Student Graduates after 13 Years of Selling Sponges, Celebrates with ‘Suki’ Customers

There are people who are lucky in life and are able to complete their college education, even masters’ and doctors’ degrees, with the support of their parents and family members but there are also many others who have to strive hard on their own to support their studies.

Melvin Chua spent the last 13 years selling sponges in the streets of Makati City to support his studies. He started selling when he was still in elementary.

As he graduates from college this year, he took time to visit his ‘suki’ customers to personally thank them for helping him out all those years. Because he was not able to visit them all on the day before his graduation, he took his gratitude to Facebook.

“After ng graduation practice namin, nagtinda ako with hope na sana makita ko ang karamihan sa mga suki ko. I really wanna tell them how thankful I am to all of them as they really contributed a lot and played a big role in my life for almost 13 years.

Yes!! They witnessed my elementary, high school, and now my college Graduation. Sila yung mga taong kahit anong antas sa buhay- bumibili ng tig 5,10,15 20 kong paninda na panghugas ng plato.

Luckily, I was able to meet and thank personally some of them. At yung mga hindi pa, dito na lang.”

Photo credit: Melvin Chua / Facebook

The young man thanked all his loyal customers for buying the sponges he’s been selling. Each item bought meant another day, another week, another month added into his dream of finishing his studies and graduating from college.

Melvin graduated with the course of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Major in Office Management at University of Makati.

He added:

My heart filled with so much love and joy after hearing all their “Congratulations!” and “So Proud of You”. I know to myself I was able to thank them and show them my gratefulness for their kindness. Naiiyak iyak lang din ako habang ngumingiti sa kanila.

Sila yung mga taong-

Oh! gabi na, naglalako ka pa! Ingat ka dyan sa daan.
Naulan bakit nagtitinda ka? Nagpapahiram ng payong para di ako mabasa.
Mahal na araw, naglalako ka pa din.
Balik ka dito sa pasko may regalo kami sayo. Etc.

Tuwing naglalako ako, hindi ko naisip na kailangan kong magtinda to survive kundi dahil masaya ako sa ginagawa ko at nakakatulong ako kay Mama.

He has definitely come a long way from the grade school kid who sold sponges for a living and to support himself in school. Thirteen years is a long time for selling sponges but he managed to enjoy this time and have fun while selling his goods. Thanks to his customers becoming his friends throughout those years, selling had become more of a fun activity to him than just a means to earn money.

Photo credit: Melvin Chua / Facebook

His loyal customers were friends who offered him umbrellas on rainy days, bid him well as he sold during difficult days, gave him extra food, and provided him with presents during Christmas season.

I am sharing this because I just can’t celebrate alone the success I made without sharing it to all of you. Masaya po akong malaman na masaya kayo para sa akin dahil gagraduate na ko ng College. Maraming salamat po. Sobrang maraming salamat po. Para din po sa inyo ito.

Ano mang achievement ang maabot ko sa buhay, I will always be proud of it. Lagi po akong tatanaw ng utang na loob at malaking pasasalamat sa inyong lahat. Sana dumating ang panahong ako naman ang makatulong sa iba tulad ng pagtulong nyo sa akin.

So, as he graduates from college, he took the time to thank them for their kindness and help, saying he just can’t celebrate his success alone because they had been there for him through the years. Isn’t that sweet?

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