- Rita Gaviola, more known as ‘Badjao Girl’ was emotionally sent off by her father as an official housemate in the reality show ‘Pinoy Big Brother’
- She went viral after her stolen picture during Pahiyas festival was uploaded by a photographer on social media
- The 13-year old girl was noticed for her potential to be a model based on her model-like figure
A person’s life could completely change because of one event.
It could be a winning lottery ticket or an accident which no one saw coming. But for 13-year old Rita Gaviola, all it took was one stolen picture.
More known as ‘Badjao Girl,’ Gaviola was begging in the streets with her sister during the Pahiyas festival when photographer Topher Quinto Burgos took an interest in her striking features. The subject of his photo according to him was a “kapatid nating mga Badjao na may angking ganda, (Someone from our Badjao family who possesses a unique beauty.)”
Fast forward today, the young woman appeared on national television and this time, her exposure might be longer than expected.
‘Ang Badjao Girl ng Lucena’ was the nickname given to her by the reality show, Pinoy Big Brother, when she joined as an official housemate.
Gaviola narrated how she and her five siblings struggled every day in their house near a seawall. Her father Danny was a fisherman before his daughter went viral. Eventually, he was given the job of a garbage collector after help started pouring in.
Being the first person in the Badjao community to join the show, she was dressed in her tribe’s national costume when she met with the people rooting for her outside Big Brother’s house.
The celebration mood was temporarily halted when the camera panned on Danny who was already crying even before his daughter reached the stage. He tightly hugged her and the teenager shed tears as she expressed her gratitude to the man who never left them despite not being her biological father.
Hosts Toni Gonzaga and Robi Domingo comforted her by saying that they won’t really need to part for a long time. Danny sent off his daughter with a ”Good luck, anak. (my child)”
When her picture was uploaded on social media, people gushed about her soulful eyes, prominent cheekbones, and impressive physique. The whole country was rooting for her success as a model and yet this mysterious girl was not aware of it.
If it wasn’t for someone in her community, Gaviola would’ve been clueless of the fame she was garnering. After being contacted, she made a guest appearance on Korina Sanchez’s magazine show, Rated K, where she had her first official photoshoot – and the Zamboanga native didn’t disappoint.
With the undeniably emotional sent off, the Filipinos are definitely waiting for what more she can offer.
Before getting viral, she already expressed her dream to be a teacher. Not only to help her family but to help the other children in her tribe. Rated K awarded a scholarship for Gaviola to achieve her dreams.