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Japanese Guy Marries Badjao, Helps Provide Livelihood for Community

People from the Badjao tribe are often shunned by the public, mostly because of their penchant for begging in the streets of the big cities or asking for money while swimming in piers or ports at prime destinations across the Philippines.

But one Japanese guy sought to understand the Badjao culture in Cebu City – and he became their hero.

Photo credit: Koichi Kuwabara / Facebook

Meet Hiro, a Japanese guy who specifically traveled to the Philippines to live with the Badjao and understand their community, in hopes of finding answers to the many questions he had in mind about the ethnic tribe’s way of life.

Hiro discovered that the Badjao lived a better life several decades ago when fish was abundant in the seas. Fishing was their primary way of life, but as the waters became polluted, there was less fish to get near the shores.

Photo credit: Koichi Kuwabara / Facebook

Seeing that they can earn some money through begging, the Badjaos had a shift in their livelihood.

Saddened by what he learned, Hiro shared the story on his social media page where he received a lot of help from many Japanese who took pity on the Badjao. With money equivalent to about Php800,000, Hiro created jobs for Badjaos so they could earn money instead of begging.

Photo credit: Koichi Kuwabara / Facebook

He hired the Badjao to build a guest house for tourists.

Training them to deal with tourists, providing them with boats and other means of transport for their livelihood, the Badjao community is now thriving as tour guides for Japanese tourists instead of asking them for money!

Little by little, Hiro is changing this Badjao community to be self-reliant and becoming hard workers instead of depending on alms from other people to feed themselves. Hiro has become their real-life hero!

What’s sweet is that Hiro found the love of his life in a lovely Badjao girl he would soon marry. They now have a cute little kid – and together they are making a difference in their community.

Watch their story here:

Japanese man who got married with Badjao バジャウ族と結婚した日本人

【Japanese married to Badjao】Buckle up!His story is so inspiring on so many levels that it's gonna change your life.I hope you enjoy watching this video, like I enjoyed making it! Thank you Hiromu Matsuda!!If you wanna contact with him, here's his facebook link.https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003064773932「セブ島に来たら、彼と会わなければ!」それぐらい彼、松田大夢(ひろむ)くん(Hiromu Matsuda)は有名だ。「世界ナゼそこに?日本人」「グッと!地球便」などテレビ番組をはじめたくさんのメディアで露出がある。しかし!フィリピンの語学学校の先生に彼のことを話しても知っている人がいなかった。なぜなら、日本語で検索すれば彼の情報はすぐに出てくるが、英語では全くなかったからだ。ということでフィリピン人に彼のことを知ってもらうために、動画を英語で作りました。みなさんぜひ彼の活動のご支援お願いいたします!ヒロム基金はこちらからhttp://hiromumatsuda.hatenablog.com/entry/2016/02/23/144747**********************世界中で平和の種を植えるためにフリーハグをしています。よかったら 桑原功一 Koichi Kuwabara のFacebookをフォローしてね。Facebook▶︎ https://www.facebook.com/freehugs4peaceインスタやツイッターもよろしく!Instagram▶︎ https://www.instagram.com/freehugs4peaceTwitter ▶︎ https://twitter.com/freehugs4peace撮影機材リストスーパー万能コンデジ(ほぼこれだけで撮影している)https://amzn.to/2YGF83W一眼カメラ(フリーハグ撮影用) http://amzn.to/2twv4eKお気に入り広角レンズ http://amzn.to/2stuobmトライポッド http://amzn.to/2stlavRマイク http://amzn.to/2st959Vフリーハグ用遠隔マイク http://amzn.to/2st9OIb海外大活躍ドローン http://amzn.to/2twcFPb

Posted by Koichi Kuwabara 桑原功一 on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What are Badjao?

The Badjao are an ethnic group known as sea gypsies who were originally living in the vicinity if Sulu and Celebes Seas as well as other coastal areas in Mindanao.

Photo credit: Koichi Kuwabara / Facebook

Sadly, due to conflict in the area, many of them have migrated to other parts of the Philippines as well as to Malaysia and Indonesia.

Inspiring

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.

Photo credit: Arlene Eje Alex

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.

Photo credit: Arlene Eje Alex

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.

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Inspiring

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.

Photo credit: Patricia Tawat / Christian Baluyot – Inquirer

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.

Photo credit: Patricia Tawat / Christian Baluyot – Inquirer

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.

Photo credit: Patricia Tawat / Christian Baluyot – Inquirer

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
  • Humility
  • Self-awareness and self-focus
  • Professionalism
  • Empathy and kindness
  • Positive-thinker
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Inspiring

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.

Photo credit: GMA News

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.

Photo credit: GMA News

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!

Photo credit: GMA News

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.

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