A death of a father triggers a profound type of grief; but this did not stop a son from pursuing his dream to represent the country in an international Robotics competition.
It has been three years since a family bonding turned into a tragedy ending the life of Brian Baran’s OFW father Salvador.
“Nashock ko unya dili ko katuo, galibog kung unsay buhaton or bation,” Brian said. (I was shocked, I couldn’t believe it and I don’t know what to do or feel.)
Brian’s mom Joycee Baran did not know what to do since Salvador was the breadwinner of the family. Upon the loss of her husband, Joycee is left with her two children Brian, and Mary Rose Joyce.
“Wala ko kasabot kay family bonding unta to nag-snorkeling lang siya ug kalit lang nilutaw,” she said. (I don’t understand what happened since it was a family bonding, he went snorkeling and suddenly we saw him floating.)
Brian is currently a Grade 10 student of Science and Technology Education Center High School in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. He is also a scholar of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) under the Education and Livelihood Assistance Program for Dependents of Deceased OFWs.
Meanwhile, Brian’s mother sells snacks at a school canteen. Mrs. Baran is also relying on the P7, 000 monthly pension to pay for her family’s bills.
Despite the hardships, Brian held his head up and continued to study well. During the first grading period for this school year, Brian was one of the Top 10 students of his class. He also got an award last grading period for having a perfect attendance. Brian is also active in other school activities.
“Akong greatest inspiration ka yang akong pamilya, akong dream kay dagko akong grades para makakuha ko’g nindot nga trabaho ug nindot nga sweldo para maka-help sa akong family,” Brian said. (My greatest inspiration is my family. My dream is to get good grades for me to land a great job to help my family.)
Last September 6 to 9, Brian and his teammates attended the 15th Philippine Robotics Olympiad held at SM North EDSA. Brian’s team bagged 5th place in the Robot Soccer Category and is qualified to represent the Philippines in the World Robot Olympiad which will happen in New Delhi, India this November 24-29, 2016.
“Nalipay ko at first kay wala man mi nasulod sa elimination round bale wild card mi,” he said. (I was happy because we got accepted as a wild card contender.)
Moreover, Brian said that he felt pressured throughout the national competition because most teams were coming from different prestigious high schools in the country.
“I just want to thank everybody for everything, words are definitely not enough,” he said.
Brian shared that his interest in robotics started after he was taught how to make a program. He said that he finds it fun to apply knowledge being taught in school.
Contrary to his favorite hobby, Brian wanted to pursue a degree in Linguistics in college.
Brian Baran (second from the left), his teammates, and his coach posed together with the representatives of the organizing committee during the 15th Philippine Robotics Olympiad held at SM North EDSA.
On being an OWWA Scholar
Brian said that he thanks OWWA for helping him out financially.
"Nakatabang jud ang OWWA nako financially, makapalit nako’g books ug dili nako maglisod kay sige ra’g panghulam,” he said. (OWWA helped me financially. I don’t borrow books anymore.)
He also admitted that being an OWWA scholar helped him to study well and to maintain his grades.
Moreover, he encouraged his fellow students to work hard.
“Padayon lang sa pagpaningkamot, after sa kangit-ngit naa man jud nay light,” he said. (Continue to work hard because there will always be light after the darkness.)
Brian posed together with his mother Joycee, his late father Salvador, and his sister Mary Rose Joyce.