After becoming an instant internet celebrity after her photos in 2016 went viral, Rita Gaviola, also known as ‘Badjao Girl’ used the fame she gained wisely to change her life for good.
In an interview, Rita narrated her life before becoming popular because of her natural beauty which was captured by photographer Topher Burgos.
It can be recalled that Gaviola was spotted begging the festival-goers in Lucban, Quezon.
“Sobrang hirap po ng dinanas ko dati kasi unang-una po, ‘yung andyan ‘yung wala kaming makain. Pumapasok ako sa school na wala akong baon so kailangan ko pang umabsent para may pang baon kami. Minsan, hindi kami kumakain sa tamang oras, minsan ‘di kami nakakakain ng hapunan, ng tanghalian so ang kinakain namin kape, kanin, ayun lang ‘yung sinasabaw namin.” Rita said.
But since becoming popular, Rita carefully used the opportunity to escape poverty.
Rita shared that she used the money she gained from endorsements to launch a food business.
“Sinabi ko sa sarili ko, hindi man po ako makapagtapos o basta may trabaho ako, hindi-hindi po mararanasan ng mga kapatid ko ‘yung mga naranasan ko dati.” she said.
However, she’s not yet giving up on her dreams to finish college.
Rita is now a mother so she’s working harder to give a bright future to her child.