Skip to main content

Bravo, Heron!

Article, Bravo Heron


Filipinos are known to be resilient but the year 2020 brought a different dimension to hardship, not just for Filipinos but for almost everyone around the world because of the global pandemic. The unprecedented health crisis changed people’s lives overnight as restrictions and protocols gave rise to the so-called “new normal,” testing the limits of Pinoy resilience. With people locked down in their homes for months on end, many felt the need for a mental health check. And closer to home, some UMak students’ together with students from other top universities recently called for an academic break and became one of the top trending topics on social media.


Despite setbacks and hardships, other UMak students choose to be, not only resilient, but also resourceful in the true spirit of a UMak Heron.  The heron is believed to be a spirit animal known for being a supreme hunter.  The heron symbolizes resourcefulness “... you make things happen even if you have so little to work with, and even if the odds are against you ...”


We’d like to share with you the story of resilience and resourcefulness of a UMak Heron.  Below are the links to the websites that featured his inspiring story:

The Post | Watch Out! This University of Makati graduate might break the news for us next time

The Summit Express | Inspiring student worked several odd jobs to support studies


John Philip Bravo is an alumnus from the College of Arts and Letters. He completed his degree in Bachelor of Arts major in Broadcast Production in 2020.  He served as treasurer of the University of Makati College of Arts and Letter Student Council 2019-2020. He was able to juggle several jobs with his academics and even managed to participate in co-curricular school activities. Some of his major achievements include:


JPB 2  JPB 3  JPB 4


  1. Online Choice Award (Digital Category) AdSpeak '19: Super Charged at Colegio de San Juan de Letran — Manila

          Role: Director and Producer


  1. Second Place (Kulitan - Documentary) Knowledge Channel - 2020 Class Project Intercollegiate Mini-Documentary Competition

          Role: Audio Transcriber


  1. Semi-Finalist (Kumakatok - Short Film) 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival Student Short Film Competition

          Role: Production Manager


He is currently working at Shopee Philippines as a Marketing Analyst. He is also the Chairperson of Young Filipino Advocates of Critical Thinking or yFACTph, an organization of youth leaders advocating for responsible use of social media.


We asked him what he misses at UMak and how he developed his motivation, he replied,

I think pinakamamimiss ko would be my classmates, my professors and friends who have constantly humbled me by their brilliance and who have been my companions as we've struggled through 7am exams, ridiculous assignments, challenging group projects, all-nighters and stress-induced mental breakdowns. Mamimiss ko din ang University Student Council (members) who have impressed me with their talent and dedication, who I've shared late nights in the office with, who have given me some of the most unbelievable opportunities of my life and helped make the office my second home while on campus ... My motivation to complete my studies was my family. Gusto ko talaga makaahon kami sa hirap. It was Nelson Mandela who said: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’."


   JPB 6  JPB 7   JPB 5


He told us how UMak helped him during his financial difficulties,

“Super thankful ako with UMak because I pay less fees compared sa other universities. But unlike other students who usually spend three to four years in college, I've waited 6 years to earn this bachelor’s degree. Sobrang hirap kasi it took different jobs to finally finish my course. I worked as a fast-food crew, (did) typing jobs, call center agent, and joined several writing competitions just to earn money and return to studying.”


Being a full-time working student of Broadcast Production was definitely challenging for him.

“It was really difficult but my supervisor and colleagues at Teleperformance were all very supportive of me. They gave me a work shift that suits my class schedule. Wala akong choice, I took on each challenge and excelled in them—completing school projects, acing exams while maintaining excellent performance at Teleperformance, even qualifying for a monthly performance incentive and being one of the top performers of my batch during the training period."


JPB 7   JPB 8

"There were times na gusto ko na lang itigil dahil feeling ko kahibangan lang talaga ang mga ito. However, my tenacity prevailed. There was just too much hope and determination in me to finish what I’ve started.”

He hopes his story inspires more Herons.

I'm hoping that my story will motivate and inspire my fellow Herons who are gearing up to finish their studies. Kumapit lang tayo, never give up because you deserve to see your hard work pay off.  Don't give up on yourself. Don't let go of your wildest dreams.”


Photos from: John Philip Bravo

Edited by: Cynthia Margaretta R. Jose