Dream come true: In tears, 'Badjao Girl' gets scholarship

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2016 10:39 PM | Updated as of Jun 13 2017 06:07 PM

MANILA -- Rita Gabiola, the 13-year-old Badjao girl who caught the hearts of netizens after her photo went viral, is now a step closer to her dream of becoming a teacher.

Gabiola is the second among six children. Her father works as a fisherman, while her mother is a housewife.

Her picture, which was taken by Topher Quinto Burgos during the recent Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon, went viral, with netizens gushing over her complexion and high cheekbones.

Burgos captioned her post: "Nakita lang namin siya nanghihingi ng barya. Kapatid nating mga Badjao na may angkin ganda."

In an interview on 'Rated K' aired on Sunday, Gabiola, whose family traveled from Zamboanga to Lucena City, said she wants to be a teacher to help others.

"Gusto ko pong matulungan 'yung mga bata. Isa na rin po doon 'yung mga magulang ko, hindi po nakapag-aral," she said.

His father, Danny, works hard to send her to school, despite the hardships they experience.

"Ang pangarap ko talaga kay Rita, itaguyod ko 'yan, kahit sa isang beses isang araw kami kumain. Kahit walang baon, papasok ka na lang, basta ang pangarap ko sa 'yo, patapusin kita," he said.

She also said some people have asked to take pictures of her since her pictures went viral.

"Lumalapit sila sa akin, nagpipiktyur. Siyempre po nagppiktyur din po ako," Gabiola said.

The local government of Lucena City also pledged to provide her family with a job.

She also received a scholarship from "Rated K" and Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation.

(READ: 'Badjao Girl' gets promises of aid after photo went viral)