Some kids feel nervous or a little scared on the first day of school, especially if it’s their first time to attend a class.
However, most students were still very excited because for them this will be another school year that starts with so many new things: classmates, books, classes, school supplies, professors, classrooms or even a new adventure for them.
While a lot of students usually take a rest and spend their time after school at their home or anywhere else, these two siblings from Puerto Princesa, Palawan choose to go straight at a sidewalk to repair shoes so that they can earn money for school projects, food, fare, and allowance.
Manuelita and Micko Borbon, a Grade 8 and Grade 7 students from Palawan National High School inspire many netizens after their story recently went viral on Facebook.
The siblings’ photo while repairing shoes on a sidewalk was uploaded on Facebook by a concerned netizen named Jernnanie Jethro Juaton.
“First day of school, pag uwi pahinga agad pero sila hindi. Nagtatahi sila ng sapatos. Pinaghihirapan nila ang baon nila. Hindi katulad ng karamihan sa atin,” says the post.
“Sa totoo lang pinagtitinginan sila ng mga schoolmate nila na dumaraan din sa bangketa.”
Manuelita, 13, and his brother Manuelita, 12, were the first two of the four children of Emmanuel and Mary Ann Borbon, they’re also repairing shoes to provide for their four children.
The Borbon family doesn’t have their own house and only resides in a makeshift small house located on the Wescom Road in Barangay San Pedro, Puerto Princesa City, where they also placed their shoe repair shop, which is their primary source of income.
However, their parents admit that their shoe repair small business does not offer a steady income to sustain the family’s needs, that’s why they’re having a hard time earning for a living.
Because of that, Manuelita and Micko decided to help their parents with their school expenses by stitching shoes after school.
Their parents never taught them to repair shoes, but they learned by watching them on how they do it.
“Minsan pag may project ‘di na kami nagsasabi kila mama, kami na lang po bumibili,” Manuelita said.
“Nagkulang ang pamasahe namin. Kaya naisipan namin makitahi doon,” Micko added.
According to their mother, Manuelita and Micko both wished to pursue their studies and dream of becoming soldiers someday.
“Gusto nila makapagtapos. Tapos, gusto ko sila magkaroon ng hanapbuhay na hindi lang ba yung, hindi nila maranasan yung ano namin (kahirapan),” Mary Ann said.
Meanwhile, the school principal of Palawan National High School, Dr. Eduardo Santos said that they will look for some possible ways to improve the situation of Borbon siblings and their families.
The two siblings hope that their story would serve as an inspiration to other students like them that poverty is not a reason for not going to school and not helping their parents.