ILOCOS NORTE - It's only the second day of classes but Jay Calivoso can already write his first name.
In a matter of time, and with a little bit of patience, he will be able to write his last name.
Calivoso is already 40 years old but it is only now that he is learning how to write. He is currently a Grade 1 pupil at the Amarosa Elementary School in Laoag City.
He is doing his best in class in order for him not to be left behind by his classmates. He is also slowly interacting with his classmates who are younger than him, especially because he feels accepted by them despite their age gap and his physical condition.
Calivoso was born with polio, which affected his right leg.
His condition was the reason why he found it difficult to attend school.
"Nahihiya ako noon dahil tinutukso ako. Pero ngayon, nilalabanan ko na 'yung pagkamahiyain ko dahil para din sa kabutihan ko 'to. Ang edukasyon, sobrang importante talaga," Calivoso said.
He also feels the drawback of not having proper education, which is a reason why people take advantage of him.
He sells vegetables for a living, and it became an avenue for people to abuse him because of his inability to count properly.
Now that Calivoso started attending school using a bicycle he borrowed from his cousin, he hopes that this will change people's perception of him.
He promises to finish his studies and schooling.
"Tinutulungan naman ako ng mga kaklase ko at tinatawag nila akong kuya, pagsisikapan kong makapag-tapos," Calivoso said.
Her aunt, Grace Agliam, is proud of him.
"Sa edad niyang 'yan, naisipan pa niyang pumasok sa eskwelahan para matutunang magbilang, magsulat… Parang na-challenge sa mga kapitbahay na parang inaapi siya," Agliam said.
His teacher, Loida Balintona, considers this a big challenge for her but she considers Calivoso as an inspiration.
The school principal of Amaroza Elementary School is also delighted.
“Source of inspiration namin dahil siya ay isa mga nagbigay ng inspirasyon para ma-value ang education despite his disabilities and of his age. Talagang nakaka-inspire," school principal Joel Remigio said.
Calivoso wants to be a good example to society that age and medical condition are not hindrances to achieve your dreams and finish your education.