My Father Is A Pedicab Driver


A few months ago, a sweet lady from the province of Eastern Samar came by and visited us. She needs to attend the oath-taking ceremony of New Psychologists & Psychometricians for 2018.
Grace was excited because she is one of the top notchers of her batch. And as Passers/Oath takers, each one is entitled to bring their parents as their guests.
Since it cost money to bring all her family to Manila, Grace choose her Dad to the said event.

Grace and I were doing casual talks while waiting for her Dad’s arrival. And during our spontaneous discussion, I asked this to Grace…

“What does your Father do”?

Grace replied and said…

My Father is a PEDICAB DRIVER”.

I paused for about 5 minutes. I didn’t know what to say or how to react to it.
Most people will be ashamed to disclose something like that but Grace managed to say it beautifully in front of me.

She was not ashamed to say it nor overly proud to announce it.
It is just the way it is. It’s their life and how their cards are being dealt with.

Here is another inspiring story of a poor father able to raise his family to a more secure life by bringing all his kids to proper education knowing that it is the only way for them to get a better life.
For those who are not aware, Pedicab drivers (also known as a “Bicycle Rickshaw”) are one of the lowest income earners here in the Philippines.
From what I’ve heard, the going rate of these drivers has an average income of about Php 200 to Php 300 per day.
An income that may be enough for a single individual in the province but definitely not enough to support a family of 5.

I was able to talk to Mang Danilo (father of Grace) before they went to the oath taking. According to him, he had to wear several hats to help make ends meet.
From early morning to almost midnight, he would ferry passengers in his pedicab on the streets.
His spouse is a house-wife taking care of 3 kids, so he needs to add more income for his family. Sometimes, he would run errands for a local Carenderia (Eatery).
And there are times that he worked for manual labor in exchange for basic foods like Fish & Vegetable like Ampalaya, Sitaw, and Okra.

As you can see from the photo, Mang Danilo really worked hard and long.
His dark skin complexion is from his long stay under the sun waiting for passengers.
His hands and palm are rough from the endless travel carrying his passengers to and from. It’s a tough life but he still does it for the sake of his children.

I’m sharing this story to you to hopefully inspire you. That if a merely Pedicab driver like Mang Danilo can bring his children to top universities then so do we.
Instead of complaining of the skyrocketing prices of the tuition fees of our kids, we should be thankful that we had a sturdy job at the office, in an air-conditioned room, and earning 10 times more.

While the youth should take note of Grace.
She probably sacrificed everything just to finish her degree. She Studied while everybody wants to Party.
She spent long nights reading books and grasping high grades knowing the fact that her father, who is miles away, is doing the same thing basked under the heat of the sun.

It is so nice to hear stories like Mang Danilo and Grace. They are the perfect example showing everybody that “Everything is Possible”.
“Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well”!
“You either get bitter or you get better”!

I used to think that I have a poor deck of cards.
But knowing that I have a supportive Father and a loving Mother. A strong united family consists of my wife and my 2 boys… I realized that I have a pretty good hand.
It is now up to me how to use it wisely.

I may not be as good as Mang Danilo and Grace, but at least I am trying.

How about you? How are you playing your cards lately?

Written on March 22, 2019