Mang Ricardo is used to not paying attention to strangers asking for help and begging for spare change in buses, may it be for an elderly relative’s funeral, a wife’s surgery, or a daughter’s hospital bills. He would simply turn a blind eye and look away. That is until his son needed a liver transplant, which carries with it a price tag of a whopping Php 5 million.
The old man did not have any steady source of income. For the first time in his life, he was the one climbing up public buses and begging people for coins — anything they can spare, really — to help extend his child’s life.
“Dumadating din sa punto na bago ako sumampa ng bus, iniisip ko baka akala nila, baka isipin nila, modus ito,” said Mang Ricardo in an interview with GMA-7’s Reel Time.
Still, all his hesitation and fear of embarrassment goes out the window whenever he remembers his son, Baby Aju, fighting for his life and in desperate need of a liver transplant. Fortunately, there are still a lot of Filipinos with golden hearts who give what they can to help him.
“Tinitignan ko ang reaksyon nila, kung naniniwala ba sila sa sinasabi ko. Hanggang sa dulo, napansin ko naman, halos lahat nagbigay naman ng coins,” the loving father said.
Still, even if Mang Ricardo and his wife come up with the full P5 million needed for Baby Aju’s liver transplant, they still have to find a suitable donor — another difficult hurdle for people in their situation.
“Kung dumating yung liver transplant na yon, ini-offer ko na po yung liver ko sa anak ko kasi magka-type po kami ng blood type O,” he told Reel Time.
“Nung una pa lang sabi ko na na ako talaga ang magbibigay ng liver para sa bata. Sabi ko kahit nasa risk ang buhay ko, kahit pa ‘yon ay daan para mawala rin ako sa mundo, hindi ko po alintana ‘yon madugtungan ko lang yung buhay niya.”
Watch the whole feature on Mang Ricardo’s struggles here:
Good luck, Mang Ricardo! We wish Baby Aju a long, healthy life.
What can you say about this selfless father? Would you be willing to help him and his family? Are you also sympathetic to those who come up in buses to beg for money? Why/why not? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!