A 79-year-old man is begging for alms on the streets of Lucena, Quezon for his medicine, daily food, and surprisingly, for his own casket.
Roberto Arroyo, commonly known by locals as ‘Tatay Berting’ wakes up as early as 4am everyday in his humble hut along the shores of Junisan, Quezon to prepare for his routine.
He travels two hours every morning to Lucena where there are many people to beg from. He knows that begging is prohibited in the country (Anti-mendicancy Law) but he said in a feature story by Rated K that he does not harm anyone and he isn’t forcing people to help him. In fact, he thanks them whether they give or not.
Tatay Berting has been a widower for two decades. All his children already have their own families except his daughter Vilma “Oging” Arroyo who is mentally ill. Worse, Oging was raped by some unidentified heartless monster and became pregnant.
Everyday, Tatay Berting leaves Oging alone in their place of abode to beg in Lucena — not just for both of them, but for his future grand child. Tatay Berting sure looks weak and have difficulty walking, but his spirit, his daughter, and his ‘dream casket’ fuels him everyday. Somehow, he has managed to regularly pay for his burial plan.
Rated K Steps In
The Kapamilya program Rated K, which is hosted by Korina Sanchez, stepped in to bring changes to Tatay Berting’s life.
They featured the old man’s story and assisted him and his daughter starting with medical check ups to ensure they are both in good health.
The show also gave him cash, some ‘baby stuff and supplies, plus a pledge for his burial plan.’
Most importantly, as the saying goes, “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day… teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” — yes, he was given a source of livelihood.
Watch the video shared by Rated K via Facebook for the full story. Make sure your hanky’s ready:
*For those who want to help Tatay Berting, you can call Rated K Office 4152272 LOCAL 5466 or E-Mail at [email protected]