CAUGHT in an unfortunate but all-too-common situation, senior high school student Kean Ramos only had his roller blades and a 500-peso bill in his pocket when his father, a Grab delivery rider and their family’s breadwinner, got sick in the middle of a pandemic.
With a little help from his family, the 18-year-old decided to put this last bit of savings to good use — trying his luck in selling coffee and Chuckie jelly in their neighborhood. He delivered these to his clients himself on his roller blades.
“Nagkasakit kasi si daddy last month, enlargement of prostate. Therefore kailangan siyang i-catheter to be able to urinate. So he was unable to work dahil sa sitwasyon niya. Ayokong mawalan kami ng tirahan o maputulan ng kuryente at tubig, kaya yung natitirang kong ipon na P500 ginawa kong pampuhunan pang-coffee jelly hanggang sa pinaikut-ikot ko lang yung pera,” he told SPIN Life.
He said: “Sumugal ako hoping na sana lumago para makatulong sa monthly bills namin.”
Kean is his parents’ third eldest son out of four children. One of his kuyas is also a rider in the food delivery service company. Being a resourceful kid, he decided to make use of his brother’s equipment in delivering his products to customers.
“When it was my first time delivering orders using roller skates, si mama mahilig mag-picture, tapos in-upload niya. Di ko in-expect na maraming family and friends na nag-share hanggang lumago na [sa social media]."
It was only last week that former volleyball player and now celebrity host Gretchen Ho launched a bike donation project. She called on netizens to nominate people they thought would benefit the most from a new set of wheels.
Kean's was one of the names submitted.
"Maraming nag-mention kay Miss Gretchen, at dun na po siya nag-reach out,” Kean continued.
Although he was comfortable with his skates, they're still not that convenient for him given the load of orders he delivers. That’s why, he’s most grateful to the people who helped him get noticed by the television host’s #DonateABikeSaveAJob project.
“Kahit mahirap, at masakit sa likod at paa, dahil sa bigat ng dala ko, ginagabayan ako ng Panginoon sa paglalakbay ko. Almost two kilometers din ang inaabot ko para makapag-deliver, and it is for free,” he shared.
Even before the pandemic, Kean was already doing his best to support his family. At 16, Kean also revealed that he worked part-time as a fast food crew to help augment the family income while he studied in a private school.
Due to financial troubles, his siblings and relatives decided to transfer to public schools this academic school year. Unfortunately for Kean, although he had himself registered, he never received a confirmation text.
But he’s not discouraged. In fact, he’s even more eager to hustle to continue his studies.
“May choice pa rin naman ako. Sayang din ang tuition kaya naisip ko, gagawa na lang kami ng modules for self-study,” he said. “Gusto ko lang magpasalamat sa lahat ng sumuporta, bumili ng tinda ko, at sa lahat ng tumulong, at nagnais tumulong, pati sa lahat ng na-inspire ko at lahat ng naging kasangkapan ni God.”