It was just a normal day for Diosdado Ocero Padiño, 75 yrs old, a homeless candy vendor plying his trade at Divisoria in Cagayan de Oro City, feeding pigeons at the park until he met Raiza C. Mari, a young free spirited woman who was amused by him sharing bread with the birds. Little did he know that this stranger would become an ‘angel’ for the rest of his life.
Raiza who goes by the name “Astrid Cuenca” in Facebook was in the middle of a breakdown when the elderly’s actions touched her heart. In her short talks with him, she found out he is sick and sometimes having difficulty in breathing.
That day made her realize that there are still a lot of good things to be done to be happy if she doesn’t just focus on her own problems. She offered help and brought the elderly whom she called “Tatay Danilo” to a clinic for a medical check-up.
Before meeting Tatay Danilo, Raiza was an advocate of #SmallBusinessForACause and sells Rainne’s Chilli Sauce owned by a friend. Raiza decided to allocate a portion of her earnings to pay for Tatay Danilo’s medication and hospitalization.
A few days later, Tatay Danilo spewed blood at the park and was rushed to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC). He was diagnosed with a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Medical staff said Tatay’s lungs have been badly damaged and he cannot do heavy chores anymore.
Raiza was active in Facebook and her story with Tatay Danilo caught the attention of several netizens who bought her chilli sauce and sent donations.
Raiza was always at his bedside taking care of him including changing his diapers.
There was some sort of joy when the oxygen apparatus was finally removed and Tatay Danilo was able to breath on his own.
Raiza reminisced the day and place where he met Tatay Danilo and the sidewalk that used to be his home.
Raiza has taught us how to become a modern day good samaritan.
Donations keep on pouring.
Tatay was just so happy whenever Raiza is around.
Meanwhile, Raiza continued to sell chilli sauce…
Tatay Danilo has been confined for more than 2 weeks now and the hospital bill is rising every day. Good thing there was a “Malasakit Center” where she won’t have to pay anything afterwards.
The City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) was also arranging for him to be taken to a shelter once he is discharged from NMMC.
As per Raiza, Tatay Danilo was born in Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro. At age 38, he went to Manila to seek a better life. He went to start a family there. However, he returned to CDO when he was 60 after he couldn’t stand being treated badly by his wife. He went on to live in streets since then.
One day, Raiza gathered all of Tatay’s belongings which he left at Divisoria.
It’s now nearly a month and Tatay’s health is improving.
Tatay heard the “good news”… he will finally leave the hospital.
And finally, he was discharged from the hospital.
Tatay had these equipment from kind-hearted donors.
He’ll be bringing lots of donations to the Home for the Aged in Upper Puerto where he will be taken.
Tatay is now in his new home – the city-owned shelter for the elderly.
After finding that Tatay was finally secured at the shelter, Raiza deeply thought about her works and these letters during his confinement are memories she would also cherish.
But a few days after, Tatay was rushed back to NMMC after having difficulty in breathing. The staff at the shelter texted her that Tatay was always looking for her.
Tatay held her hands tightly, not letting her go…
Tatay Danilo passed away at 1:16pm, May 29, 2021.
He was buried later at the City Memorial Park.
Last night, Raiza went back to the park where she met Tatay and lighted a candle.
Rest in peace Tatay Danilo…
all photos courtesy of Raiza Mari
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