If you’re into trending topics, you’ll remember Rita Gaviola. She became the viral “Badjao Girl” from Lucban, Quezon. Topher Quintos Burgos captured her photo when he visited the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban in 2016.
Netizens were in awe of her exotic beauty. Rita was only 13 when Topher took that photo. She got her looks from her origin, which is the indigenous tribe, Badjao.
The Badjao Tribe is from Zamboanga, Mindanao. But Rita’s family went to Lucena, Quezon, at a young age. Her dad is a garbage collector while her mom is a housewife.
Life is hard for many tribes in the Philippines. Rita has other siblings, that’s why she learned at a young age how difficult it is to earn money. The young girl would go out and beg for money from passersby. Her life changed after Topher posted her photos. Different showbiz personalities, beauty queen, and more admired her beauty.
Beauty queens Miss World Philippines 2015, Hillarie Danielle Parungao, Miss International 2014 Bianca Guidotti, and Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong sent help to Rita. They were even keen on helping her develop her potential to be a beauty queen.
She was in a reality show in ABS-CBN before transferring to GMA-7. She tried her luck in Starstruck and also acting. She played a small role in Sahaya as one of the leading star’s classmates, Marriam.
There was also a time she and Gelo Angelo Marquez were linked to each other. There’s no confirmation, but they had a photoshoot together.
One of her iconic photoshoots is the one where she wore her national costume. Truly, she likes going back to her roots despite trying her luck outside her comfort zone.
Her 16th birthday was very special. She celebrated with a boho-themed party.
Rita “Badjao Girl” was lucky Topher took her photos. Her life changed because of it. Kudos to Rita for earning enough to provide for her family.