If you’ve ever observed city streets, seeing homeless people and street dwellers is nothing new. In the Philippines, where the majority of the population are living impoverished lives, it’s a common sight to see beggars, street children, as well as “taong grasa” calling the sidewalks their home.
A colorful character in Cebu has been making waves online after he was featured in the popular magazine show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (KMJS). The man goes by the name “Berta” and netizens have been sharing video clips of him speaking English, a skill which you would not expect from someone living on the streets.
“Life is wonderful,” Berta said in one video. “Life is precious and life is powerful.”
His real name is Roberto Jr., and upon the research of the KMJS team, they found out that he actually used to be a teacher who majored in English with a minor in Filipino. He and his sister, Evangeline, lost their mom at an early age and grew up with an alcoholic father. To make ends meet, Berta would sell banana chips and polvoron.
Berta drifted away from the care of Evangeline when he fell in love with a man who taught him how to use drugs. Soon, he would find himself taking to the streets. In spite of this, he has forgiven his ex-boyfriend and continues to have faith in God.
Thankfully, a YouTuber named Anton, who was battling depression, befriended Berta and helped him by seeking his psychiatric rehabilitation. Since then, Berta has shown immense progress.
Watch Berta’s story here.
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