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Student Sells Puto-Kutsinta to Send Himself to School, Now a Teacher

Born in a family so poor that his mother had once thought of giving them away to give them a chance of having a better life, Benjie Liloc of Balingoan, Misamis Oriental would become an inspiration to others by working hard to send himself to school and becoming successful in life.

I grew up from a broken family and raised by my mother whose income was only enough for us to eat. Lisod kaayo ang among kinabuhi. (Life was very difficult.) Every day was a survival of the fittest,” Benjie shared.

It almost reached to the point when our mother thought of giving us away, but her love for us prevented her from doing so.

Knowing that his mother was having a very difficult time providing for the family, Benjie helped out by selling puto-kutsinta and other native food across town.

Photo credit: Steph Berganio / Sun Star Cagayan de Oro

But there were times when sales are very low because people just aren’t buying at all. On those days, Benjie found himself crying, yet he continued to find motivation to use these difficult times to set his eyes on his goal.

Benjie, you cannot live your lifetime like this, take a rest but do not stop. Get up and keep moving on,” he told himself.

After graduating from high school, he went to the Misamis Oriental Institute of Science and Technology in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, after receiving a scholarship. Unfortunately, the person who promised the scholarship didn’t pay his tuition fees and he was forced to stop school.

Disheartened, the young man had to stop for a year but went back to school, once again selling puto and kutsinta to support himself. He also searched for scholarships until he qualified for “Iskolar ko Ni Bambi” (IKNB), a scholarship funded by Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano.

Photo credit: YouTube / Benjie Liloc

Thanks to the scholarship and his hard work in supporting himself, Benjie graduated from college and is now a teacher at St. Marys Academy of Talisayan.

I graduated from college. I landed to a noblest job which is teaching, and passed the licensure examination for teachers,” he shared.

There is no shortcut to success. In order to be successful, do not underestimate the power of prayer. Just take a rest, but do not stop. Listen to yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Plant your seed and have a sweet harvest of tomorrow.


Photo credit: YouTube / Benjie Liloc

What a wonderful inspiration!

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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