VIRAL: Studious boy brings baby brother to school

Maria Aleta Nieva Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 20 2017 12:14 PM | Updated as of Jan 20 2017 06:06 PM

The photo of a boy in class with his toddler brother on his lap has gone viral on social networking site, Facebook.

The heartwarming photo was taken by Shyla Blasico, a teacher from J. Blanco Elementary School in South Cotabato.

In the caption, Blasico said that the boy is one of their pupils. His mother died due to ectopic pregnancy last year.

"Dahil walang mag-aalaga sa kapatid niya dinadala niya na lang ito sa klase para di maka absent," Blasico said. 

The boy in the photo is nine-year old Mateo Baño, a grade 3 pupil.

"Tatlo silang magkakapatid, puro lalaki. Yung isa Grade 5," she said in an interview with news.ABS-CBN.com on Friday.

Blasico added that Mateo and his older brother take turns in caring for their two-year old brother.

"Hindi naman makulit ang bata, nakaupo lang. Kung matutulog may divan kami, doon pinahiga ang bata. Lahat po sila pinapakain namin. May feeding program kasi every lunch sponsored by DepEd (Department of Education)," she said.

She said that the father is currently working in Surala as a carpenter, leaving the boys alone in the house.

"Minsan sa kapitbahay pinaiiwan yung bata. May tumutulong din naman," she said adding that the children's relatives sometimes check how the boys are doing at home.

"Tinatanong ko kung sino nagluluto...yung kuya lang daw," she said.

The teacher said that since posting the photos online, she has been receiving words of encouragement from netizens as well as help from good-hearted people.

"Mayroong tumawag, magpapadala ng pera. Mga 8.30 a.m., may nagpunta dito nagbigay ng pera, P500. Yung iba nagtetext," she said.

But more than the money, the teacher is appealing for food for the family.

"Wala daw silang bigas. Gusto namin food, damit at basic school needs," she said.

She appealed to those who are still willing to help to give her a call first. She added that she and the principal are still discussing the best possible way to help out the children.

"Mahirap na, baka pagisipan kami na kukunin ang pera," she said.