Monday, May 30, 2016

Badjao Girl Rita Gabiola Scores Photoshoot and Scholarship

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Dream comes true for a very special little 13 year old girl from Estancia, Iloilo who became social media's little darling. Sometimes dreams do come true. Online sensation Rita Gabiola, popularly known as "Badjao Girl," was treated to a makeover. This girl is a gem! She got really something special. Those eyes that need no explanations. It says everything. Beautiful in and out, and of substance, a rarity these days. From 0 to 10 real quick. That's what a 'good face' can do. 

She lands a scholarship from a sponsor, other promises of aid, and now check out her stunning photos below.

I hope help is provided, not only to Rita Gabiola, the Badjao girl who caught the attention of many because she's a beauty, but also to every native who wants to reach their dreams. As the song goes, "You know it's you babe..." When you photograph beauty today, it becomes a memorable past. Tomorrow's generations will be forever grateful of that ‪‎moment‬.

I'm happy for her. I could understand our fascination with aesthetics though I hope we can transcend that initial stage and seek meritorious system that will encourage the not-so-aesthetically gifted people to strive and be rewarded. I hope other Badjao children get the help they need through sustainable access to education and economic opportunities. May this media exposure help their tribes to have proper education, support, livelihood and other things that most of us have been experiencing.

Her only dream is to become a teacher someday and brings hope to the Badjao community and to help her family by getting viral through social media. There are always good things in store for all of us. We just don't know when they come. Just keep the faith for they will be provided in the most unexpected way.

The power of photography. There is always something great to be found from the least expected places. Thank you to the discerning person who first noticed her. Kudos to Topher Quinto Burgos, the person who took a picture of her that came viral in social media and now helping them a lot. Photographers should do a paid photo shoot for her. She deserves it.

The Badjaos are marginalized and commonly neglected. A typical situation among students in Mindanao is that many goes to school hungry, shortage of books in public schools, classrooms housing 60 plus students with 1 teacher per class, many end up to be street kids exploited like this young girl.

The Badjao Girl is more than a pretty face. She represents the plight of an entire tribe. So how about the other Badjaos who are not "beautiful" enough for the society's standards?

The doleful truth on how foolish this world is giving too much support and too much favor of those who have fascinating looks, while overlooking the interest of many with the same state. The captivating you are, the higher your chance to get notice and help. But the uncomely you are, people will treat you otherwise. Lending a hand with conditions sucks!

I want to see further how we change our perceptions, and thereon our actions, towards the Badjaos. Some of us even think they don't have surnames aside from not having decent place to dwell on.

I also want to see further, from now, how Rita changes not their lives only - but ours as well.

I want to see if Mayor Duterte will be an Abraham Lincoln, ending the cynical dogma that Badjaos are those who dive for pennies, knock on car windows and sling-carry a baby and beg.

Panhandling should stop and this could only be possible if politicians would also prioritize the welfare of all Filipinos including the Badjaos instead of focusing on things that would only benefit their own families and allies. The Badjaos need a great mind to be understood as a cultural minority and a big heart willing to address all the issues and concerns especially the challenges in the provision of their basic needs from education to health in order for them to thrive as 'decent' Filipinos. Please set aside self-interest this time!

I know majority would disagree on me with this, but portraying too much with the social media sensation 'Badjao Girl' and 'Carrot Man' is tantamount to commodification.

If we really want to help this young, innocent people to achieve their dreams, I think the right way is to demand the Government to uplift the lives of their family, their community - the marginalized people of society. Nothing more. Nothing less.
May the Duterte administration continue to actively address the identified problems that need immediate actions. I have faith in the new administration and I have been hopeful that Philippines can be better again.

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