Alex Castro, a College of Law graduate, will never forget the compassion of her favorite soy pudding vendor “Tatay Dong,” with whom she built a particular bond and friendship while studying at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
Despite the fact that Alex is now a licensed attorney, her Tatay Dong will always hold a special place in her heart. So she finally returned to school last week to see the man who had become like a father to her over the years.
Alex, who came from a shattered family, showed her love and gratitude for the man who watched out for her throughout her time at UP-Diliman in a moving Facebook post.
She used to converse with the pleasant soy pudding vendor outside the building where she attended morning classes when she first arrived at the university.
Tatay Dong was heartbroken when he learned that Alex would go to class without eating breakfast.
He began to be concerned about her, and every morning he awaited her with a new cup of soy pudding to savor before she began class.
He was extremely protective of her and treated her as if she were his own daughter.
Tatay Dong sent Alex an additional little parcel with her new cup of soy pudding one day in December 2009, while it was pouring.
“It was your jacket when I opened it.” The one you wore the morning before and all the mornings before that – it was your only jacket… When I tried to return it for the last time, you merely said to me, ‘Nilabhan ko na ‘yan, ‘Nak. ‘I already washed that,’ Iyo na ‘yan,’ (I already washed that, child.) Alex wrote on Facebook, “It’s yours).”
Alex was so moved by his kindness that he purchased him a brand new jacket in exchange!
He was ecstatic about the gift and proudly announced that it had been given to him by his “daughter.” Aww!
“You were such an important part of my time at UP. “In fact, I can’t think of UP without thinking of you,” Alex added.
She worked so hard after graduating from UP to become a lawyer that she didn’t have time to see him, but she never forgot about him.
But that all changed last week. She went back to the same area every day where he used to serve his soy pudding, but she didn’t see him.
His friend, though, was present and informed Tatay Dong that she had returned to visit him.
Tatay Dong was overjoyed and raced over to see her.
And Alex finally got to say what Tatay Dong had been waiting for: “Tay, may abogado ka na (Dad, you now have a lawyer)”.
“Did you know that the jacket you gave me is still with me?” I look at it, wear it, and it reminds me of you every now and then. I’m constantly curious about how you’re doing. He said, “And now you’re already a lawyer.”
Alex was pleased to be able to utter those words to the guy she had looked up to for so long as a father.
“When I grow up, I want to be just like him,” Alex remarked, adding, “something I never had the opportunity to say about my own father.”
Thousands of people have shared the touching image on social media, and it serves as a reminder to always be kind to everyone we meet—you never know, you might just develop a unique bond with someone unexpected!