In the Philippines, it is a sad reality that not everyone is given the opportunity to go to school because they don’t have the resources to do it. Many indigenous people who live in the mountains and hinterlands find it difficult to live in the city to get an education.
Thankfully, there are those who are given the chance to study even though they are poor – and many went on to become an inspiration to everyone.
Anthony Suday from Sablayan town, Occidental Mindoro graduated from Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (NIPSC). He is the first ever Mangyan indigenous person to acquire a college degree from the school, a milestone that he celebrated by wearing a traditional ‘bahag’ (loincloth) on his graduation day.
Photo credit: Mhiey Vengano / Facebook
Suday completes his degree in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, with the help of a philanthropist named Rene Sausa who sent several Mangyan students to college.
Last year, Suday nearly had to quit school after he angered Sausa for getting a girl from his tribe pregnant, but the philanthropist later forgave the young man after seeing his determination to graduate and later support his new family.
Sausa gave Suday another chance which the young man took – and he was able to finally graduate from college! It inspired a lot of people that Suday would use a bahag for graduation, especially considering that everyone else was wearing formal clothes and a toga.
Photo credit: Manila Bulletin
Some people commented that he should have followed regulations and wore a toga just like everyone else, with quite a number of netizens saying he’s just trying to be famous.
Still, more people were impressed by his attired, saying that the bahag is an important part of his tribe’s culture – and wearing it shows exactly how much pride he has with his tribe and that he’s not ashamed of who he is, even now that he’s already a college graduate…