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Prayers go up like balloons they sell

By: Intern June 16,2014 - 01:20 AM

Lennie Bayaton, 44 would take his wife and seven children to a mall or the Plaza Independencia to celebrate Father’s Day. He’ll buy food and share a hearty, good meal with his loved ones.

But this was just a poor man’s dream. Yesterday, Bayaton was at the Basilica del Sto. Nino selling balloons to families enjoying their Sunday outing.

He and his 48-year-old wife, Gina, live along P.del Rosario St. in Cebu City. They have three sons and four daughters – Lloyd, Silkie, Narnie, Lasker, Princess, Liblie, and Lexus, with the eldest set to graduate from college while his youngest is still in third grade.

Bayaton stopped schooling at age 18 after he met Gina who was a househelp.

The absence of a steady job did not prevent them from sending all seven children to school.

For 25 years now, he sells balloons in the different streets of Cebu City and the towns during fiestas, but most of the time near the Basilica Del Sto. Niño.

Gina, who also hawks balloons, go to Pardo Parish Church in the morning.

They usually earn P500 to P600 on ordinary days, and sometimes hit the jackpot on special days like during the Sinulog where they could earn up to P15,000.

He wants to go back to school, but he think it’s too late for that.

With no extra money for a day at the mall or public park, Bayaton found his satisfaction in prayers.

The “baloon man” sought divine intervention for his children to be able to finish their studies and remain God-fearing.

He also wishes that their children would take care of them when he and his wife grow old./USJR INTERN ZONAH MAE K PEREZ

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