Despite the difficulties we face due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our fellow Filipinos still surprise us with touching stories of kindness and resilience. One such story is of Police Master Sergeant John Hay Macapulay of Gerona, Tarlac, who recently went viral for helping a student graduate by paying for her tuition.
In an interview with Summit Videos, John Hay shares that his men stopped Eunice Subaran and her older brother at a checkpoint for violating social distancing protocols while riding on a motorcycle. The siblings begged the police officers not to give them a ticket because the motorcycle they used was their father’s main mode of transportation as a construction worker. The police officers said that they should talk to their commanding officer, John Hay, and ask him to reconsider.
Instead of giving them a ticket right away, John Hay treated the two to lunch and asked them to share their story. “Sabi ko, ‘Bigyan ninyo ako ng tatlong rason para hindi ko na kayo tiketan. Kung tama naman ‘yung sasabihin ninyo sa akin, baka puwedeng i-consider natin yung sitwasyon ninyo,” John Hay shares.
It turns out that Eunice and her brother had come from her school to beg them to let her participate in the graduation rites. But since she had an outstanding balance and could not pay the graduation fees, she was not allowed to march up the stage.
John Hay tells Summit Videos that he was moved by Eunice’s story. He had a similar experience back when he was younger — it took him seven years to finish high school because his family did not have the means to pay for his education — “Kaya ramdam ko po ‘yung pain,” he says. As a father himself, he also feels for Eunice’s parents who are surely disappointed because they could not provide for their daughter’s needs.
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To the siblings’ surprise, John Hay accompanied them back to the school and settled Eunice’s balance right then and there. “Inisip ko meron naman po akong pera, bakit hindi ko tulungan itong bata?”
He adds, “Naramdaman ko rin ‘yung sakit nung tinulungan ko, kasi hindi naman po ako mayaman, may pangangailangan rin po ang pamilya ko. Pero ang sarap po sa pakiramdam na hindi kayang bayaran ng pera.”