Born cross-eyed, recipient of Flavier’s “Oplan Sagip Mata” among bar topnotchers

Truly, the late Sen. Juan Martin Flavier was a great man – and Atty. Sandra Magalang is a living proof to that. She is among the topnotchers of the 2014 bar exams; the results of which were released on March 26, 2014. She ranks third.

Born cross-eyed, she was a recipient of Flavier’s “Oplan Sagip Mata”, reports RachFeed.

Photo credit: Facebook/Sandra Magalang
Photo credit: Facebook/Sandra Magalang

During his time as the Secretary of the Department of Health (DOH), Flavier launched several programs that benefited countless poor people. “Oplan Sagip Mata” was one of those programs aimed at helping the poor who have eye problems.

Launched 20 years ago, “Oplan Sagip Mata” helped Magalang obtain normal eyesight. The program was especially helpful because the family was poor and had no means to have her condition corrected on their own.

Magalang would have remained among the nameless recipients of Flavier’s programs, but she appeared in the limelight during the late DOH secretary’s wake last October 2014. Flavier’s son, James, found her note written at the back of a guest book.

To the family and loved ones of Dr. Flavier.

I apologize for writing at the back of this guest list, but this is the only way I can think of to convey my gratitude to your family and to Dr. Flavier.

My life was changed by his Oplan Sagip Mata almost 20 years ago, and thanks to this great man I was able to live differently despite being born cross-eyed and poor. Without him, I could not have achieved the honors I have achieved, and his health programs have helped me reach places I never thought I would. I even graduated summa cum laude from this university, and this is all thanks to your great father/grandfather/loved one.

Thank you, and my deepest condolences.


Sandra Magalang, UP Diliman 2010, 2014

Her story went viral, especially after the post was acknowledged by UP Law professor JJ Disini.

According to InterAksyon, Magalang was the first summa cum laude of UP’s National College of Public Administration and Governance. If not for Flavier’s program, Magalang thinks her life would have been different.

Today, Magalang proved to the world that being born as a poor, cross-eyed girl is not a hindrance for reaching one’s dreams.

Congratulations, Atty. Sandra Magalang!