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Pedicab Boys


I met these boys while I was tending my mother’s sari-sari store.

Maupay!” they called out. “Maupay“, in Waray dialect, means “good.” But when we visit another person’s house or go to a store to buy something, “Maupay” means “Tao po.”

The boys wanted to buy “ice water,” or simply, cold water. Since we do not sell “ice water,” I offered to give them water from our fridge.

While they were drinking, I noticed a pedicab parked in front of the store.

“You drove that pedicab here? Namamasahero kam?” I asked them.

Their answer, a “Yes”, felt like a stab in my heart.

“Who drives it?” I asked.

“Ako,” answered the older one. He was thin and I estimated he was not tall enough to reach the bicycle’s pedal when seated properly on the driver’s seat. How could he maneuver a pedicab? I could only imagine how hard he pedals when he is going uphill or on a steep road. Pedicabs in my province are different from the ones you see in Metro Manila. Mas mataas ang bicycle na gamit sa pedicab sa amin, minsan nga parang racer bike.

I offered them some packs of biscuits. I learned that they are brothers and they have 2 younger sisters. They are orphans so their sickly grandmother, a labandera, is taking care of them. The older one drives a pedicab to help bring food to the table.

“I help him sometimes. I go with him. I push the pedicab when he is having a hard time, especially if the load is heavy,” said the younger one.

I took a photo of them as they pedaled away after our short conversation. I noticed the driver did not sit properly as he drove. His legs were still short for the pedals. He managed to look back and give a shy smile. Beyond his smile, I know there are a thousand more hardships he could not tell me…in words.

I wonder how long they will have to do this. I wonder how long their young, fragile bodies will endure. While other boys their age are probably enjoying at the mall or busy playing war games on computers or PSPs, these brothers are out in the streets fighting their own war, pedaling to keep their family afloat.

Posted 6 years, 9 months ago at 3:49 pm.

35 comments

35 Replies

  1. nakakahabag sila. kaya nagpapasalamat ako at kaya ko pang ibigay ang pangangailangan ng mga anak ko .

  2. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Hi Dinah!
    Maswerte ang mga anak mo dahil you can provide for them, at mahal na mahal mo sila.

  3. I wonder why I’m teary after reading this. It touched my heart a lot. Ilan pa kayang beses sila magpipidal sa ilalim ng init ng araw para lang may makain. Hindi ko sila nakita ng personal pero parang napaka-bata pa nila for that job instead na mag-aral sila, maglaro.

    Thanks for sharing this one Miss N. ;-D

  4. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Hi Pao! Welcome dito sa blog ko. Maraming salamat po for dropping in. Inisip ko rin kung ilang beses silang magpi-pedal papra lang may makain. Yes, bata pa sila,, pao. The older brother is 13, the younger one is 10. Both have stopped from schooling.

  5. awwwww…… 🙁

  6. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Awwwww talaga, AC.

  7. sana nababasa to ng mga taong di makuntento sa kung anong meron sila.

  8. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Sana nga po. Sana. Kung minsan, ang mga kwentong ganito ay mabuting paalala rin sa atin upang maging grateful sa kung anong meron tayo.

  9. I love the sepia photo. This is such a good read. Worthy to be spread around 🙂

  10. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Welcome to my blog, pinaytraveljunkie, and thank you for your kind words about the sepia photo and the article. Congrats, malapit ka na palang maging mommy 😉

  11. Bilib ako sa mga ganyang bata. Marunong magtrabaho ng marangal para sa ikabubuhay ng pamilya. Mas nakakabilib sila kesa sa mga tambay sa kalye namin. Sadly, marami pa ring ganyang klase ng pamilya sa atin dito sa Pilipinas. Indikasyon na malayo pa ang kaunlarang pilit inaabot ng ating bansa. Sana masolusyonan ng gobyerno ang ganyang problema kahit paunti-unti.

  12. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    At ang tangi lang nating magagawa ay isama natin sila sa pagdarasal na sana’y maging magaan na ang buhay nila, na sana’y huwag magkaroon ng karamdaman ang kanilang mga batang katawan.

    Maligayang pagbabalik dito sa blog ko, Milai. Kumusta? Balik work ka na pala.

  13. touching story. i remember, I used to be a “pusher” too for a classmate of mine who would drive the pedicab to raise money so we could watch movies (this was in Calbayog).

  14. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Hello Mano Aryo,
    Salamat sa utro nga pagbisita dinhi sini nga ak blog. How I wish those boys will also grow up to be as successful as you are. Sana maging lawyer din sila katulad mo 😉

  15. nakakabilib ang mga batang tulad nila..sana mabasa nga to ng mga taong di makuntento sa buhay..like me minsan kapag nahihirapan ako..hehehe iisipin ko na lang sila..gagawin inspirasyon..^_^

  16. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Yan talaga ang pangunahing layunin ko sa pagkukwento tungkol sa mga batang ito: ang maging inspirasyon natin sila in times when we feel like we need more things in life at kung tutuusin ay hindi naman pala.

    Salamat, Jaid, sa napakasipag mong pagdalaw dito sa blog ko. I really appreciate that, iha.

  17. My heart aches when I see them. Very sad indeed, but I love their determination for a better life.

  18. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Who knows, Mommy Ebie, perhaps they’ll end up as good businessmen, or lawyers, or teachers. Ang tanging dasal ko lang ay wag silang makakasakit.

  19. maraming mga estudyante pa at magulang sa net.

    kung mapapadaan sila dito at mababasa ito,siguradong may magbabago sa kanilang pananaw sa buhay.

    larawan ng hindi pagsuko ang magkapatid.nakaka inspire ang ganitong mga lathalain.

    salamat,N.

  20. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Salamat din, Duking. Tama ka, larawan sila ng inspirasyon, at sila ay paalala na rin sa atin na maging grateful sa mga biyaya na natatanggap natin sa araw-araw.

  21. i agree with duking. this paints a picture of not giving up in life specially when it’s hard. good thing they have angels like you Miss N. 🙂

  22. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Thank you, Little Sis. Hindi po ako angel, I can’t find my wings ahehehe.

  23. they have the will to survive… i admire them… yung iba ang lalaki ng katawan palamunin lang…

  24. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Naku! Korek na korek ka dyan, Joyo. Marami sa atin ang malalakas pero hindi naman ginagamit ang lakas para sa ikauunlad ng sarili.

  25. so sad! kailan kaya darating ang araw na wala na tayong makikitang ganito… mga batang dapat sana ay nasa ekwelahan ngunit sa murang edad ay napapsabak na sa laban ng buhay… god bless them 🙁

  26. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Hi Ana!
    Sana ay dumating ang araw na tinuran mo—yung ang lahat halos ng mga batang Pilipino ay mabibigyan ng karapatan na makapag-aral para magkaroon ng magandang bukas. Palagian natin itong isama sa ating dasal.

  27. nawrongway Jul 18th 2010

    Waahhhhhhhhhhh!! Lagi na lang ako napapaiyak pag nagbabasa ako dito sa site mo.

    Bakit kasi kailangang may mga ganito? maswerte pa rin pala yun iba, kahit walang magulang, di naman dumanas ng ganito kalupit na sitwasyon.

    Sana dumating din ang swerte sa kanila. 🙂

  28. nortehanon Jul 19th 2010

    Here *abot box ng tissue*, punasan mo na ang luha mo 😀

    Opo, mas maswerte pa ang iba sa kanila. At sana ay ma-realize ito ng iba.

    Yan din ang dasal ko para sa kanila—ang dumating ang araw na hindi na nila kailangan pang magpadyak.

  29. peram ng cam ate. sobrang ganda ng mga pictures..cguro professional photographer ka ano tapos cute ka pa tapos tapos..
    so ano, papahiram mo na? hihi. o_O

  30. nortehanon Aug 13th 2010

    Hi Mitzi, sige, konting pambobola pa at malapit na kitang pahiramin 🙂 Salamat sa pagdalaw. Pasensya na, late itong reply ko hehehe.

  31. Taga Tacloban ka po? Or somewhere in Leyte? That pedicab looks like the pedicabs in Leyte. I like this post here. You’re right, its almost the same as the post from my blog. Keep posting! 🙂

  32. nortehanon Aug 13th 2010

    I’m from Samar, Northern Samar in particular. Pareho kasi ang itsura ng pedicabs sa Leyte at Samar eh. Matataas. Thank you for dropping in and welcome to my blog.

  33. Oh, ganun din pala sa Samar? Hmm. Actually sa Biliran na ako naka-base ngayon but I’m here now sa Tacloban. 😀 Thanks sa warm welcome. Thanks for dropping by at my blog too. 🙂

  34. awww!..ang bigat sa dibdib habang binabasa ko to.
    pero andun yong pag-asa na dala nung pagsisikap ng mga bata… ngayon ko naisip na sobrang swerte ko.

  35. nortehanon Aug 25th 2010

    Maraming salamat. Natutuwa ako at nakuha mo ang dalawang mensahe nito: 1) ang pagkakaroon ng pag-asa sa kabila ng lahat. 2) ang pagiging mapagpasalamat sa naging buhay natin.


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