“Always remember that you are beautiful inside and out. Some people might judge us. They might see us differently. But we are special in our own way.” – Joanna Mae B. Pobleto (NCFPI patient)
I was born in Bacolod City and people there have always been curious about my medical condition. I have a cleft and a big hole in my face. I can’t even drink milk properly so my parents decided that I need to stay at the hospital for the insertion of an orogastric tube (OGT).
But due to a lack of resources, my parents decided to look for a foundation that can help me. Someone contacted my parents to help us to post my condition in a newspaper. My parents were so thankful because a lot of people
donated money to us but little did we know, my parents got scammed by people who only used my situation to get money.
The Philippine Airlines Foundation later saw my condition. They offered to help me travel to Manila at zero expense and eventually coordinated with the NCFPI. It was a beautiful miracle for me and my family. I was scheduled for operation. They saw me as a tiny flower with a broken petal that eventually started to bloom again.
The surgery was successful. My doctors assured me that I will receive comprehensive cleft care and treatment. My cleft journey is not yet done and still in progress. They fixed my cleft, and now I can speak clearer than before. My nose is not that open anymore. It was indeed a wonderful journey with NCFPI.
Right now, I enjoy joining beauty pageants and modeling workshops. It helps me boost my confidence as I face a lot of people. Being a person with a cleft is not a condition to be ashamed of.
To all cleft patients like me, do not hide your beautiful faces. Always remember that you are beautiful inside and out. Some people might judge us. They might see us differently. But we are special in our own way. We were all born beautiful, and there will always be people who will accept us just the way we are.