Recently, as part of BAI’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tagged as “Paying It Forward”, we partnered with ABS-CBN’s multi-awarded public service program MISSION POSSIBLE. This TV program is hosted by multi-awarded public service host/personality, Mr. Julius Babao.
The program aims to help the poor and marginalized people continue to dream and strive despite their challenges in life. And when we talk about striving despite of one’s physical disability, Aljon Pastidia, is on top of our list.
Born paralyzed in his lower extremities due to Polio, Aljon is the eight among his 11 siblings, all of which have their own families, except for him. He is still single and lives with his parents. He is also the bread winner to his parents, Nanay Alicia and Tatay Manulito, which are on their senior ages already. Aljon took the responsibility of taking care of them, which includes providing for their daily living expenses and their regular maintenance medicines.
Fishing is the family’s major source of income. As early as 4:00 in the morning everyday, father and son head for the shoreline to sail and catch fish. Unfortunately, a few months ago, the wooden bangka (small boat) that they’ve been using for many years had to be retired. Its dilapidated and rotten wooden material had worn out already and cracks and holes started to appear. Without a boat to use, they just have to stop fishing. As an alternative source of income, Aljon, worked as a laborer in a construction project. He also offered services for repairing electronic devices and appliances. It was difficult for Aljon.
With all the hardships and difficulties, worsened by his physical disability, he found inspiration from his parents who continued to believe in his capabilities to feed the family. Aljon’s story is very inspiring to all of us and only proves that nothing is impossible for as long as we all have the will and the focus to do anything. Lahat Possible!
Aljon’s determination in life is an inspiration for all of us. It was such a moving story that it touched the heart of BAI’s CEO/President, Mr. Romeo T. Orio. Instead of repairing the old worn out wooden boat of Aljon, which was his request, Mr. Orio decided to donate a brand new boat to him and his family. BAI awarded to Aljon Pastidia, a “Stingray 400” model boat which they can now use in going back to their fishing.
And life for Aljon continues…