This 2019, ABS-CBN marks its solid, successful, and colorful 65 years as the pioneer and premier television network in the country that has been genuinely serving the Filipinos here and abroad through its TV programs both (free and digital), radio and online shows, internet content and services, music and publications, recreational hubs, and live events.
But more than the entertainment that these services bring to every Pinoy home around the world, what makes us fervently support every project that they launch and offer are the knowledge and inspiration it would surely instill to us. This may be through the well-thought of and finely helmed relatable storyline of the teleseryes or the heart-warming and arousing anecdotes of people from different walks of life that they feature.
Just like the inspiring story of Ryan Canda, the head choreographer of the Cebu-based dance crew named The Exporters, one of the contenders under the Team Division of World Dance Philippines. Born with a cleft lip and a cleft palate, he completely had a hard time dealing with the people around him growing up because of his speech and physical defect, making him a constant victim of bullying. Thankfully, his mom was always there to console and guide him in his depressing times and his beacon who taught him the value of forgiveness by incessantly telling him, “Just pray in the Lord and forgive them.”
In order to conquer his predicament, there was a point when Ryan tried to stuff a bubble gum in the split on his upper palate to no avail. Then he sought for a way through which he can freely express himself without the need of speaking but can be understood, and that’s when he discovered and developed his talent in dancing. In this process, being able to watch various talent shows of ABS-CBN such as It’s Showtime and Pilipinas Got Talent, in which his dancing idol Billy Crawford were both part of, probably helped him a lot.
From being just an audience member, the aspiring Cebuano dancer eventually found himself dancing on TV when his team auditioned, and unfortunately got rejected twice, in Pilipinas Got Talent. Despite those setbacks, including his beloved mom’s sudden demise due to stage 4 colon cancer, he didn’t let his burning passion in dancing be extinguished and continued honing his prowess through consistent trainings and participating in more competitions like World of Dance Philippines – a dream come true for him and his mom.
Their touching and powerful performance on the Qualifiers Round, which tackled the issue of bullying, was able to pierce through the hearts of the judges and allowed them to enter the Duels Round where they impressed us anew with another riveting and emotive number. They might not be able to move on to the next level, but the skies still lit up for Ryan as Operation Smile, a non-profit organization conducting free surgeries for people with cleft lip and cleft palate, contacted him to bestow him a life-changing gift – repairing his cleft lip. The operation already began last February and will be completed this May.
Meanwhile, he also bagged the second place in the upper division of World of Dance Manila last March 2 and even represented the Philippines in World of Dance in Los Angeles, USA last 2018 in the same division. At present, Ryan is busy reviewing for his upcoming civil engineering board exam this May.
May the inspiring story of Ryan Canda motivate you to continue soaring and reaching for your dreams, Kapamilya!