Having a good role model to look up to is an important factor in a child’s development. A role model can provide motivation, inspiration, and support and kids may even pick up positive habits and values that they can carry with them for a lifetime.
That was the inspiration behind the recently concluded Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Vessel Tour in the Port Area of Manila City where the sponsored kids of World Vision Philippines had the opportunity to meet one of its high-ranking officers, Rear Admiral Armand Balilo.
Once a sponsored child of World Vision Philippines, Rear Admiral Balilo currently stands as the PCG’s spokesman and was responsible for organizing the vessel tour of BRP (Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas) Teresa Magbanua with a goal of “inspiring patriotism and civic action” among the youth.
But getting to the position he is in now wasn’t always easy, as he admitted that he also experienced poverty when he was growing up. “Ako rin dumaan doon,” he recounted. “Pero ang kahirapan naging motivation ko. Sabi ko magsisikap ako and hopefully pagdating ng panahon, I will succeed and maitataas ko level ng buhay ko.”
As a teen, he had dreams of becoming part of the Philippine military. When an opportunity presented itself, he eventually entered the Navy where he managed to move up, eventually earning the rank of a Rear Admiral.
From his experience, he advised the World Vision youth to study hard and never give up in order to achieve their dreams: “Meron kayong opportunity para mag-aral at merong konting tulong na binibigay sa inyo na kahit papaano ay makakaraos kayo sa pag-aaral. Basta magsipag lang, wag magsawang mangarap at samahan ng hard work at darating din ang panahon na makakamit din ang mga pangarap n’yo.”
He also added, “We should continue to inspire young people, lalong lalo na sa love of country. And also, bigyan natin sila ng chance makita yung mga example katulad ko na pwedeng mangarap, and eventually merong inabot na position sa Coast Guard.”
Likewise, he also encouraged people who are sponsoring kids through World Vision to continue sponsoring: “Wag kayong magsasawang tumulong sapagkat ako yung isang example at marami pang iba na yung mga tulong niyo ay hindi masasayang pagdating ng panahon. You’re giving these kids a chance na makatapos at mabago yung buhay nila.”
Anyone can become a child sponsor through World Vision Philippines for as low as Php25 a day or P750 per month. Through this amount, the sponsor can help provide life-changing essentials for kids such as education, health and nutrition, values formation, and child protection.
To sponsor a child, visit https://www.worldvision.org.ph/sponsor-child/ and for more updates, visit the World Vision website at https://www.worldvision.org.ph and follow World Vision Philippines’ official social media pages: @worldvisionph on Facebook and Twitter, and @worldvisionphl on Instagram.