CEBU CITY, Philippines — No one and nothing can bring down a person who was born with a disability and managed to survive it.
This is the mindset of Vincent Mendoza, a 22-year-old Industrial Technology student from Daanbantayan town in northern Cebu, who was born without legs.
Mendoza, in a phone interview with CDN Digital, said his disability made it tough for him to to do some basic tasks of moving, like getting up from bed, traveling, and carrying heavy items.
But what really challenged him most was being bullied.
“Pag elementary nako, daghan gyod kaayo kog bullies. Dili gyod sila makalikayan labi na sa mga activities sa skwelahan nga dili ko makabuhat,” said Mendoza.
(When I was in the elementary level, I was bullied a lot. It can’t be avoided, especially when there are activities in school that I can’t do.)
As years past, Mendoza managed to get over some of some obstacles like being able to move around by himself. But what took time was getting past bullies.
Still, he pushed through the struggle and he found a strong support system from his friends.
These friends also helped him through college, making it easier for him to disregard those who were always around to make him feel “less.”
This is why Mendoza learned not to feel insecure of his disability. Now, he can do work, he can help in his Church ministries, and he learned how to enjoy life even with his limitations.
“Kung magpadala ka sa tanang bully, wala kay maabot. Mag-urong ra ka. Dapat tanang bully nga imo maagian, di nimo gamiton para ma-down ka. Dapat gamiton nimo sila as motivation nimo para in the future mas layo kag maabtan,” said Mendoza.
(If you let yourself get affected by the bullies, you won’t get anywhere. You’ll be stagnant. When you get bullied, don’t use it to put you down. Use them as motivation so that in the future, you’ll be able to achieve more.)
Mendoza dreams of finishing his studies and finding a suitable job so that he can give back to his Church, which has provided him with unconditional spiritual support.
He wants to be able to build a church where he can worship God with his community and go through life’s struggles together.
Mendoza urges the people who were born with disabilities or who developed disabilities to maintain a positive and determined outlook in life.
After all, there is nothing that can stop a person who already managed to survive the harsh world amid disabilities.