Jonel M. Tejedo, who was born with cerebral palsy, sells pugo, balut, and chicharon to support his studies.
"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - Francis of Assisi
The sad truth is that not everyone is born with a silver spoon and can have the money for all the commodities they want in life! But it is told that an individual's poverty and disability should not be a reason to not win in life. Indeed, we may not be able to alter some realities, but we can adjust to circumstances in order to succeed.
His household is needy and he has a disability, but despite this, he is inclined to do everything to finish his schooling and help alleviate his parents' burdens.
To help finance his tuition, the hard-working student sells 'itlog-pugo', 'balut', and 'chicharon' after class and even roams the streets of Baguio every night.
Recently, Tejedo went viral after his photo was shared by Maria Michelle Awing-Tauli on Facebook showing the young student still wearing a university uniform while carrying a basket full of 'itlog-pugo' in one hand while grabbing a plastic bag full of 'chicharon' in his other hand, circling the city establishments hoping that someone would purchase his products.
"Was so speechless when I saw him. I admire him for his act. May the young generation imitate his perseverance... He came from school and need to roam around to sell balot pugo and chicharon. The road may be long and bumpy but the success is still at the end of the road." Awing-Tauli wrote in her post.
The post garnered over 1.1K shares and over 3K reactions to this writing. Many netizens respected and expressed their regard for the diligent student asserting it was great that he is performing his best to finance his studies rather than just offering blank envelopes to passersby expecting alms.
Netizens were amazed at Jonel's diligence and perseverance saying:
"Ito dapat ang binibigyan ng full scholarship plus allowance sana may tumulong sakanya napakasipag na bata."
"I salute this guy, kahit anong hirap sa buhay kayang gawin basta makapag tapos lang ng pag aaral"
"May God bless you and Sana makatapos ka ng pag-aaral dahil deserve mo yun"
Watch Jonel Tejedo featured on Brigada:
Tejedo did grow up with a disability and not privileged, but he demonstrated that having the motivation, determination, and grit to finish his studies by being a working student is possible.
Update 1( January 21, 2021): OIC Danilo B. Bose meets with Jonel Tejedo at CHED CAR office
Heeding the concern of CHED Chairman Popoy de Vera, through Deputy Executive Director Atty Lily Freida Milla, OIC Danilo BOse invited Jonel to the Commission on Higher Education-Cordillera Administrative Region Office on January 18, 2021.
Several concerns were discussed that include his future plans, how CHED can help him best, especially in his studies, and what is the best course for him to undertake given his expertise and interest. Jonel was a CHED Tulong Dunong grantee.
Unfortunately, he is not enrolled for this school year due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meet and greet ended up with OIC Bose purchasing Jonel's chicharon and balut products.
At present, Jonel roams around La Trinidad to sell balut and chicharon to support his family.
Update 2 ( January 25, 2021): Jonel was robbed
Jonel Tejedo was ransacked by four unidentified men around 9 on the night of Monday, January 18, 2021, around Longlong, La Trinidad, Benguet. (The night after visiting CHED CAR)
He was allegedly robbed of more than PHP 3,000, including his radio and cellphone given to him by veteran journalist Jessica Soho.