The hearing-impaired man in San Juan City, who recently went viral on social media, was provided by the local government with transportation back to his hometown in Laguna province.

(Photo from San Juan City LGU)

Mayor Francis Zamora led the send-off ceremony on Thursday for 26-year-old Rhesty Bemida, a locally stranded individual (LSI), back to his home in San Pablo, Laguna.

“In spite of being deaf and mute, he pushed himself to learn mathematics and language,” Zamora said.

He said Bemida recently went viral on social media after netizens found him studying mathematics, letters, and shapes at a parking lot of a church along F. Blumentritt in San Juan.

The local government said Bemida is originally from San Pablo, Laguna and lived with his mother, Ella. He left his home a few months ago and did not return. He does not know his family’s address. He has been homeless since then and is only able to feed himself by scavenging for junk.

“He will be brought home to Laguna today and we provided him with rice, canned goods, and toiletries. It was also his birthday last September 19 so we also gave him a personal cash gift,” Zamora said.

The mayor said Bemida’s family sought assistance for the return of their relative in Laguna following a news report that Bemida was seen at a church’s parking lot in San Juan.

The city government, through the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, facilitated the return of Bemida to his hometown after securing a health clearance, travel authority, and testing negative for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

To date, San Juan has facilitated more than 100 LSIs to safely return to their hometowns in different parts of the country such as Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Cararines, Masbate, Samar, Leyte, and even as far as Lanao del Sur. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (