Recently, a graduation photo of a barefoot Mangyan and his daughter has inspired a multitude of artworks on social media. As a tribute to the ‘Super Dad,’ artists recreated the graduation photo, with some even depicting him as a real-life Superman.
But who is the heroic dad behind this sensational photo?
The father and daughter on the viral photo live in the heart of Brgy. Fortuna in Occidental Mindoro.
This area has been home to hundreds of Mangyan families who were born to an impoverished life. Among them is Bernie Solingyan and his family of five. In a shabby hut, Bernie Solingyan and his family share what little they have with one another.
Due to the lack of available resources, life is a struggle. And with no television or even a mobile phone, Mang Bernie is unaware of the symbol printed on his blue shirt.
While he might not know the iconic symbol on his chest, for his family, Mang Bernie is the closest to a superhero they can get. Though he’s close to 50 years old, Mang Bernie, apparently, still has the strength of a young man.
Mylene, Bernie’s housewife, is a witness to the sacrifices Bernie has made for their family.
In an interview, Mylene painted the picture of a loving father and a responsible husband. He never lets his family go hungry by searching for root crops during the day.
In spite of their situation, Bernie instills the importance of education to his children. He draws strength from his 4-year-old daughter, Serlin, who recently graduated from kindergarten.
This was the reason why he was present during Serlin’s graduation rites. Even though he had no proper attire for the occasion, Mang Bernie wore a proud smile as he marched with his daughter.
His story has drawn inspiration from thousands of netizens. Indeed, it is heartwarming to see how proud he was of his child’s achievement. We take our hats off to you, Mang Bernie!