At the tender age of 11, Rommel Quemenales’ life was documented due to his circumstances of being homeless. With his father leaving him and his mother showing little interest in their many children, Rommel was forced to fend for himself by begging and finding unconventional ways of making money. However, one day, he stumbled upon a stray puppy who became his loyal companion on the streets. Rommel affectionately named the puppy Badji after his missing brother Adji and cared for him more than he cared for himself. Together, they make an incredibly heartwarming duo that will surely tug at your heartstrings.
Meet the Dynamic Duo of Quezon City: Rommel and Badji. This pair, who call the Philippines home, gained attention back in 2015 thanks to a poignant 25-minute video by Front Row Publications. In the video, Rommel provides a peek into his daily life as he and Badji navigate the world on their own.
Sadly, Rommel’s father abandoned the family in 2009 after falling in love with their nanny. Although Rommel’s mother is still present, she doesn’t seem to care much about his welfare, leaving him to spend most of his time on the streets. While he occasionally stays with his older sister, who works long hours, it’s mainly Badji who keeps him company. Despite their difficult circumstances, these two make quite the team.
Rommel shared that his younger brother Adji went missing during their childhood, and he finds Badji, their pet dog, reminiscent of Adji. His mother recalls that they searched the city for Adji initially but didn’t contact the authorities. Their father discouraged them from worrying and assured Adji would return someday, but Rommel remains clueless about his brother’s whereabouts.
Rommel considers Badji to be more than just a playmate. He sees the pup as a brother and often carries him around as he did with his own sibling. Rommel’s typical day revolves around asking strangers for money, which he then uses to feed himself and Badji. The two are inseparable, and Rommel can’t help but express how much he would miss the pup if he ever left his side.
Rommel dedicatedly saved his money to purchase school supplies for his education, despite only completing second grade due to his age. Fortunately, with the help of several people, Rommel was able to fulfill his dream of finishing school. Although he lacked a school uniform, Rommel was grateful for the opportunity to attend third grade, as long as he maintained personal hygiene and brought his own notebooks. Whenever he attended school, Rommel left his dog Badji with his mother or older sister. During his visits, Rommel also cooked food for himself and his pooch, but his mother preferred that he earned money instead of staying home. Despite the challenges he faces, Rommel remains optimistic and perseveres in achieving his goals. Thanks to the generosity of caring individuals, Rommel can now pursue his education, which he hopes will eventually help his siblings as well.
Rommel expressed excitement about returning to school and the opportunity it presents to support his siblings. He dreams of one day owning a home, free from the mistreatment they have experienced in the past. The video ends with Rommel attending school and facing challenges with determination, thanks to the support of his friend Badji. While there are no updates on their current situation, we hope that they continue to overcome adversity together. To view the full episode, follow the provided link.