Here’s an inspirational story of a 13-year-old Mangyan boy named Jupel Batobato who creates and sells toy vehicles made from discarded rubber slippers.
A non-profit organization called Indigenous PH, which aims to promote and preserve the culture of the country’s native tribes previously shared his story on their official Facebook page.
Based on their post, Jupel is a member of the indigenous tribe called “Mangyan” and hails from an impoverished community in mountainous Mindoro where there is no electricity.
The young boy is studying at the Casillon Elementary School in Baco, Oriental Mindoro, the Philippines. Every day, Jupel has to walk for 20 minutes from his house just to get to his school.
His pair of slippers would only last for a month or less because of the long distance and rugged trail. But since his family could not afford to replace his slippers all the time, that’s why Jupel had to walk barefoot to school.
This eventually led him to dream of riding a vehicle like Jeepney or tricycle to his destination.
While he knew that this dream is still hard to achieve at this moment, Jupel realized that he could turn it into reality with the broken rubber slippers he found on his walk to school.
With the help of his imagination and innate talent, Jupel uses the discarded rubber slippers to craft toy cars, jeeps, and vans. He would carefully carve the shapes of vehicles out of the rubber slippers before putting them all together.
He also adds some detail to his works by incorporating found objects, such as a flashlight and LED lamps to his rubber toy vehicles.
Because of his talent, Jupel’s story went viral on Facebook and his rubber toy cars were also featured in various social media networks.
Many netizens praised the young boy’s effort and creativity for turning something that most people think as trash and useless into something useful and wonderful creation.
Here are some of their comments:
“Talented kid. Wish you the best education and success in life kid. We need more kids like you in this world. Keep up the good work,”
“I sincerely think his artwork will be worth a lot in the future.🙂.”
He also made it to the talent show “Little Big Shots” and amazed Filipino TV viewers with his unique talent.
Based on a Facebook post by Mindoro News.
The talented young boy initially made the toys after taking inspiration from his dream, Jupel apparently wanted to sell his toy vehicles not only to earn a living for himself and his family but also to raise funds for his school.