A touching photo of a college graduate has gone viral in social networking site Facebook.
The photo, which shows Kevin Villanueva, an Information Technology graduate student of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila, was liked and shared over a thousand times by Facebook users for what seemed to be ordinary but meaningful memorabilia.
"Akala nyu kayo lang ang may picture kasama parents nyu ha :) pero ma pa this is for the both of you i hope that you are proud of me :)" the photo's caption read.
In an interview, Kevin said he was overwhelmed by the reaction of the people after only wanting to express his love for his dead parents.
"I just want to express my love to my parents, pero grabe, grabe ang naging reaksyon ng mga tao na sobrang nakakatuwa," he said.
His friends believe the "likes" and "shares" of Facebook users was a way of his beloved ones' to show their love for him.
In 2002, when he was still 10 years old, Kevin's mother committed suicide. "She had a nervous break down every time she forgot to drink her medicine. Doon nagti-trigger 'yung sakit niya." His father died while he was in first year college.
Kevin said it was difficult going through college without his parents but said he did not think of it as a burden but an inspiration to finish his studies.
He shared that with his parents gone, his friends served as parental figures. "They are the ones who saw my four years of hardship sa Letran."
His aunts, Maria Teresa C. Jalbuena and Jacqueline V. Calumba, supported his college education. "Without them hindi po siguro ako nakapag-tapos," he said.
Kevin wants to share to students a piece of advice in pursuing dreams despite difficult situations:
"If there are problems, convert it as your inspiration to reach your goals in life. Determinasyon, tiyaga at inspiration ang kailangan natin to be a successful person. One person has a choice to go the bad way or good way, but in my choice I do it in the good way, kaya nararanasan ko itong pagmamahal na to."