The retirement age in the Philippines is 60, but many Filipinos continue to work past that age just so they can support their family. A good example is Tatay Louisito Tuzon, a 71 year old taxi driver who continues to provide for his family. His story was shared by Airen Bermudez Amantillo on Facebook. Airen encountered Tatay Louie while waiting for a taxi in Mendiola, Manila. According to her:
Tatay Louie, 71 years old. Nakatira sa Cavite. Habang nasa byahe kami (tahimik kami, hindi nag uusap) biglang may tumawag sa cellphone niya. Una medyo nainis ako kasi ayaw ko ng habang nag mamaneho nakikipag usap sa cellphone (naramdaman niya yata ako), kaya nagsalita siya. “Pasensya ka na anak, ha. Tumawag kase yung may ari ng cellphone. ” Sabi ko “Bakit po? Naiwan po ba niya?”
(Tatay Louie is 71 years old and lives in Cavite. While we were on our way, his cellphone rang. At first I got annoyed because I don’t like it when someone driving is on his phone. I think he noticed because he said, “I’m sorry, the owner of the phone called.” I asked if the owner left his phone in the taxi.)
It turned out that the owner gave him the phone so he can call Tatay Louie in case he needed someone to pick him up. Tatay Louie said:
“Hindi naman ako marunong mag cellphone kaya tinuruan niya ako paano pindutin ang pag sasagot sa tawag, hindi ako marunong mag text. At hindi ko alam paano gamitin to kaya tawag lang. Ginawan niya nga ako ng calling card, kasi di ko alam number ko.”
(“I don’t know how to use a cellphone so he taught me how to answer a call. I don’t know how to send a text message. I don’t know how to use it so he just calls. He also made me a calling card because I don’t know my number.”)
Tatay Louie then shared his story:
“Nasa mental hospital ang nagiisa kong anak. May tatlo siyang anak. Nasa amin ng asawa ko yung mga anak niya. 63 years old na asawa ko, sa awa ng Diyos, buti nakakapagdrive pa ako dahil wala naman kami aasahan na ng asawa ko.”
(My only child is in the mental hospital. My child has three children. The children live with me and my wife. My wife is 63 years old, and it’s a good thing I can still drive because there’s no one else we can turn to.)
When Airen asked where his child’s spouse is, it turned out that the spouse died two years ago. Tatay Louie said:
“Kaya nabaliw anak ko. Kailangan lang namin magtulungang ng asawa ko para sa anak namin at apo dahil wala naman kami kahit ano, sila lang kayamanan namin.”
(That’s why my child lost his mind. My wife and I just have to work together to support our child and our grandchildren, because we don’t have anything. They are our only treasures.)
Airen was shocked and fell silent. The only thing she could say was that God will help cure his child. Airen also said that you can call Tatay Louie if you want to get picked up.
What do you think of this story? Have you encountered Tatay Louie? Share your thoughts below!