- ABS-CBN, Ted Failon, salute to Former Bantay Bata 163 Scholar
- ABS-CBN 65th anniversary celebration
- Bantay Edukasyon program of Bantay Bata163
The story of a policeman who used to be a Bantay Bata 163 scholar touched the hearts of viewers in the newest tribute video aired by ABS-CBN as part of its 65th anniversary celebration.
Patrolman Mario Apatan witnessed a life-changing crime when he was a kid in Zamboanga Sibugay, where his sister Maricel was almost killed and eventually lost both of her arms due to her injuries.
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Despite the tragedy, the family tried to move but after high school, Mario had to stop schooling to work as a fisherman.
Still not giving up on his dream, Mario followed her sister in Manila, where she was already making a name as a “handless” chef.
Her story got Ted Failon’s attention and she was featured in his program “Failon Ngayon.” Asked if there is anything she wanted, she told Ted she wants her brother to finish his studies.
Without any second thoughts, Ted referred Mario to the Bantay Edukasyon program of Bantay Bata163, where he sponsored his tuition until he finished his dream course of BS Criminology.
Mario is now a Police Officer 1 stationed in Camp Karingal and has his own family.
With Bantay Bata 163program director Jing Castañeda-Velasco, Mario met Ted once again in ABS-CBN recently, where he tearfully thanked him for helping him fulfill his dream.
“I did what you told me. I proved that I can do it. I strived to become a policeman so my scholarship in Bantay Edukasyon won’t be put to waste,” he said.
He also thanked ABS-CBN, Bantay Bata 163, and the social workers that provided him guidance.
“They served as my second parents. They paved the way for me to pursue my studies. Nothing compares to the gratitude I feel for all of you,” he said.
Mario’s story was aired recently after “TV Patrol.” It is also posted on the ABS-CBN Entertainment YouTube channel and Facebook as one of the “Kwentong Kapamilya” being shared by ABS-CBN for its 65th anniversary.
Meanwhile, there are still many children in Bantay Bata 163 who want to finish their studies like Mario.
Those who are interested to help and be part of fulfilling their dreams may donate to the Bantay Edukasyon program by depositing to the BDO account of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya, Inc. – Bantay Edukasyon with the account number 0056300-03284.