What does it take for a man to be called “abled?” Should he be physically complete? Does it require a man to have arms to be able to swim? Does it require a man to have complete arms to be able to draw, or to ride a bike? For Jantrix, it does not.
For Jantrix, the word “disabled” is just a label and that label is given only by the society. People call him PWD, physically challenged, disabled. Name it all. But for him, those people who underestimate him are the ones who are “disabled.”
Jantrix De Sagun, a 30-year -old Palaweño, was born with no arms. Growing up being physically challenged, he didn’t look at things as something difficult.
People often ask him, “Buti hindi ka nahihirapan? Paano mo nagagawa ‘yan?” People often ask for he is armless but for Jantrix, things are all normal, and many activities are as piece of cake for him. Abled and fearless Jantrix loves to travel.
He loves to go hiking, fishing. He is also good at swimming, dancing and most specially, he loves art; he draws, photographs, and tattoos. For short, this guy is more than what you see physically. Growing up as a child, nothing stopped him from doing things he love. Not even people who continue to discriminate him.
He actively joined scouting jamborettes and campings. “Nung bata pa ako, sumasali ako sa mga boy scouts, sa mga jamborettes, makulit ako nung bata pa ako eh,” he said. He also said that no one can bully him just because he is armless.
His number one shield is strength and being fearless and these are his key to fight against judgmental people. “Hindi naman nila ako kukutyain, gugulpihin ko sila, yari sila,” he said while bursting with laughter.
You can see in his eyes how fearless and tough he is; he is tougher than a physically healthy one. “Hindi mo naman kasi magagawa ‘yung isang bagay kung di mo lalakasan loob mo eh, sa akin kasi lakas lang din talaga ng loob,” he said.
He said that he didn’t look at his situation as something difficult. He did all things like how everybody does because he was born that way. “Sa akin, wala naman nag train sa akin, parang kusa ko lang natutunan ito,” he said.
He has a creative mind. His art works have deeper meaning; most are about the government system and the failures and anomaly of the government. Jantrix is also an activist. He fights for the people’s rights through his artworks.
He doesn’t only have a big heart for the people but for the environment and animals as well. Duing the interview with Palawan Daily News it was witnessed how he cleans street sides which has plastics. He seem to do it effortlessly and wholeheartedly.
“Environmental lover din ako, ayoko ng may nagtatapon sa daanan,” he said. It’s amazing how someone armless can pick up trashes while someone who does have a complete arm could hardly do it. Jantrix once dreamt to be a veterinarian, but during college days, he said that their family could not afford to send him to a veterinary school. So, he pursued a business course in Cainta, Rizal. Being a job applicant, he was saddened by the dark truth that people judge you by your physical disability.
Jantrix applied with so many companies but only few accepted him. “Marami na akong pinasahan ng resume dito kaso walang tumanggap,” he said. He said that people should not focus on what someone “cannot” do but should rather focus on what they are good at. “Bakit mo ilalagay ang tao sa hindi sya magaling, ilagay mo siya sa kung saan siya magaling. Parang yung pipi, kung dun sya magaling sa computer dun mo ilagay, bakit mo siya ilalagay sa pakikipag usap kung di sya marunong dun,” he said.
He stated that he knows he can not erase judgmental people around the world, he said that listening to them would only waste his time, and so, Mr. De Sagun learnt the “art of dedma.” “Hindi ko pinapansin ‘yung mga ganyang tao, mga makikitid ang utak,” he said. Instead of listening to people’s criticism, Jantrix focused on maximizing his talents, he also plays football, skates and dance.
“Hindi ako umiyak sa mga pangungutya nila sa akin eh, naiiyak ako sa gigil dati,” Jantrix said while laughing. He is also a hiker and a mountaineer. Jantrix loves to see the mountain, the sea and the trees for he is an animist, he praises different spirits and the trees, the moon and other more. “Kinikilala kong Diyos si Jesus pero sumasamba rin ako sa nature, sa iba ibang spirits,” he furthersaid.
And how does Jantrix became an animist? It’s because this guy a very very deep fascination with Filipino culture, he always visits tribal group in the Philippines. He said that he gets that undefinable happiness by looking at the Indigenous People and their culture. He said that it is great to see how IP’s enrich Filipino culture, he said that he loves culture and tribes more than modernization; it is our roots and it should be valued.
With his big fascination with tribes and his love for the nation, Jantrix got himself tattooed with different tribal symbols, alibata and Philippine’s historical symbolisms. Some of his photographs are also focused on IP’s portrait and Apo Wang-od that he really idolizes for so many years. Jantrix is still single at the age of 30, so he focuses on his parents and siblings.
He stays at home to cook for his brother, does the laundry and some house chores. “Mahilig din ako mag luto, minsan dito lang ako sa bahay, nagluluto, minsan nag hahatid ng laundry,” he said. He said that he does it all for his family for his family is his number one strength, his family is the one who taught him to be braver. He has not heard anything from his family but words of encouragement. A family guy, a nature and animal lover but a lot of heartaches broke this man’s heart into pieces, he said that he hopes that one day, he’ll see a girl that would be proud of her no matter what.
“Asawa, anak, parehong wala pa ako nun,” he said. He might not have another half for now, but Jantrix is a very social person and has a bunch of friends who values him a lot. In fact, his friends help him build his modified bicycle with a side car which he uses as a service vehicle to run for errands.
“Minsan hahatid ako ng laundry gamit ko ‘yung bike ko… Ngayon lang ako nakapag bike eh, kaya minsan kahit mainit dyan sa labas, papadyak talaga ako,” he said.
What Jantrix can do may not all be listed down but he is more than what you see—he is fearless, he is tough. He might not be blessed with both arms but he is blessed with so many talents and ability no one could count.
He also proves that no one could ever judge you by your physical attributes and being “disabled” is just a state of the mind. He also said, “Lahat tayo pinanganak na may talent, bahala na lang tayo mag discover nun.” And if his wish is granted, Jantrix will create tee-shirt designs and come up with a clothing line that he would name “Inborn.”