Japanese marries Badjao woman and proved love knows no boundaries.
The Japanese national Hiromu Matsuda tied the knot with a Badjao Shaima Mokaddam in a traditional Badjao wedding ceremony and now has a 2-year old son.
Koichi Kuwabara who shared Hiromu and Shaima’s love story said it was in 2016 that Hiromu first visited the Badjao community in Alaska Mambaling, Cebu City just out of curiosity.
Matsuda said that he decided to help the Badjaos when he saw their poor living condition. He then helped them get jobs by putting up a guest house for tourists and organizing island-hopping tours for Japanese tourists.
Japanese marries Badjao woman, love at first sight
As Matsuda continued to help the Badjao community, he met the love of his life, Shaima. Matsuda confessed, “It was really love at first sight.”
Badjaos were known to be “Sea-Gypsies” who lived near the seas where they get their primary source of living which is fishing. However, due to modernization and water pollution, the Badjaos were displaced and were forced to leave their homes and move to the city.
Filipinos stereotyped Badjaos as beggars roaming around the city with their child at their backs and begging for money and food. People would often mock and push them away.
However, the truth is, the Bajaos are victims of displacement and needed help from the government.
In 2016, Rita Gaviola also known as the “Badjao Girl” became an instant celebrity when photographer Topher Quinto Burgos took her picture during Pahiyas Festival. Quinto uploaded the picture and went viral.
“Badjao Girl” then made it to showbusiness and modeling until now. Her success is one of the biggest breaks given to the Badjao community.