By: Ancel Marie B. Mondia
“DREAMS are not only limited to those who are physically-abled. I am differently-abled but that didn’t stop me from dreaming. That’s the reason why I am here now. I never stopped dreaming. I never stopped believing. So here I am now, in the place where everything’s worth seeing.”
These are the inspiring words of MJ Solitana, an artist who uses her mouth to draw because of her orthopedic disability.
Solitana, 34, who lives in Santa Barbara, Iloilo, learned the virtue of contentment and patience in her childhood and drew strength from her family who showered her with love, understanding, and support.
Her artistic journey began when she was 12 years old. She tried to bear with her solitude through pencil drawing. Her mother later said her talent could land her on TV.
Solitana said her condition made it hard to do simple things such as eating, drinking, and bathing. But her faith in God never wavered as she believes that she can overcome her trials.
Despite her difficulties, she did not take her condition as a problem and tried to live as normally as possible.
She was not able to attend school but she learned a lot at home. With the help of educational programs on TV and her cousin who taught her how to read and write, she felt like a normal student.
Despite her condition, Solitana went on dreaming and believing until she succeeded in becoming an artist.
Her mother’s vision became a reality. She was featured in “Wish Ko Lang” of GMA 7, and “Sikat Ka, Iloilo!” of ABS-CBN.
She was also given the chance to exhibit her works in her hometown.
Solitana is now an epitome of a comfortable, confident, successful, and positive woman.
The greatest lesson of her life is that disabilities should not stop us from dreaming and be successful.