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The Kid From The Street: Life Story of Rustie Quintana on MMK

Not all of us were born with diamonds, but only few can be somebody.  “Out from nothing, now it’s everything.” A line from a street kid who believe that all things are possible. With determination and faith, he was able to send himself to school and finished a degree. His story will be featured in MMK (Maalaala Mo Kaya) on June 13, 2015 at 7:15 PM in ABS-CBN. Let us take a step back of Rustie’s journey to success.

Rustie Quintana a native of the Agusan River in Barangay Florida in Butuan City. He was born on April 11, 1989. At his young age, Rustie already witnessed and experienced the cruelty of street life. He was involved in drugs. He was once lost. He didn’t know how to read and write, and was sleeping in cardboard boxes on sidewalks of Divisoria. He was a nobody.

According to an article in Rappler, he was still 7 years old when his older brother brought him in Cagayan de Oro. They were trying to get away from their troubled home. His brother was arrested because for being a drug pusher. Rustie was then adopted at the Mother Theresa foundation where he lived for 4 years. At the age of 11, he started using drugs and became an addict to it. He used to stole things from other people and spent days with other rugby boys. He was arrested and was brought to a charity, Tahanan ng Kabataan. He found himself going in and out of the said charity. He went to a rehabilitation center and was free again.

The wheel of life continued spinning for Rustie. His imagination flew him high to where he is right now. A Henry Howard scholarship helped him to become a better person. He studied at Alternative Learning System (ALS) and never expected to pass the scholarship given by Henry Howard through Xavier University back in 2010.

As a Development Communication student, it was not easy for him. He had experienced being questioned due to his status and being bullied by other students. But these things never became a reason for him to give up. Rustie entered working to support his other needs for his studies. The 5,700 pesos allowance he’s receiving was not enough to sustain his needs. He needed more amount for his food and the endless photocopy thing since he could not afford to buy the books that he needs for his studies.

A lot of people pulled the string when Rustie was about to fall. After all the trials, there’s always a light at the end of the road. Nothing can be more rewarding when he finally graduated in college. Last March 28, 2015, with his proud father, Rustie marched and accepted his diploma. Waving his hand to success. Opening his arms to another chapter of his life. Then, he said “It does not take much to get off the street. You don’t need money to get off, you need a mountain of desire to get off the street.”

On the same day, he celebrated his achievement with the street kids at Divisoria. He didn’t forget to give back. He will continue to be an inspiration to those who have not given up on their dreams. Hooray to this humble man!


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