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Dubbed ‘Salot ng Lipunan’ for Being Gay, This Champion Shares Inspiring Graduation Story

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:

Academics

  • Dean’s Lister
  • Montagne Scholar
  • Socio-Cultural Scholar
  • Pama Scholar

Leadership

  • 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.

Socio Cultural

  • 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

Pageants

  • 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) 👑

Inspiring

Student Shares How Terminally Mom Saved Money for His Review Center Payment

A student shares how his terminally mom saved money for his review center payment. He lost her a year before he enrolls at the review center but has surely made her proud after he passed several college entrance exams and received scholarship offers!

Review for CETs

Review centers are not just for those who wish to pass the Civil Service Exams or the board exams in various professions but also for other types of tests. For example, there are also dedicated review centers for those who wish to seek help for college entrance tests (CETs).

While it is not required, of course, going to a review center can give exam takers a big boost as they are provided with lessons that might potentially be included in exams given by various universities and colleges.

With that in mind, Cristina Eugenio saved money to ensure that her son, Christopher Eugenio, can have enough funds to go to a review center after his graduation from senior high school. Terminally ill, Cristina was not sure how long she had left, but knew that she could help prepare for her son’s future by making him enroll at a review center.

Christopher lost his mother last year. But this young man made sure to follow her wishes. He enrolled at a review center and managed to pass the entrance exams at several universities. Surely, his mother would be proud of his achievements!

Photo credit: Christopher Eugenio / Twitter

This young man was able to pass the CETs at Saint Louis University in Baguio City, the University of the Philippines, and the University of Santo Tomas. He even got a really high score and ranked among the Top 10 exam placers at Saint Louis University; thus, he was offered full scholarship.

He also passed the rigorous tests to become a DOST scholar! Wow!

Ma! 😭 Iskolar na ako ng bayan ❤💚,” he wrote in a heartbreaking tweet…

What is DOST Scholarship?

This scholarship is funded by the Philippine government through the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Qualifiers may pursue a four- or five-year college degree in priority science and technology fields and will be provided with tuition subsidy, monthly stipend, book allowance, and other allowances. Application for DOST scholarship is open to students in the STEM strand but non-STEM students may also apply provided they belong to the top 5% of their graduating class.

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Inspiring

Ready for Online Class? Vendor Mom Buys Cellphone So Son Can Attend Online School

They’re ready for online class! A vendor mom buys a cellphone so her son can attend online school. The touching moment she gives him the phone and they check out its features has become viral, with netizens praising this mom for doing what she could so her son could still go to school.

Online School

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Department of Education (DepEd) is pushing for online classes. This led to many parents worried as they could not afford to buy gadgets for their kids. Others could buy gadgets but unsure whether they could sustain paying for monthly internet connection.

ready for online class
Photo credit: Mico Tan / News5 – Facebook

There are also many who are unsure how the kids can learn, especially because they are busy at work and can’t monitor their children’s lessons.

But one supportive mom recently went viral after buying a cellphone so her son can attend online school. The sweet moment was captured on camera by Mico Tan who was touched by the wonderful smile of this mother who is so happy that her son can finally attend school even amid the pandemic.

ready for online class
Photo credit: Mico Tan / News5 – Facebook

Ready for online class na siya hehehe. A mother’s love,” Tan captured the photo.

Tan also revealed that the mother is a vendor at the public market. Despite not having a lot of money, she bought her son a cellphone because that’s what kids need these days to attend online school because face-to-face learning is still not possible due to the COVID-19 crisis.

He took the photos outside a mall in Mandaluyong as the mother happily watches her son using his cellphone for the first time.

ready for online class
Photo credit: Mico Tan / News5 – Facebook

Nakakaantig ganyan ang nanay gagawin lahat para sa anak,god bless you nanay at sa anak sana makatapos ka at matulungan mo din nanay mo balang araw 💓,” a netizen wrote.

Are Gadgets Needed for School?

Although many first thought that gadgets like cellphones and laptops are needed for the blended online learning plan, the DepEd announced that they will be providing students with printed learning materials. However, having a gadget will certainly be an advantage, particularly because the children can have access to DepEd Commons, a repository of online learning materials from the Education department.

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Kid Who Can’t Even Afford Shoes, Grows Up to Become NCAA Season 95 MVP

A kid who can’t even afford shoes, grows up to become the NCAA Season 95 Most Valuable Player (MVP)! And he admits to not even liking basketball as a kid!

Photo credit: Pinoy Liga

Becoming a Basketball Star

Sharing his story on Facebook page “Im a Baller”, San Beda University’s forward Calvin Oftana wowed netizens as he narrated the challenging road he took before becoming a basketball star.

With Calvin earning the distinction as the Most Valuable Player award for the NCAA Season 95, everyone assumed that he breathed basketball even before he learned to walk! That’s how so many athletes began, anyway.

But Calvin admits that basketball was the last thing on his mind while growing up.

Back in his hometown in Siaton, Negros Oriental, he represented Bonbonon Elementary School in Track and Field, winning the 100-meter dash at the District Meet back in Grade 5. His school adviser urged him to play basketball because his height is a great advantage.

Photo credit: Pinoy Liga / Facebook

He began playing basketball and later became part of the town’s Siaton Basketball Team. They finished fourth after playing against many teams all over the province of Negros Oriental. But he didn’t think much about it. He didn’t really like basketball, anyway.

In high school, he left basketball to focus on volleyball. He and his friends would even make letters to ask permission so they could borrow a ball to play with.

One day, he and his friends thought about making a makeshift basketball ring using steel bar and a water hose. His love for the basketball anime series ‘Slam Dunk’ plus the makeshift basketball ring would soon help him develop an interest in the sport.

He began watching YouTube tutorials and videos about playing basketball. He began joining games for ‘Liga ng Barangay’.

That time may mga league na sa town namin which is naglalaro ako both senior and junior. Sa junior team namin sobrang saya na nakakapagod dahil we need to solicit pa para magkauniform. 😅 Naghahakut kami ng buhangin para lang sa jersey. Haha yun yung dko makakalimutan sa mga tropa ko,” Calvin shared.

Pinapahiram pa ako ng sapatos ng isa kung teammate dahil wala akong masuot that time thanks to you HARDISK ANQUE at hindi ko pa nabalik sapatos nya ay nasira na 😅Shoutout sa BONBONON KUROKU BASKETBALL hahaha.

He was picked to join the team that represented Negros Oriental in the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVRAA) meet. Although the team didn’t win, he got the attention of Asian College head coach, Michael Villahermosa. He was offered full college scholarship. He studied for 2 years at Asian College before his journey led him to San Beda College.

Photo credit: Im a Baller / Facebook

For someone from the province, it was a huge challenge for Calvin to adjust with his life in the big city. But he found a father figure in Coach Boyet Fernandez. His teammates would also become good friends.

For NCAA Season 95, the team failed to win the championship trophy but Calvin went home as the season’s MVP!

Getting the MVP award is Nothing to Me, oo REWARD sya sa pagpunta ko ng maaga sa court, pag eextra work, pero that MVP award is NOTHING WITHOUT MY TEAMMATES and my COACHES. They work so hard para makuha ko yun at nagpapasalamat ako sa kanila talaga. Ang GOAL talaga namin noon is to WIN THAT TITLE,” Calvin explained.

Just like other athletes, he hopes to play pro. And that might be within his reach soon…

What’s the NCAA?

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is an athletics association of ten colleges and universities in the Philippines. It is not affiliated with the NCAA of the US but is often the place for scouts to find players for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), the Philippines’ professional basketball league.

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