tedX four brothers

Son of a poor farmer now studying in Harvard University

As of 2018, more than 105 million Filipino live in poverty and about  3.6 million are out of school youth [PSA]. The poorest are the farmers and for someone like Romnick Blanco, to dream of stepping to an International School is ridiculous – but he chose to believe.

Romnick was born in 1997. He has eight siblings and lives at the foothills of Sierra Madre, Bulacan. To go to school, he had to walk miles on foot while under the heat of the sun, something common in the rural areas of the Philippines.

Green Earth Heritage

His opportunity began with a local Christian foundation. Romnick was one of the few who qualified for assisted schooling in Green Earth. The foundation helps the impoverished children of farmers by providing the ancillary costs of public schooling, particularly free access to English and computer literacy classes.

Green Earth leaders saw Blanco’s dedication outpacing other farmers in speaking English. He was trained further to compete for a scholarship at a prestigious High School in Makati.

International School Manila

In 2012, he became the first farmer’s child to win a full-tuition scholarship at the International School Manila (ISM), for the first time in 92 years. After graduating, Romnick qualified for a college scholarship grant in 2017 for an Ivy League school of his choice.

Harvard University

He was accepted at Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University, and New York University Abu Dhabi, but chose Harvard University in Massachusetts, USA.

From the Facebook account of Romnick Blanco

TEDx “The Four Blood Brothers”

His story reached the TEDx British School Manila where he narrated the story of the ‘Four Blood Brothers.’ He related the parable to Luke 12:48 where he was actually referring to himself as someone who has been given much, thus much is required.

His story centered on Blood Brother No. 4 who embarked on a different journey but whose success was because he transformed his mind. “He refused to be like the others, and he listened to his school teacher who always reminded him that poverty should never be a hindrance,” says Romnick.

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“To set one’s mind on a goal is just the beginning, but the journey ahead is long and difficult… it requires passion, perseverance, faith, and most importantly, not in one’s self but in God.” He said all these while the verse Proverbs 3:5 was in full view of students and treachers.

He told the audience that Blood Brother No. 4 trusted in the Lord with all his heart, leaned not on his own understanding, and so God directed his path. He discussed what our mindset shold be and said: “Transformation is the process of profound and radical change which orients an individual into a completely different place or direction”.

How do we become transformed?

His speech focused on the word ‘transformation’ and said that “transformation is not a onetime event, it is a continuous process that goes on through life”.

Then Romnick posed a question, “But how does one get transformed?. I wanted to find the best answers and I got the answer from the Bible,” he said. The screen flashes with Romans 12:2 and he continued to say, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Seven promises of Jesus to those who believe

Like a young preacher, he caps the story with Philippians 4:8 and tells the audience to fill their thoughts with whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. “Dwell on these things,” he said.

This kid is just awesome!

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“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit because you can do nothing without Me (John 15:5); “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

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