His impaired vision may stop Erick Marco Ramos from seeing bright light, but not from moving toward a bright future.
On April 5, Ramos, who lost his functional eyesight at 20, was among the graduates who marched from the Philippine Normal University.
Not only did he obtain a bachelor's degree on secondary education, majoring in English, but has done so with flying colors, graduating magna cum laude.
"April 5, 2013... The Big Day!!! Today, my degree will be confirmed!" Ramos said on his Facebook page.
But his diploma was not the first of his achievements, as Ramos has earlier been awarded a Fulbright scholarship, allowing him to study for a year in the U.S.
Ramos started wearing glasses when he was four and was told when he was 10 that he would eventually go completely blind. He had to quit school when he was 12.
In 2007, however, Ramos attended computer school for the blind Adaptive Technology for Rehabilitation, Integration and Empowerment of the Visually Impaired (ATRIEV).
He then decided to go pursue higher education in a regular school with classmates who are not visually impaired like him.
His disability did not stop him from joining extra-curricular activities. His is part of the college debate team and is also a creative writer.
By volunteering as teacher in ATRIEV, Ramos is also helping others who are blind like him get education and computer training.
On Wednesday, G-7 foreign ministers issued a Declaration on Maritime Security expressing alarm over “unilateral actions, such as large scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions” in the region. In their communiqué, which did not specifically mention China, the ministers expressed belief that reclamation activities were meant to “change the status quo” in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, through which 40 percent of global trade passes. …