Briones: Inspiring story

On the go

IT’S so nice to read about 13-year-old Daniel “Biboy” Cabrera, who, last month, graduated from elementary school.

What’s so special about Cabrera, you might ask. He did not graduate with honors, nor did he get any special awards.

But to those who still remember, Cabrera is the boy whose picture was taken when he was nine years old studying under the lights of a fast food chain in Mandaue City.

The picture went viral on social media, opening many opportunities for the mathematics-inclined Cabrera whose ultimate dream is to become a policeman. Albeit, one who doesn’t like to court danger as he finds it unnecessary.

A policeman only needs to do his best to protect the people, he pointed out.

I can only assume he won’t turn out to be one of these six armed men believed to be members of the Talamban Police Station who were caught on a security camera mauling three men during an operation.

I hope he won’t lie through his teeth to protect erring subordinates.

But I’m actually quite optimistic for Cabrera, who finished elementary school with the help of a scholarship grant from the Ronald McDonalds House of Charities Philippines. He said he still goes to the fast food joint in Mandaue City on occasion even though they already have a power connection at home. As for his college tuition, he doesn’t have to worry about that because he had been awarded a scholarship by Samuel Pagdilao of the Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement & Support party-list.

Now, if Cabrera could only get through six years of high school.


Cabrera knows he’s in for a bumpy ride. No doubt he and his family will face hardships. He’s well aware of that. Someone who calls the streets his second home doesn’t harbor any illusions about life being a bed of roses. Not that it will deter him from forging ahead. It hasn’t in the past, so I don’t see why it’ll be different in the future.

Cabrera, though, picked his words very carefully when asked what was in store for him. He didn’t vow to graduate from college let alone high school. He’s too pragmatic for that. What he did say was he would do his best to finish his studies.

And that should be good enough.

Many things have changed since that photo of his went viral in 2015, but he remains headstrong.

Cabrera admitted that he did not get any special awards or honors during graduation because only those who were active in camping did. The boy doesn’t like to get into dangerous situations. So that ruled out camping like what the boy scouts do. Although maybe Cabrera had other reasons for not joining his friends. Maybe he had other priorities like his mother.

When asked for her son’s graduation photo, Cristina Espinosa told SunStar Cebu she didn’t have one because she did not have the money to pay for it yet. She wanted to make sure Cabrera would wear new clothes when he went up on stage.

And so he did.


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