Boy recognized for repeatedly returning lost-and-found valuables
KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato, Philippines — Twelve-year-old Nervin Lao could still not believe that his simple act of goodness would gain recognition and bring honor to him and his family.
For returning a bag that he found more than a month ago, the 7th grader from Mlang National High School received recognition from the provincial government of North Cotabato.
North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza offered Lao and his family livelihood assistance or his college scholarship as “reward” for the boy’s honesty.
Last May, Nervin found a bag in front of their house near the highway of Barangay (village) Bialong, M’lang town. He took the bag and looked for its owner instead of bringing it home and keeping it. Unable to find the owner in a nearby village, Nervin brought the bag home and told his mother Josephine about his discovery.
Nervin and his mother opened the bag and found a laptop, original land titles, deeds of sale, bank receipts, Bureau of Internal Revenue forms and P5,500 cash.
Aware of the importance of the valuables and the documents, Josephine and Nervin waited for the owner, Stella Galicia, to look for her bag.
Galicia arrived looking for her bag and without delay, Josephine and Nervin handed her over her valuables.
Galicia was amazed at how the boy tried his best to locate her to return the items, instead of keeping it.
Galicia could not thank Nervin enough for his good deed that she decided to write and tell the governor of the boy’s laudable act.
In her letter, Galicia narrated how she lost her bag and how it was returned to her when she almost lost all hopes of finding it.
“For me, this is a heroic deed of a 12-year-old honest boy who did not take advantage of the situation and did not think of anything else but to return the bag to the rightful owner and for this, Nervin deserves recognition,” Galicia said in her letter.
Pleased by the boy’s act, Mendoza sent a representative from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) to see Nervin and his family.
According to Ruby Naviamos, social welfare worker, Nervin is the youngest of the four children. His father Nervin Sr. and mother Josephine are farmers.
Naviamos learned that Nervin’s act of honesty was not the first. In 2013, he returned a mobile phone that accidentally fell from a moving motorcycle, the social welfare worker reported.
He was biking when he saw the phone fell, picked it up and chased the motorcycle but failed to get its attention. Instead of bringing the phone home, Nervin gave it to his teacher-adviser Donna Marie Lauriquez in order to locate the owner.
The owner, a businessman from South Cotabato, returned looking for his mobile phone. He was so happy to have the cell phone back that he offered P500 to Nervin as a gesture of gratitude but the boy politely declined.
Impressed by the honesty and good values of Nervin, PSWDO Head Vergelita Guilaran wrote the governor, recommending that the Nervin’s good deed be recognized as the province during the 100th foundation anniversary this year.
Guilaran said Nervin’s good deeds should be recognized and his parents be given livelihood assistance to augment their sources of living.
Mendoza told reporters that Nervin and his family could choose between scholarship for him or livelihood assistance for his family.
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