Young Diver Who Collected Sea Urchins to Support Family, Gets Scholarship and Graduates from College after Getting Featured on TV

While there have been a lot of people who went viral for some reason and got featured on TV, many later get forgotten. Many receive help from netizens but the donations eventually stop.

Some are lucky, though, to get sustainable help such as receiving a scholarship or a job!

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Chinese proverb

One boy was among those lucky enough to be “taught how to fish”; although this came in the form of a scholarship after he got featured on TV.

Joselito Padilla was among the child divers in Bolinao, Pangasinan in the Philippines who helped their parents earn a living by diving the waters for sea urchins and similar marine creatures. They harvest these creatures and sell a sack for about Php80 to Php100, a pittance considering that a teaspoon of this delicacy could cost as high as Php140 in some Japanese restaurants!

Photo credit: Project Malasakit by Kara David / Facebook

After the harvest, Joselito and his siblings are brought by their father to Silaki Island where they go to school. But journalist Kara David, who met the boy while filming the documentary, was amazed his perseverance and diligence because despite the challenges, he remains an honor student!

After he got featured on TV, help poured in for Joselito and he was taken by Kara as a scholar on her “Project Malasakit”. He was still in Grade 4 at the time.

Last week, Joselito graduated from a course of BS Marine Transport – with Kara David attending his graduation! It certainly was something a dream come true for the boy and his family; and all these is thanks to the people who made it happen, the people who pulled him out from being a diver to become a mariner!

Kara proudly shares some photos with Joselito, posting on Facebook:

I met Joselito Padilla ten years ago for an Iwitness documentary on child divers in. He was only in 4th grade when we took him in as a scholar for Project Malasakit. Last week, Joselito graduated from college (BS Marine Transport). Congratulations our dear Joselito. Salamat sa iyongpagsisikap. Salamat din sa lahat ng donors.