He holds a degree in education and a license to teach after he passed the licensure examination for teachers in 1992 (and he even passed the civil service test necessary for him to be employed in a public school!) yet Tatay Alfredo Manuel now lives as a scavenger, looking for various trash he could recycle to earn money for a living.
According to GMA News, he was once a janitor in an elementary school but had attended college while working; thus, he was able to earn an education degree yet because of previous theft charges he did not even know about, he was not accepted when he tried to apply for a teaching position.
For 5 years, he tried to find a job as teacher but just couldn’t land a job; he gave up. Today, he could be seen walking along the streets of Manila (Philippines), along a route that takes him around Taft area and nearby places.
But what was quite remarkable is that despite the challenges he faced in life, his love for learning has never faded. At his old age, he still loves to read books, re-memorize the scientific names of plants since he has forgotten many of them, and reading old newspapers to learn new things.
Netizen Andrew Pamorada shares on social media that he found a book of plant scientific names while traveling in Iligan City, southern Philippines. He bought it for Manuel who would later tell him he had been looking for such a book for over 75 years since he could never afford to buy one.
The old man was happy with Pamorada’s gift, saying he loves it because he can re-memorize the ones he had already forgotten. Pamorada also revealed that Manuel is hoping someone would take up his challenge for a contest of scientific names of plants…