CEBU CITY, Philippines— Last July, tragedy struck Lolo Santiago Bacalso, an 87-year-old vegetable vendor from Toledo City, Cebu.
His cherished home was turned to ashes in a fire. Also burned was his savings with P90,000.
On September 11, Lolo Santiago, who makes a living by selling malunggay, revisited the charred remains of his house.
Holding back his tears, he held in his hands the remnants of the life savings he had kept together with his wife, Felisa.
Crisly Bacalso-Villafuerte, Santiago’s granddaughter, shared the photos of Lolo Santiago holding his burnt money on social media.
“Nakit-an ang kwarta nga naapil sa sunog. Ka anugon. Isulod lang daw niyag plastic para tan-aw²n, ” she said.
(We found the money that was burned in the fire. Too bad. He placed it inside a plastic container so he can look at it every now and then.)
(UPDATED) LOLO NGA NASUNOGAN UG TINIGOM NGA KWARTA, NATABANGAN SA MGA NETIZENTAN-AWA: Mao kini si lolo Santiago…
Netizens to the rescue
After posting the photos, netizens were quick to come to the aid of Lolo Santiago.
In a heartwarming display of kindness and compassion, netizens rallied and offered financial support through online transfers.
As of September 14, Lolo Santiago already received around P11,000, all coming from strangers who read his story online.
Their generous contributions aimed to somehow ease the pain of Santiago and Felisa as they took it one day at a time to rebuild their home and start from scratch.
While many netizens extended their support by sending financial assistance, some also offered valuable suggestions on how Santiago and Felisa could go about recovering their lost money.
This comment from a netizen suggested the family try and reach out to the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to change the burned money for new ones.
It is in times like this that we are thankful for the gift of technology, because in our own little way, we can help someone in need, even from miles away. Just like Lolo Santiago from Toledo, Cebu.