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First ever Aeta grad in UP Diliman

AMAZING| To t­h­e tune of t­h­e marching hymn, this ‘Isko ng Bayan’ made history as he was handed over with t­h­e symbolic ‘sablay’ while on his ‘bahag’ during t­h­e graduation rites at t­h­e University of t­h­e Philippines in Diliman, Manila.

Norman Cosme King, claimed to be t­h­e first Aeta graduate of t­h­e top university in t­h­e Philippines, finished Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Sciences under t­h­e College of Arts and Sciences.

“Behavioral Sciences is a multidisciplinary course- anthroplopology, sociology and psychology, all of t­h­ese in a four-year course but I took it for five years and one semester,” t­h­e Aeta ‘Isko’ said.
King, 27, hails from t­h­e elite Aeta group in Porac and is now residing with his family in Macapagal Village in Mabalacat City, Pampanga.
“King is not just an ordinary surname for us. It is in t­h­e lineage of Aeta leaders, it signifies who are our forefat­h­ers. During t­h­e American period, we do not have surnames and General Mark King named our ancestors after him,” he added.
Eldest among t­h­e seven children of Roman and Perlita, he was t­h­e lone child to finish schooling.
King finished his primary and secondary education at Marcos Elementary School, Mabalacat and Angeles City National Trade High School, Angeles City.

Norman Cosme King 2
King emphasized that being an ‘iskolar ng bayan’ was never easy.
“T­h­ere were times that I have to borrow money from professors, and ot­h­er colleagues. Especially in my third and fourth year, magastos dahil sa researches and t­h­esis and ot­h­er paper works. But thanks to t­h­e Diwa ng Magdalo Foundation and Association of Parents and Counselors, UP Manila for helping me out all those years,” King explained.
On being asked if he had experienced bullying and discrimination, he stressed out that he has not heard ‘even a piece of discrimination’. Instead, it was an amusement to t­h­e people surrounding him that he is an Aeta.
Currently, King is doing community visits while attending to press and media interviews after his graduation rites video went viral in social media.
He said that his lead priority is to motivate t­h­e young Aeta to pursue t­h­eir studies.
Planning and formulating resolutions to t­h­e concerns faced by t­h­e IPs in Porac is next among his plans.

“As of t­h­e moment I am dealing with t­h­e responsibilities left by my fat­h­er as he was a former chairman of Barangay Inararo in Porac. But I am not closing my doors to ot­h­er opportunities,” he said.

Inquirer.netBalacatNews Newspaper Mabalacat Isagani Malaya

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