Polio can’t stop Cebuano man from serving Sto. Niño devotees

By Michelle Joy Padayhag |January 13,2019 - 09:55 AM

Brian Cansancio, who has been afflicted with polio since he was five years old, is among those who sell bottled water at the Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño in downtown Cebu City, helping devotees stay hydrated. Mich Padayhag


Cebu City, Philippines – Polio is a disease that can affect a person’s ability to move.

According to the World Health Organization’s website, polio mainly affects children under 5 years of age and that 1 in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis.

 Brian Cansancio has been suffering from polio since he was five.

But this did not stop him from striving, especially since he has his 80-year old mother to support.

“Kinahanglan ko mo trabaho kay akong mga igsuon naminyo na. Wala’y mobuhi ni mama,” said Cansancio, who lost his father a year ago due to complications from diabetes. 

The 30-year-old Cansancio is among those who sell bottled water at the Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño in downtown Cebu City, helping devotees stay hydrated.


A native of Barangay  Casoy, Toledo City, Cansancio has been selling bottled water for three years now.  

Hardworking son

His condition has restricted his ability to walk when he was a young boy. But his determination to survive has pushed him to learn how to walk.

“Sauna pas-anon ko sa akong mga igsuon. Ganahan jud ko na makalakaw maong naningkamot ug nag practice ko. Nakalakaw ra sad ko og hinay hinay pag eight years old nako. Karon, nagamit ra gyud kay kinahanglan mabuhi,” he said. 

He has six siblings but most of them have their own families. 

Selling bottled water is not his first job.  Before, he worked as a construction worker for nine years in Cebu City. 

“Dapat jud mo trabaho kay unsaon na lang si mama. Nalipay ra man sad ko nga nakatabang ko ni mama,” he said.

For him, being a vendor is still a decent job. 

“Ang importante nga naningkamot, wala mangawat o manulis. Mas maayo nga desenteng paagi ang ipakaon sa pamilya. Bahala og ikapila ko nila i-look down tungod sa akong kahimtang pero nalipay gihapon ko kay nakatabang ko sa akong mama,” he said. 

Just like other Cebuanos, Cansancio is also a devotee of Sto. Niño. He said he prays to the Holy Child that he’d be able to continue to do his job for the sake of his mom. 

“Akong pirmi gi ampo nga unta mas daghan kong mabaligya og maayong panglawas pirmi sa akong tibuok pamilya,” he said. /bjo

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