HomeFeatures‘Good Samaritan’ gives bike to elderly, reaps result of generosity

‘Good Samaritan’ gives bike to elderly, reaps result of generosity

A “Good Samaritan” caught the attention of netizens when he gave a bicycle to a street vendor who walked for hours to sell candies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Street vendor Carlos Samonte, 83, returned to selling candies in the streets of Makati, Manila’s financial capital, after strict quarantine measures were relaxed in May.

Under the government’s “general community quarantine” protocol, Samonte is considered “vulnerable” to the disease because of his age. But he continues to risk his health by walking a total of four hours a day to be able to provide for his family.

On May 16, Samonte passed by a small bicycle family-run shop along Andrews Avenue in the nearby city of Pasay and thought of buying a bicycle that he can use for work.

He inquired at the shop but the bikes were too expensive. The cheapest one he saw was about US$100.

Since then, Samonte frequented the shop to ask if he could buy a bicycle for US$40. The shop attendants, however, said it would be impossible.

One of the shop owners chanced upon the old man one afternoon.

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“I came early from work and stayed outside the store. He came and asked to buy a bike for [US$40]. I told him we can’t. Then he left,” said one of the owners who asked not to be named.

Coincidentally, a bicycle supplier offered cheaper options for the shop on May 27. The shop owners decided to give Samonte a bike for free.

“We just want to know if he (Samonte) is willing to pay for the bike and we would return the money after,” said one of the owners in an interview with LiCAS.news.

They waited for Samonte and on June 3, they offered the bicycle to him.

The “drama” was caught on a 54 second video posted on the shop’s social media page, which immediately went viral.

Samonte is seen clutching his hard-earned money that he gave to owner Fe Carandang, one of the owners. Seconds later, Carandang returned the money and told Samonte that the bike was his to keep.

“Thank you so much!” Samonte responded with a big smile.

The video has been viewed over six million times since it was posted. But the story did not just end there.

After the video went viral. The shop was swamped with messages.

One message came from Samonte’s children who thanked the shop for helping their father and their family survive the pandemic.

People also volunteered to give Samonte a helmet, a vest, and lights for his bike.

The shop’s generosity paid off. It has been struggling since it was forced to close during the lockdown in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“What happened was an answered prayer,” said Carandang. “We prayed every day that our business would be blessed to have a chance to help those in need.”

The shop noted increased sales and has already sold most of its stocks since it reopened and since Carandang gave Samonte a bike.

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