Who would have thought that she used to do that in her younger days, huh?
Badjao Girl Earns Master’s Degree
Life was difficult for half-Badjao Arlene Eje Alex while she was growing up. Despite being poor, her father refused to let her dive for coins at the pier or beg for money in the streets like other Badjao children.
But her father got sick while she was still young; so, she did those things so they can have some food. They lost their dad when she was just 12 years old.
“Eight years old po nag-start na akong manisid sa pier para lang po maka-survive sa araw-araw at may panustos sa pag-aaral,” she explained.
“Hindi ko naman po pinagsisihan kasi natuto po ako sa buhay na hindi ganoon kadali ang kumayod sa araw-araw sa murang kaisipan. Kailangan mong mabuhay, pero kailangan mong paghirapan.”
Life was difficult but she also knew that if she doesn’t go to school, she’d be stuck in the streets or the pier for the rest of her life. So, she found ways to send herself to school.
“Hindi pupuwede na hanggang dito na lang ako. Babalik na naman ako sa lansangan. Parang ang hirap mabuhay na nakadepende ako sa tao. Kaya kailangan kong mag-aral kahit hindi na ako makauwi, basta makatapos ako,” she said with determination.
Through hard work and determination, she was finally able to complete her degree in Education. But she didn’t stop there. She continued to work harder and study more – and has now become a Master’s degree holder.
“Ang dating maninisid ng barya sa pier noon, Master’s degree graduate na ngayon,” she proudly wrote in her graduation photos.
Why Badjaos Dive for Money in Pier
Badjaos live in the waters, originally in the Sulu Sea. But various problems forced many of them to travel to other places in the Philippines, diving the pier waters for coins that people toss.
It’s unknown how exactly this practice started but it’s common in many piers across the Philippines.
Badjaos are known to have the ability to hold their breath for minutes, making these dives particularly interesting.
Dad Who Returned Phone He Found in Jeep: “I Want to Be a Role Model for My Kids”
One dad who’s struggling financially and has a special-needs child didn’t feel tempted to keep or sell a phone he found in a jeep. He said that he immediately thought of his kids when he found the phone and wanted to do the right thing as a role model for his children!
Guy Goes Viral for Returning Phone He Found in Jeep
Some netizens argue that good deeds like returning money or a cellphone you found somewhere should not be something that should be in the news. After all, returning something you don’t own is one thing that people should do!
But with so many people taking advantage of others, and a lot of people losing valuable stuff and never getting them back, it’s really still impressive to hear stories of the honest ones who return items that aren’t theirs – especially valuables.
Christian Baluyot, 22, is a dad to two kids, one of whom is a special-needs 3-year-old child. Working as a merchandiser, Christian doesn’t earn much, but when he found a cellphone in a jeep, he wasn’t tempted to keep it.
Immediately after finding the phone (an iPhone), he made attempts to find the owner by posting about it on his Facebook account.
The owner, Patricia Tawat, didn’t see his post but was surprised when Christian answered the phone when she called it.
“‘Wag ka mag-alala, ate. Ibabalik ko po cellphone mo. Hindi ko po kayang gumawa ng masama,” the young man told her after picking up on the second ring.
Impressed, Patricia posted about the experience, praising Christian for being honest.
After the post went viral, Christian explained that he didn’t think it was a big deal and that he was only doing something that he thought was right. When he found the phone, his only thoughts were his children – and how he wants to be their role model.
“Ang turo po ng magulang ko sa’kin, kahit na po maghirap, basta ‘wag lang gumawa ng masama,” he explained. “Inisip ko po agad na may anak ako. Ayoko po kasi magaya anak ko sa masasamang tao.”
Inspired by this honest young man, Patricia wrote:
“Sa panahon ngayon, meron pa ring mga taong kahit hirap at gipit sa buhay, hindi pa rin sasagi sa isip nila gumawa ng masama mas pipiliin paring maging mabuti.
Saludo ako sa’yo kuya. Sobrang swerte ng mga anak mo sa’yo.”
Characteristics of a Role Model
The following are some characteristics of a role model:
- Honesty and integrity
- Self-awareness and self-focus
- Empathy and kindness
Teen Who Risked Life to Saved Drowning Dog from River Receives Scholarship, Other Rewards
He risked his life to save a dog from the river – and it wasn’t even theirs! For that, a teen received praise from netizens and got rewarded with a senior high school scholarship, smartphone, and groceries. Wow.
Teen Handsomely Rewarded After Saving a Drowning Dog
Margole Miko Ilagan recently shared a video of the heart-stopping rescue mission that a teen did at the river to save a drowning dog. Netizens were impressed that the teen, identified as Angelo Diolata Flores, risked his life to save the poor creature.
In the clip, Angelo could be seen rushing to the dog’s aid by swiftly moving towards the creature from the side of the sloping dike. It was a difficult feat because there was nothing much for him to hold on to, yet this young man did not mind.
It was also clear from the shouts of encouragement and warning from the people taking the video that the dog wasn’t even theirs. They warned him to be extra careful because the frightened dog might bite him.
But the dog must have sensed that this human wasn’t there to harm it but to save its life. It appears to be whimpering as Angelo tried to gain its trust.
Then, the young man had to face another challenge as he tried to bring the dog out of the river and up the dike. Thankfully, there was a wire he could hold on to in that part of the river. He used that to keep his balance as he pushed the dog up. The mission was a success!
For his heroic deed, Angelo was hailed as Animal Kingdom Foundation’s Young Hero. He also received scholarship for senior high school, smartphone, and grocery items from the Animal Kingdom Foundation.
Watch the video here:
What’s the Animal Kingdom Foundation?
Also known simply as the AFK, the Animal Kingdom Foundation is a non-profit animal welfare organization in the Philippines. The non-profit organization (NGO) is based in Tarlac and aims to improve the living and welfare conditions of animals.