MANILA, Philippines — When the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world in 2020, students were among those who needed to face a new reality. Suddenly, they needed to be equipped for online learning, as well as cope with the various adjustments that this shift entailed.
But even prior to this, countless Filipino students have already faced challenges in pursuing their education. It’s inspiring how, at a young age, many of them have demonstrated the tibay to beat the odds, which is essential to changing the course of their lives.
‘Lagi raw mananalo, basta lumaban ng may puso.’
One such student is Myco Jayran Sembrano, an 12-year-old student from Negros Occidental. On the outside, he looks lean and meek, but in fact, he is a student leader with several academic honors from La Carlota North Elementary School.
Myco has also shown mental fortitude in the face of discrimination from his peers, as he grew up in a non-traditional family.
“(Bata) pa lang ako, ramdam ko na na kakaiba ‘yung pamilya namin. Inampon kasi ako ni Mommy Randy. ‘Di kami magkaanu-ano, pero pinalaki niya ako na parang tunay na anak. At kahit dadalawa lang kami, maswerte ako dahil may mommy at daddy ako sa kanya,” Myco says.
He adds that Mommy Randy wholeheartedly loves him and reminds him to be brave and strong in the face of challenges.
This story of strength, resilience and tibay has won for Myco a spot among the BEAR BRAND® Batang Matibay Awardees.
‘Pinalaki ako sa tibay at pagsisikapan kong magtagumpay.’
Pauline Padilla, 12, from Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro is also a Batang Matibay Awardee.
She lives with her grandparents and looks after her two younger siblings, whom she says are her source of strength. Indeed, Pauline is a tough kid who had to walk an average of 5 kilometers everyday—in mountainous terrain and across rivers—just to get to school, pre-pandemic.
“Buti mana ako kina lolo’t lola, masisipag at maabilidad. Bagay na gusto ko ring tularan ng mga kapatid ko kasi kami-kami na lang e,” she says.
At Morente Elementary School, she is known to tutor her classmates, in line with her dream of becoming a teacher one day. “Pinalaki ako sa tibay at pagsisikapan kong magtagumpay rin ang mga batang tuturuan ko balang araw,” she hopes.
Championing the education of Filipino children
Through the years, BEAR BRAND® Fortified has helped provide children with the proper nutrition they need to grow up equipped with tibay for life.
BEAR BRAND® Fortified also champions the education of Filipino schoolchildren, which is why in partnership with the Department of Education, the brand annually recognizes 10 public elementary school students like Myco and Pauline through the Batang Matibay Awards.
Winners receive a plaque of recognition for themselves and the schools they represent, a cash prize and a gift pack from BEAR BRAND® Fortified. Most importantly, awardees like Myco and Pauline now have better chances for a better life with the college scholarship grants provided by BEAR BRAND®.
BEAR BRAND® encourages and supports moms in raising a generation of Filipino children with the tibay to pursue their dreams and change the course of their lives.
To know more about BEAR BRAND® Batang Matibay Awards, visit https://www.bearbrand.com.ph/aming-advocacies/batang-matibay-awards.
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com