Istorya: This cultural worker is preserving Filipino heritage through education

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 2, 2019   •   409

Entering Leo Emmanuel Castro’s room is like stepping into the National Museum, except that the ethnic musical instruments that adorn his space are not merely for display.

When Leo starts playing one of the instruments, its melody evokes visions of an ancient time defined by an indigenous Filipino culture untouched by Western influence.

Leo is a cultural worker and the executive director of Sanghabi.

Not only does Leo teach the Philippine ancient script, Baybayin, he also educates anyone who wants to learn about Filipino culture.

“Minsan ang ating kamalayan nagu-umpisa lang sa pagdating ng mga Kastila, nakakalimutan na mayroon tayong kasaysayan bago sila dumating,” he said.

Sometimes we think our history started when the Spaniards arrived, forgetting that we do have a history before they arrived)

Despite discouragement from other people, Leo continues his passion to preserve the Filipino culture and pass it on.

Leo reiterates the importance of knowing one’s heritage in seeking self-improvement.

“Paano ka ba naging Pilipino? Doon naka-base ang iyong pag-unlad bilang tao kung anoman iyong success na mararating mo. Ano ba iyong pinanghahawakan mo sa iyong sarili, sa kultura mo?” he said.

(How did you become a Filipino? Your journey to self-development and future success is based on understanding your heritage. What cultural values are you holding on to? )

Catch Leo’s full story at Istorya on November 2 at 5:00 p.m.

Istorya: Lola weaves paper dress for apo’s costume for school program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 22, 2019

A grandparent’s love are forehead kisses, freshly-washed blankets, and good food. It is rest after hours of playtime and the warmth inside a hot chocolate during a rainy day.

Lola Eva Duave is among the group of women who weaves paper in Smokey Mountain.

At first glance, one might think of her as a child. Lola Eva is too small for his age. Her back is also hunched and she has a missing toe.

But despite these things that she lacks, she is still full.

She is full of hope. Lola Eva said they could not afford a doctor to determine her condition and she doesn’t mind.

“Nabubuhay pa rin ako. Kahit ganito binibigyan pa rin ako ng Dios ng lakas ng katawan kahit maraming naranasan (I’m still alive. Even if I am like this, God has still given me the strength amid difficulties),” she said.

She is full of talent. Among the things Lola Eva is proud of is her work in weaving paper. She can weave bags among other things.

According to Lola Eva, most of her works are bought by foreigners.

She is full of love. Lola Eva still found the time to weave a dress made of paper when her granddaughter needed a costume and they didn’t have the money to buy one.

Catch the full story on Saturday, November 23 at 5:00 p.m. on Istorya.—AAC

Istorya: A PWD’s journey to the Paralympics

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 8, 2019

Joey Eriga De Leon readies himself. Using his feet, he lifts one of the balls and throws it as near as he can to the white ball on the ground.

The goal of Boccia is to have as many balls possible to the target ball.

Joey is rigorously training for the upcoming 2020 ASEAN Para Games where the Philippines is the host country.

Having been born with cerebral palsy it has always been rough roads and limited opportunities for Joey.

Luisa, his mother, recalled how she fought numerous battles for her son.

She didn’t know any special education (SPED) schools back then and they lacked the money to provide a more comfortable life for Joey.

His first wheelchair was made of wood which his father made for him. Because of his condition, Joey had trouble making friends, so Luisa would take his son to the mall.

But she did not stop paving a better road for her son. She smiles now as she remembers
the time when Joey was just joining the tryouts for Boccia.

“Sabi niya ‘Nay papasok ako dito. Maglalaro ako sa international tandaan mo iyan’ (He said, ‘Ma, I will qualify here and I will play internationally, remember that),” Luisa said.

Joey cannot control his hands but he doesn’t mind. He picks up another ball with his feet and throws it.

Despite the wheelchair, his movement embodies a true athlete—no more self-pity.

Ever since Joey was introduced to the Cerebral Palsy Association of the Philippines, he became more aware of his potential.

He gained friends, and even became a board member of the Cerebral Palsy Association of the Philippines, serving as their treasurer.

Joey continued paving the road started by his mother.

“Kapag mino-motivate ko siya, mino-motivate niya rin ako. Tulungan kaming dalawa, (When I motivate him, he motivates me back. We help each other),” Luisa said.

Watch their full story on Istorya on November 16 at 5:00 p.m.

Istorya: A superhero story of a boy who wants to save his dad

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 16, 2019

Unlike most of the kids his age, Lance Abarquez is not used to playing.

While 12-year-olds like him would run around or play ball, Lance would prefer selling tinapa or smoked fish.

At the tender age of 12, Lance is doing everything he can to succeed in life.

“Hindi po ako sanay maglaro po, iyong nanay ko po kasi mahirap din po (I was never used to playing because my mom was poor),” he said.

Lance started selling when he was eight years old. Similar to some superhero backstory, he never knew his biological parents. Instead, Lance was able to find a home with Soledad Reyes and Eduardo Abarquez.

Unfortunately, his foster mother, Soledad passed away while his father got diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Despite the struggles at an early age, Lance continues to face his everyday life with hope and perseverance—like most superheroes. He wakes up at 6:00 a.m. to study and will go home as late as 9:00 p.m. for selling smoked fish.

His superhero goal? Save up for college and to help his sick father.

Lance said he wanted to give back the love and support he received from his father.

“Masuklian ko siya sa pag-aalaga niya po sa akin dati (I want to repay him for taking care of me),” he said.

Lance recently went viral on social media after a netizen posted his story on Facebook.

Get to know more about Lance’s story on Istorya at 5:00 p.m., Saturday.—AAC

Daing Boy [PLUG]

Sumikat sa social media dahil sa sipag at husay sa pagtitinda ng daing at tinapa. Subalit may iba pang mga bagay na mas kahanga-hanga kay Lance.Tunghayan ang kanyang #Istorya, October 19, 5:00 pm.

Posted by ISTORYA on Tuesday, 15 October 2019

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