Since 2013, Eddie Aquino and his mongrel ‘Blackjack’ have entertained passersby from the sidewalks near Manila City Hall in exchange for money – and this had not just helped send him to school but also ensured that he and his family had food on their table.
Eddie is actually the youngest of nine siblings. Their father is already old while their mom had long left them; thus, the kids were left to their own devices, searching for ways to make ends meet and to find food.
When the family found a puppy under a tricycle back in 2013, Eddie became its trainer and the two would soon beg for money at the sidewalks of Manila. As the dog grew, Eddie was able to teach it more tricks such as performing card tricks and dance numbers as well as solving basic math problems.
A lot of people took pity on the tandem and would give them money. In turn, Eddie tried his best to do well in school and the two would only perform in the streets after class hours or during weekends and holidays.
“The earnings we get from our street performances are used to buy Jack’s food, and for my allowance for school,” Eddie revealed. “Blackjack practically sends me to school.”
The young lad added, “I’m still happy with what we (him and Blackjack) do because it is purposeful and helps the family.”