CEBU CITY—The boy on the viral photograph showing him studying on the pavement outside a fast-food restaurant has now moved up to junior high school.
Daniel Cabrera endeared himself to the public after the said image underscored how much he valued education despite being poor.
Cabrera, 9 years old at the time, lived at an eatery in Mandaue City with his mother and other siblings who spent their nights sleeping outdoors. The lack of proper lighting forced him to look for a place to do his homework, which led him to the spot beside the restaurant.
That was 4 years ago.
Little did Cabrera know that the photo would serve as a jump-off point for a brighter future. Because his effort captured many hearts, he received plenty of assistance from that time on.
He and his family moved to a safer and more stable house, as he received a scholarship.
"Padayon gyud ko kay kun dili basin magmahay ko (I will continue what I started, because I don't want blame myself for not doing so)," said Cabrera, now 13, ahead of the opening of classes on June 3.
His mother, Maria Christina, said life is still difficult but she draws strength from her son's determination.
Maria Christina said she will support whatever career her son chooses; the young Cabrera said he wants to fulfill his father's dream of becoming a police officer.
"Mao man to ganahan unta ni papa pero wala man niya nahimo. ko nalang muhimo (That's what my father wants but he wasn't able to reach his goal, so I am going to pursue that)," Cabrera said.
He may have overcome an early obstacle, but he is also aware that there is still a long journey ahead of him.
One photograph may have changed Cabrera's life, but he wants to be defined by more than that.