Press Release - Bong Go extends compassionate aid in response to viral story of a young student's struggle in Lupon, Davao Oriental
Jalanie Saripada, a young grade 5 honor student from Lupon, Davao Oriental, captured the heart of fellow Filipinos through a simple, yet poignant story.
Jalanie's meal of onion leaves, soy sauce, and oil became a symbol of perseverance amid hardship. This particular instance caught the attention of Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, who was moved to offer assistance to Jalanie and his family.
Imelda, Jalanie's mother, shared in an interview the family's challenging situation: "Dahil sa krisis, kaya nag-ulam siya ng sibuyas noon para hindi lang siya makapag-absent sa eskwelahan, gumawa siya ng paraan. Ulam niya ay toyo at mantika tapos dinagdagan niya nalang ng dahon ng sibuyas."
She revealed that Jalanie's father works as a tricycle driver in Davao City, and sends home an income of P500 every Monday and Friday. The family, which includes Jalanie's three siblings often struggle to meet their daily needs.
Imelda, meanwhile, juggles various jobs, including working in rice fields when opportunities arise, to support her family.
Jonarie Alberca, Jalanie's science teacher who captured the poignant video that brought his story to light, shared insights into Jalanie's situation in school.
"Napansin ko siya lang iba ang ulam. 'Yung iba, manok, isda, hotdog ang ulam. Siya kasi, dahon lang ng sibuyas. Mayroon akong TikTok account since 2017, na-upload ko, then the following day, nag-viral," he shared.
This story of resilience and community support garnered widespread attention, leading to the intervention of Go. The senator provided financial assistance, groceries, bags, cellphones, and a basketball.
"Salamat sa 'yo, Senator Bong Go. Unang una, gusto kong magpasalamat kay Allah, dahil kinalabit niya ang puso mo na tumulong sa amin at iyong napansin at nasilip," Imelda expressed her gratitude, acknowledging the immediate relief and hope brought to their family.
"Naniniwala ako na marami ka pang matutulungan maliban kay Jalanie," she added.
Jalanie also expressed his thanks, "Senator Bong Go, maraming salamat sa tulong mo. Ito pong cellphone na ibinigay ninyo, malaking tulong po ito sa aking pag-aaral. Mag-aaral po ako ng mabuti para makapagtapos."
The principal of Jalanie's