Mandaue street kid is Alay Lakad scholar

Posted on October 24, 2012


October 24, 2012

By Correspondent Jucell Marie P. Cuyos


Jason Caba, an Alay Lakad scholarship topnotcher in Mandaue City, shows his plaque that he received from Mayor Jonas Cortes. (JUCELL MARIE CUYOS)


IT was a sweet day for former street kid Jason Caba.

The 16-year-old Caba was one of four street kids who received plaques of recognition from Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes as recipients of the Alay Lakad Scholarships last week.

Caba said he credits his success to programmer Jose Romel Vicente and Eli Marie Vicente, whom he acknowledges as his real family.

“Even if we’re not related by blood, I consider them my family,” Caba said.

Caba said the couple found him sleeping along the street in Highway Seno and invited him to their home.

Without hesitation, Caba went with Romel in barangay Guizo.

After two years, the couple transferred to Iligan City and he was sent to school in La Salle.

When they went back to Mandaue City, he studied third grade at the Colegio dela Immaculada Conception (CIC).

A year after that, he was brought to the Civil Social Welfare and Services (CSWS) after committing some foolishness.

Undaunted, Caba became an Alay Lakad scholar and is now a first year high school student in Tipolo National High School.

“Even with the K+12 program and my age, I will complete high school,” Caba said.

He recounted to Cebu Daily News that he became a street kid not long after his mother died when she fell off a wooden bed while giving birth.

Caba escaped from the abuse inflicted on him by his father, a carpenter who often gets drunk and lived off the streets of Mandaue City, begging for alms and buying food for his siblings later in the day in SB Cabahug, barangay Centro.

Caba was the sixth child among eight siblings.

Two of his elder siblings were born out of wedlock when his mother was still single.

Two elder brothers—22-year-old Alvin and 27-year-old Jay R were detained on charges of drugs and robbery.

Caba said he doesn’t visit them because he’s scared of jails.

CSWS worker Maricel Yu said the city government’s Alay Lakad scholarship has 20 out of school youths, one abandoned child and 39 street kids.

Yu said they’re asking for financial assistance from the private sector to sustain the program in order to get more kids off the streets and into school.

Her appeal was echoed by Chief Insp. Micheal Anthony Bastes, chief of the Mandaue City police’s Investigation and Detection Management Branch (IDMB).

Bastes, who provides street children with meals and invites them to jog with him in the city streets, said the plight of street kids should be addressed by society.

In a conference with the Cebu Bankers Club last Thursday, Bastes told participants that most theft and burglary cases were committed by minors and street children.

“These kids may not be planned by their parents but they are planned by God. So we need to have interventions to prevent them from becoming criminals,” Bastes said.


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