Warlito Tumpap, fondly called as “Tatay Amboy”, lost his legs to polio when he was three years old.
However, he did not let this disability dictate his life’s path. Instead, he persevered and showed everyone that he could support himself despite his limitations.
Tatay Amboy is a mechanic who single-handedly runs his vulcanizing shop located along Doña Josefa Llanes Escoda National Highway in Dingras, Ilocos Norte for almost a decade. He would earn P250-P350 on an ordinary day; and this amount will be spent for their family’s everyday expenses, which include meals, toiletries, electricity, and his children’s baon.
“Maraming klaseng (customer). May mga magagandang loob, merong ‘yung kung maari, hindi sila mag-bayad kasi kung minsan sabihin ko ‘yung bayad, ‘Ang mahal naman!’ Ginagano’n pa ‘ko,” he said.
Before he was able to establish his vulcanizing shop, he ventured into different sorts of livelihood sources within his community.
“Maniwala man kayo o hindi, ang ginagawa ko noong wala pa akong bulkanaysan, nakiki-ani ako ng palay, kung hindi mag-pitas ng mais, kung hindi makiki-bunot ako ng pananim na palay sa bukid. Kung wala, noong may asawa na ‘ko, magkakapa ng talangka, mga hipon, ganoon, basta magkakapera ako,” Tumpap said.
What he has done before are way complicated than his present job because those activities required him to move a lot.
Tatay Amboy is a hardworking father to his two children—Rowena, 11 and Benedicto, 6—and a good provider to his partner of more than 15 years, Warlita.
According to Tatay Amboy, Rowena wants to become a teacher someday. Benedicto, on the other hand, intends to become a mechanic, just like his father.
He recalls a night when a 10-wheeler truck broke down in Ilocos Norte and could not find any vulcanizing shop willing to fix the tires until they reached Tatay Amboy’s shop. Tatay Amboy did not fail them when he single-handedly repaired the truck’s tires for four hours.
“Kahit gabing-gabi, bumabangon ako diyan, basta ang iniisip ko, P20 lang ‘yung nando’n. E ‘pag gabi merong kumakatok. Gagawin ko ‘yan para may baon bukas ang anak ko,” he said.
“Kahit ganito ang kinakatayuan ko, sa isip ko e may kapansanan man ang katawan ko, ang inisiip ko wala ‘yung kapansanan ko. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako doon sa mga humahanga doon sa nagagawa ng katulad kong disabled,” Tatay Amboy added.