Ted may not have eyesight, but his heart can see

Do you think this finalist deserves to be the Pitong Pinoy "People's Choice" awardee?

Vote at Yahoo! PH Pitong Pinoy


‘Reading’ is a skill his capacity would no longer allow, but Ted Ponferrada was able to do it nonetheless.

Ponferrada, blind since he was 11, was able to participate and even help the blind get involved in the Lenten tradition “pabasa,” thanks to his persistence and to the people who believed he could. Well, he didn’t ask for a miracle to get his sight back—all he needed was determination and good Braille skills.

“I help fellow blind and I’d like to inspire people. For me, being a handicap is nothing. We are normal people who just lost our sight. Blindness is a mere inconvenience, not a handicap,” the eloquent Ponferrada told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.

Ponferrada said he turned blind when he was in Grade 5, when his grandmother applied herbal medicine that just made his sore eyes worse. He slowly lost his eyesight, but instead of lamenting about his fate, Ponferrada moved forward.

He later studied in a school for the blind where he met a friend who led him to his current advocacy.

How it all began

Back in 2007, Ponferrada spearheaded the creation of Braille “Passion of Christ” and spread it in Legazpi City. He wanted to give his time to God during that Lent and join the “Pabasa.” Through the help of the Rector of Aquinas University and a philanthropist, Dr. Ofelia Vega, Ponferrada was able to print the reading’s Braille version.

“Braille paper is imported, and you also need proof reading,” Ponferrada describes. He noted that from P50,000, he was able to print only 20 copies. But this is no small feat: now the blind in his community can be taught how to read and can even participate in the Catholic tradition.

Interestingly, Ponferrada said if he wanted more donations he could have had more.  But he is cautious when it comes to donations, especially during the election season.

“Many politicians are sponsoring. They wanted to help but these people from different political parties want a picture with us,” Ponferrada said.

After the 2010 polls, Ponferrada continued the yearly Braille “pabasa” tradition and expanded it further. This year, he shared the readings to the blind of Manila in a “pabasa” in Pasay City.

“Last Lenten season, 16 blinds have read with me,” related Ponferrada.

A good father, husband

Gerry and his youngest son, Patrick.

The 53-year-old is not just a blessing to his community—he’s also heaven-sent for his family. Despite his inability to see, Ponferrada was able to provide for his three children, one of whom is a graduating BS Mining Engineering student in UP Diliman.

“Hanggang ngayon, mag isang kinukuha pa rin ni Papa ang panggastos para sa buo naming pamilya at para na rin mismo sa aming pag aaral, mula lamang sa pagmamasahe [Until now, he supports the family thru his job as a masseur],” Shin Boo Ponferrada said of his father.
He said his mother also couldn’t work because she has to accompany his father. And this inspires our blind idol to work harder.

“My wife always accompanies me, always there for me,” said Ponferrada who works as a masseur in a mall in Ortigas. On Mondays, he plays the rondalla at Duty Free Philippines.

When told about his nomination as Pitong Pinoy awardee, Ponferrada was thanking us non-stop. But we think it was him we should thank for—for the inspiration, and the extra-ordinary story he shared with us.

Read about the other Pitong Pinoy finalists here.
Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific
    First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific

    China's air force has carried out its first ever military drill over the western Pacific Ocean, state media said, highlighting Beijing's growing military reach. Several aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday flew over the ocean via the Bashi Channel, which runs between Taiwan and the Philippines, the official Xinhua news agency said. "This is the first time that the PLA Air Force conducted such drills in an airspace far offshore from Chinese coastlines," Xinhua cited …

  • Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow
    Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow

    The Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will have shorter hours tomorrow for the replacement of defective railroad tracks during the Holy Week. …

  • Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers
    Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers

    President Aquino has signed a joint congressional resolution raising the daily subsistence allowance for both members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino signed last March 27 the merged Joint Resolution 2 of the Senate and Joint Resolution 26 of the House of Representatives. Speaking to reporters, Lacierda yesterday said the daily allowances of police officers and soldiers were raised from P90 …

  • Oil firms raise gas prices today
    Oil firms raise gas prices today

    This year’s Holy Week break will be accompanied by an increase in local pump prices after oil companies announced yesterday a P1.10 per liter hike for gasoline and P0.60 per liter for diesel effective today. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will increase the prices of gasoline by P1.10 per liter and diesel by P0.60 per liter effective 6 a.m. of March 31, 2015 to reflect the movements in the prices of refined petroleum products in the international market,” said Phoenix Petroleum, an independent …

  • DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah
    DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah

    The Philippines has never offered to drop its Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support for Manila’s arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday. “In the context of our friendly bilateral relations, our two countries have been for years exchanging ways on how to address the issue of the extended continental shelf (ECS) in the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in explaining the DFA’s …

  • Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury
    Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury

    The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has remitted P5 billion in cash dividends to the National Treasury, fully settling all its arrears incurred in the last several years. Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said with this year’s remittance, the state-owned gaming firm has fully settled all remaining arrears in cash dividends that were incurred by the previous administration since 2005. Pagcor’s cash dividends to the National Treasury under its …

  • Maysak moves closer to Phl
    Maysak moves closer to Phl

    The typhoon with international name Maysak slightly accelerated as it moved closer to the Philippines yesterday, threatening to dump rains over eastern Luzon this weekend, the state weather bureau said. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Maysak was spotted at 2,175 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 1 p.m. yesterday. Paciente said based on their latest forecast, Maysak is likely to affect …

  • Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany
    Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany

    The Philippines is getting 41 million euros or around P2 billion from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of Germany that will fund 10 bilateral projects to address the impact of climate change. Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairman Lucille Sering yesterday met with Norbert Gorissen – head of the International Climate Finance of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – to discuss the projects, some of which will be …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options