Despite the challenges brought by the community quarantine and the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipinos continue to showcase genuine kindness and generosity, even if they don’t have much to give. One of these people is Rene Abelita, a security guard who taught street children how to read and write during the lockdown.
Rene’s good deed was caught on cam by John Robert Flores, whose photo of the guard’s study session with the kids went viral on Facebook.
“Nakakaproud lang kasi kahit di niya kaano-ano, but still tinuruan niya pa rin kasi may busilak siyang puso,” John wrote on Facebook. “I salute you Kuyang SG sana patuloy ka pa rin bigyan ng blessings ni Lord dahil sa mabuting at busilak [mong] puso para matulungan ang batang yan.”
In an interview with Julius Babao in the public service program "Mission Possible", John shares that he would see Rene tutoring different kids whenever he passed by the pawnshop where Rene works as a security guard.
Asked why he chose to help the kids, Rene replied that he had grown a soft spot for the children because they would come by the pawnshop every day. “Nakilala ko ang mga bata dahil nanghihingi sila sa’kin araw-araw,” he told the program. “Naisipan kong [magbigay ng] kaunting tulong lang kahit papano.” He adds that his lessons are pretty basic, like teaching them the alphabet and how to count.
In an interview with GMA News, Rene says that the lessons started because he realized the kids didn’t know how to write their name. Besides, there was little to do at the pawnshop because business had slowed down during the community quarantine.
“Wala naman akong gagawin, wala namang customer. So ang ginagawa ko basic muna. Sabi ko, ‘Sulat ninyo pangalan ninyo.’ Hindi marunong. Pero kapag sabi mo, ‘Anong pangalan mo?’ alam nila,” Rene shares.
After the kids have learned to write their names, Rene would then teach them the basics of reading and writing. He would prepare the lesson plans at night and he would even give out exams to the kids.
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Currently, Rene tutors four children, who are cousins and live near the pawnshop where he works. Rene says that while the kids have attended school before, they had to stop because their parents could not afford the fees anymore.
You can get free worksheets and learning materials for your child at DepEd Commons. Click here for a guide on how to access their site.