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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.

Inspiring

Couple Inspires with Savings from Ukay-Ukay and Other Businesses

How much were you able to save up, especially during the pandemic? Most of us would say “not much” or even “none”, but a couple managed to save Php154,000 from doing various businesses in 10 months. Impressive, huh?

Couple Ipon Challenge Goes Viral

Almost everyone agrees that it’s really so difficult to save money, especially because there are a lot of things that we need to pay for, plenty of bills to pay, and other needs or even wants that we spend our earnings on.

But couple Chi Kai and Jazzely Ebarom impressed netizens after they saved a lot of money despite the pandemic.

Photo credit: Chi Kai

In her inspiring post on Facebook, Chi Kai wrote that she and her partner managed to save Php154,000 from doing various businesses: selling ukay-ukay, top-grade bags, beauty products, and just about anything they could think of.

According to Chi Kai, she’s sharing this post to inspire other people to do the same, not to brag about what they were able to achieve. She added that their story can inspire others to try their best and work hard to achieve their dreams.

She also said that she’s lucky to have a partner who inspires her to work harder and also motivates her to save money.

So, how was she able to save so much money? Chi Kai said that instead of spending her earnings on luxury stuff and things that she didn’t need, she would save a portion every week. She folds the money and places it inside their shared piggy bank.

Photo credit: Chi Kai

The couple was quite surprised to see that they were able to save that much money in a small piggy bank.

While many netizens pointed out that folding the money isn’t a good idea because it could damage the paper, more were inspired about the fact that she managed to save up.

Improper Handling of Money

Saving money is great but it’s important to keep the bills from getting damaged. The penalty for “willful defacement, mutilation, tearing, burning or destruction of Philippine banknotes and coins” is a fine of not more than PHP20,000.00 and/or imprisonment of not more than five years, depending on the gravity of the offense.

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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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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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