“Tingin ko sa kanila, mga demonyo… Kasi ‘yong mga [law] enforcer, sila ‘yong mga laging humahabol sa akin,” says SPO4 Bill Felisan who is now commonly known as Kuya Bill, recalling what he thought of police officers when he was an erring street kid.
In the Maalaala Mo Kaya episode “Youth Center” that aired with the hashtag #MMKSaveTheChildren, we witnessed how one man’s life changed from being a street child criminal into becoming a model cop. Successfully portrayed by Kapamilya actor Xian Lim, Kuya Bill’s life story has indeed inspired us not to lose hope with misguided youths for they still have the chance to mend their ways and become the hope of the nation.
READ: Xian Lim effectively personifies redeemer cop in MMK “Youth Center”
Here, Kuya Bill personally shared his compelling life story in his full interview with MMK host Charo Santos-Concio. As a young child who grew up feeling numb from committing different kinds of delinquencies, Bill always detested law enforcers. He said his parents neglected him, struggling to survive each day with his siblings.
“Sinanay ko na lang ‘yong sarili ko para mabuhay. Kung ano ‘yong makikita kong pagkain, iyon na. Namumulot kami ng basura, kasama ko ‘yong kapatid ko… Minsan, one day one eat. Minsan one day walang eat,” he shared.
However, despite the seemingly never-ending chaos in his childhood, Kuya Bill still dreamed for a better life. That came when he once ate a viand that he thought was a leftover, which apparently is only unattended because the person who ordered the meal was just getting a cup of rice to finish his meal. For that reason, the police officers finally captured him through Operation Fishnet, which aim to send juvenile delinquents like him to Kawit Island in Cebu.
Arriving to the Community Scouts Youth Guidance Center there at the age of 13, Kuya Bill’s life started to change. He tells us that one main thing he learned in that place that transformed him, is having a sense of compassion. He said the police couple who rescued him and became his second parents in the youth center has let him experience the meaning of the word. They gave him the love, discipline and proper care he needed as a child. Thus, he dreamed of becoming like them.
“‘Yong pagtingin ko sa pulis, nag-iba. Para sa’kin, ang isang pulis ay isang magulang, kapatid at kaibigan,” Kuya Bill shared.
Holding onto his dreams and taking a stand for the children who are experiencing what he’s gone through, Kuya Bill received various recognitions for being a model cop that he is. He became Cebu City’s Most Outstanding Policeman in 2008. Bill and his family then received the Most Outstanding PNP Model Family award from DILG and NAPOLCOM in 2013. Afterwards, he was given the Modern Day Hero award from UNICEF in 2018 and a special award from Vice President Leni Robredo as a Modern Day Hero last month.
Watch as SPO4 Bill Felisan tell us more about his inspiring life story in this video.