Jayvee Lazaro Badile II is living his best life. A successful business manager at a financial company, he mentors financial advisors, lives in a beautiful home, wears luxury brands, and travels far and wide for both business and pleasure. His picture-perfect life though, is a far cry from his childhood as the adopted son of a poor family in the Philippines.
Theirs is a story of unconditional love, withstanding extreme poverty and the challenges that come with it. Maximo and Maria, a poor childless couple in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines, heard that Maria’s sister was about to have her child adopted. Despite their own dismal state, the two asked to adopt the child instead, and took in Jayvee as a baby.
Nine family members lived in a 20 square meter home. They were so poor that they shared a single bedroom and were lucky to have at least two meals a day, mostly of rice and salted dried fish. They scrambled to pay the bills, and were in constant danger of having their electricity cut, or being evicted from their home.
Jayvee recalled, “My mother was already famous in the neighborhood because she had to ask for loans from so many people.”
As if that were not enough, Jayvee’s brother forced him to steal the earnings of small convenience stores and eateries when he was nine years old. Jayvee said “I had no choice because if I disobeyed him he would beat me up.”
His fate would change after he was cleaning up at home. A letter he found revealed his true parentage, and the adopted son lashed out at his biological parents. This discovery, and his many other hardships, compelled Jayvee to dream of a bigger and better life, for him and his hardworking foster family. He confronted his brother and refused to steal any longer, and pushed himself so he could leave his life of poverty.
He worked all sorts of odd jobs to support his studies, from being a barker to a fleet of jeepneys, to dishwasher, waiter, and tutor to classmates. He took up an accounting course in college, and was bright enough to get a scholarship.
Soon enough, Jayvee was on the road to success. Upon finishing his studies, he worked as a sales representative of a soda company, before moving on to a financial company, where he acquired plenty of clients and earned substantial commissions. He has since been promoted to business manager and has the distinction of being the Philippine insurance industry’s youngest and fastest promoted branch manager.
He may be the adopted son of a couple who lived in the slums, but his family gave him the foundation to lead a good comfortable life. “When Nanay and Tatay adopted me, it wasn’t a good life. Nanay is a vendor, Tatay is a porter. Now that I have the chance to give back to them, I will make sure they will live their dreams better than what they could ever imagine,” Jayvee said.
True to his promise, Jayvee proudly shared his way of giving back to his family. “Twenty-eight. This is the number of years my family and I lived in a small shanty in Bocaue, Bulacan. We rented the house for a Php1,000 (about $20) a month. Often, floodwaters entered the house, and we didn’t even have our own water supply.”
“Our electricity was also often cut because of poverty. Nine members of my family experienced living in a cramped, dirty, and hot space, with no proper sleeping or eating area. We didn’t have our own proper bathroom and toilet. Our home was the picture of poverty, but also that of a family that worked hard to reach their dreams.”
And so he built the family their dream home. “I paid for the house in cash and it was built in a year. It has seven bedrooms, and we didn’t bring anything from the old place except the TV I bought for my family as a Christmas gift earlier.”
Jayvee now has money to burn, and his family can’t want for anything more. His father, Maximo, shared, “I thank the lord for giving me my son.” Maria added, “I said I only wanted a small house, and he said, ‘No Mom, I’m going to give you a mansion.’”
But beyond the material satisfaction, the adopted son has been giving his family the best gift – his time. He spends as much time as he can with the family, and bonds with them with travels to locations such as Australia, New Zealand, and Dubai.
Jayvee credits his success to his selfless parents, and his unwavering faith. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Truly inspirational, he feels compelled to share his story of hope with others.
“I want to give a message of inspiration, of impact, and of influence to other people. I want everyone to understand that whatever it is they are going through, it is temporary, and if they work hard, and they stay close to the Lord, then they’ll reach whatever they want to achieve.”