Meet the first Aeta graduate of UP Manila


A young man made history after he mounted the stage of the University of the Philippines-Manila as the first Aeta who graduated from the prestigious state-run school.

Norman King, who recently earned his degree in Behavioral Sciences, proudly wore the famous bahag or clothing used by indigenous tribes during commencement ceremonies.

MAY HIS TRIBE INCREASE Norman King is the first Aeta graduate of the University of the Philippines in Manila. He recently earned a Behavioral Sciences degree from the government-run school. PHOTO BY AXL CAESAR MARCELO OFRECIO

“It’s a matter of the representation of Aetas,” he said.

King added that his journey as an isko (male scholar) was not easy as he made several adjustments during his years at the university.

“Maraming adjustments, di ko kinakahiya na madalas ako bumagsak noon sa Math [I made adjustments. I failed Math several times and it was difficult to recover]” he said.

King’s family and tribe in Mabalacat, Pampanga, who served as his inspiration, are both happy for his achievement.

King said he obtained his diploma for them.

“Kahit saang lupalop ng mundo, siya ang kauna-unahang Aeta na gumradweyt sa UP [He is the first Aeta native who graduated from UP-Manila)” King’s grandfather said.

Aside from his interest in science, King is also fascinated by photography.

He is an active photographer who uses the name “Isagani Malaya.”


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  1. juan delacruz on

    Norman King is his name? It sounded more like American name to me, and besides, he came from a tribe in Mabalcat, Pampanga? Isn’t it that the former U.S. Air Force Base was close to Mabalacat, Pampanga? I am curious because Aetas were the first inhabitants of Zambales and within that region, di ba? I am not sure myself because I only lived in the country for almost ten years of my life. It should have sounded closer to a real Aeta if his name was Juan Delacruz. No pun intended Mr. King, just curious.