How cyberbullying changed 'Amalayer' girl

Posted at 06/27/14 2:11 AM

"Amalayer" girl Paula Jamie Salvosa is now working full-time in a Christian ministry. Photo by Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBNNews.com

MANILA - More than a year since her humbling experience, Paula Jamie Salvosa now uses her feisty attitude to spread the word of God.

Salvosa was the talk of social media in 2012 after she was caught on video berating and shouting at a security guard at a train station.

The video became viral in the Philippines and worldwide.

She became known as the "Amalayer" girl for repeatedly saying "I'm a liar?" in the video.

Broken, crushed

Speaking during the ABS-CBN Christian Fellowship on Thursday, Salvosa recalled how she received hate messages, with people telling her what they will do to her if they saw her.

She added that she even received a death threat, which made it difficult for her to go out of the house.

"Nung nakita ko ang sarili ko sa video, para akong binuhusan ng malamig na tubig. Naisip ko, bakit ito nangyayari sa akin, why is this happening to me?" she said.

She felt broken, with Salvosa becoming worried about her future, especially as she was on her last year in college.

"Naisip ko kung makaka-graduate pa ba ako. Two months po akong hindi nakapasok. Paano kung hindi ako matanggap sa trabaho kapag nakita nila ang pangalan ko. Actually nangyari siya sa akin, hindi lang once, twice, thrice. Hindi ako natanggap sa kumpanya kasi alam nila kung sino ako," Salvosa said.

She could have taken her own life, had it not been for the small voice she heard while she was hiding from the world.

"May narinig ako, sabi niya: Balikan mo lahat ng tweets sayo, lahat ng messages. Noong una, ayoko nang balikan lahat yun. Masakit eh. Pero sinunod ko, binalikan ko lahat. Hanggang may nakita ako na isang tweet from a random stranger. Sabi niya sa akin: 'Paula, God loves you.' Umiyak ako, hindi ko alam kung bakit pero umiyak ako."

That was when she realized that she needed help to move on from the incident, and she became successful through the help of other young Christians.

"Yung pinuntahan kong church, kinausap nila ako. May mga youth dun, chinallenge sila nung preacher na gamitin ang social media to encourage other people. Ayun, gumawa sila ng mga Twitter account, Facebook account. Sinabi nila sa akin na mahal ako ni God, na mahal nila ako."

After receiving encouraging messages, Salvosa continued going to church, where everyone welcomed her warmly.

"Parang everyone was welcome. It was a very different scenario kaysa sa social media na everyone was against me, everyone was bashing me, and everyone hated me."

Despite the warm welcome, she still had qualms in showing herself to the public. When the pastor asked who among those in church wanted to accept the Lord, Salvosa refused to stand up and stayed in her seat.

"May doubt pa rin. Sabi kasi sa social media, kapag nakita nila ako, babatuhin nila ako ng mineral (water) bottle. Eh madaming mineral bottle dun sa harapan," she added.

She was given another opportunity one Sunday when the pastor asked the same thing, but this time, just asking the people to raise their hands.

"God's way is higher, and funnier. Sabi nung pastor, raise your hand. So sabi ko, ayun, kaya ko yun. Itinaas ko ang kamay ko. Pero bigla akong pintayo at pinapunta sa harap (ng church)."

All the doubt, all the hate went away when she accepted Jesus Christ in her life.

She also realized why she was so angry at the security guard, as was shown on the video.

"May hatred sa puso ko. Galit ako sa nanay ko kasi iniwan niya ako nung baby pa ako. Galit ako because I was almost abused by an uncle. Galit ako sa lahat ng mga nananakit sa akin. Inilabas ko yun doon sa lady guard," Salvosa said.

Paula Jamie Salvosa speaking at an ABS-CBN Christian Fellowship on Thursday. Photo by Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBNNews.com

'Princess of God'

Now, with the help of God's Love, Salvosa was transformed from the "Amalayer" girl to a "princess of God."

Salvosa said she sacrificed her longtime relationship and her dream job and decided to go full-time in the ministry.

She does not regret her decision, saying that God rewarded her with a lot more.

"Pangarap ko pong makasakay ng eroplano, at dahil kay God, nakasakay ako ng eroplano. Unang sakay ko ng eroplano, pumunta akong Mindanao. Ngayon, andito ako (sa ABS-CBN). Dati, nag-aaudition lang ako sa MYX."

After she accepted God, she also decided to drop all charges against the person who uploaded the video, as well as the lady guard.

"Maayos na lahat. Nakahanda na yung ebidensiya. Kakasuhan ko sila, because I want to be vindicated. Pero hindi ko itinuloy, because I got the best lawyer, and that is God."

Salvosa added that she will study further and enroll in Bible school to become a full-fledged preacher.

She is also currently writing a book about her "love story" with God.