What Happened to the Selfless Dad in the Viral Jollibee Photo?

When 38-year-old Tatay Ryan Arebuabo took his kids to Jollibee to celebrate their graduation, little did he know that this would soon bring him good fortune…

Having a hard time making ends meet, Tatay Ryan didn’t have a lot of money to buy full meals for them all but because he wanted his two children to be happy, he bought them ChickenJoy meals and just watched them eating.

Photo credit: Jhunnel Sarajan / Facebook

Some netizens commented that he could have treated them to a carinderia and have a meal himself but he wanted to make them enjoy a Jollibee treat for graduation, even if that meant not eating while they enjoyed the meal. Seeing his kids happy was already a big joy to Tatay Ryan.

What he didn’t know is that another diner had seen his selfless action and posted a photo on Facebook. Jhunnel Sarajan would pave the way for Tatay Ryan to receive help, especially after netizens learned about his sad plight.

Photo credit: Mark Demayo / ABS-CBN News

He suffered a heart attack 4 years before, with his last visit to the doctor being a year later. His wife would leave him afterwards, first taking their children but he fought hard until he was able to get the kids back.

He supports his kids through the 4Ps allowance he receives as well as profit from the little sari-sari store cart he received from the DSWD, earning around Php100 to Php200 a day.

Photo credit: Mark Demayo / ABS-CBN News

After his plight went viral, the family received various donations from many people. His sister helped him open a bank account where people can send their donations. Tatay Ryan made sure to use the money wisely, even so prudently that his kids had called him ‘kuripot’ but he said that he was only saving for their future.

Photo credit: Mark Demayo / ABS-CBN News

The family still lives in the makeshift 4-sqm barong-barong in the squatters’ area in Tondo, Manila but he was able to buy a new roof, walls, and door for their tiny home.

Photo credit: Mark Demayo / ABS-CBN News

With the money from donations, Tatay Ryan bought two tricycles which he rents out. Aside from the income he receives from the tricycles, he also earns Php500 now from his sari-sari store after he was able to put up a higher capital; he also sold some of the excess groceries they received in donations.

While he is still unable to drive the tricycles by himself, he has gotten free therapy at a wellness clinic in Binondo. His progress has been remarkable after months of therapy. Soon enough, he will be able to drive his tricycles.

Photo credit: Ryan Arebuabo / Facebook

Actor Piolo Pascual also offered the kids a scholarship, promising to pay the kids’ tuition fees at a private school after he played Tatay Ryan’s role in an MMK episode. The actor also gave him a cellphone.

Then, a local bookstore also promised to shoulder the kids’ school supplies.

Indeed, life has become a whole lot better to Tatay Ryan and his two children. Throughout the good fortune he receives, Tatay Ryan remains steadfast in his goal to provide for his children. He continues selling at his sari-sari store and keeps donations in the bank to ensure a brighter future for his kids.

Photo credit: Mark Demayo / ABS-CBN News

Hindi ko pera iyan, para sa mga anak ko iyan. Para sa kinabukasan nila, at para hindi sila matulad sa akin,” Tatay Ryan explained.

You are an admirable dad, Tatay Ryan! Kudos!

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