Act of kindness: Selfless soldier shares meal with three street kids

Photo Credit: Karlo Marlon Ignacio/Philippine Daily Inquirer
  • Reporter captures heartwarming moment outside fast food joint
  • Soldier is seen sharing meal with three street children
  • He later said he knows how it is to be poor and hungry

ISABELA, Basilan – A snappy salute is in order for this kind-hearted soldier who was caught on camera sharing his meal with three street children outside a Jollibee branch in Isabela, Basilan last November 3.

According to the man who took the photograph, dxNO’s Karlo Marlon Ignacio, he was outside the radio station’s rooftop for some fresh when he chanced upon the heartwarming sight.

“I just want to share something inspiring that day,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “I was touched by the soldire’s deed. We hardly see similar images these days.”

The soldier was later identified by Join Task Force Basilan commander Col. Rolando Bautista as Cpl. Ryan Santos of the 8th Field Artillery Battalion.

“He was temporarily detailed at Jollibee that time for preemptive measures as the said food chain received threats,” Bautista said.

He Was Poor and Hungry Once Too

For his part, Santos — who was later interviewed by the Inquirer — said he had no idea his photograph was taken or that it had since become viral on social media.

According to him, he was about to eat his meal outside the restaurant when he saw the three children looking at him.

“When I opened the pack, the three children approached me,” he said. “It’s so difficult for me to eat the meal while these children stared at me. They never begged or asked, they just stared at my food.”

“I told them we will have equal shares so everyone can eat,” he added.

When asked why he did what he did, the 26-year-old Santos — who revealed he and his two siblings survived on the pension of his father who was a retired soldier as his mother was jobless — said he empathize with the children’s hardships.

“I know the feeling of being poor and hungry,” he said. “Back at home, even if we have little food on the table, my parents divided it equally, we eat it together.”