This proud Mangyan student wore traditional “bahag” during college graduation day.
A particular graduating student recently went viral on social media after wearing a traditional tribal attired called ‘bahag’ or loincloth and walked barefoot during his graduation day. One Facebook user named Mhiey Vengano shared the photo of the Mangyan student who attended and received his diploma wearing his bahag to proudly represent his tribe.
He is identified as Anthony Suday, one of a dozen Mangyans they took from Mindoro who received an opportunity to study. He is from Sablayan town, Occidental Mindoro, who became the first Mangyan graduate of Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (NIPSC) in Batad town who earned a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture last April 2. His father traveled two days from Sablayan to attend his son’s graduation at NIPSC’s campus in Estancia town.
Through the generosity and kindness of Rene Sausa, an educator and businessman from the town of Balasan, Anthony was able to finish his studies. According to Manila Bulletin, Sausa said that Anthony’s journey was not easy. Sausa and his wife run a private school in Balasan.
Anthony knows how to write and read which made it easier for him to get along with other high school students. When he was in his third year in college, Sausa wanted to send Anthony back home after he fell in love with a fellow Mangyan who later became his wife.
“Anthony broke one of our rules, but we gave him a chance. He only had a year left. We didn’t want to destroy his future,” Sausa said.
“I told him that they should be proud of their culture and never be ashamed of it,” Sausa added.
Sausa hopes that Anthony will share what he has learned to improve the farming methods in Sablayan and to inspire other Mangyans like him to go to school.