A ‘legitimate working student’ – that is how netizen Leandro Alverio Santos II describes the young boy he met selling a house-shaped money box (locally known as ‘alkansyang bahay’) in the streets of Metro Manila, Philippines.
According to Leandro, he met this young boy near the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) and wouldn’t have given him notice but the lad started shouting “Alikansya! Alikansya po!” in hopes of gaining people’s attention so they would buy the money box he is selling.
True enough, Leandro’s interest was piqued and he asked for more details from the boy. He learned that the lad’s name is Edmar, 11 years old, and that the boy hails from the nearby province of Cavite where he makes the house-shaped money boxes with his mom during weekdays.
Edmar told Leandro that he goes to school during weekdays but also finds time to help his mother make the money boxes. During weekends, the pair would go to Manila to sell their handicraft.
Leandro admitted that the boy’s story nearly brought him to tears because of the boy’s admirable character. He knew that the boy was merely telling him the story of his life not to make him buy the money box but simply answering the questions asked.
Leandro couldn’t help but feel a bit ashamed of the times he pitied himself, hoping that he had a better life so that he did not go through the hardships he had gone through in life, when this 11-year-old boy was willing to forego playing with his peers so he could help his family earn money for a living.
He plans to organize an event so that students from UST and other prospective buyers can buy the money boxes sold by Edmar and his mother, not as a form of alms for them but as legitimate purchases.