A Breeze of Good Deeds # 25: Christmas with TamTam

Published on December 31, 2011

My husband and I woke up at 4 in the morning to catch the last dawn mass before Christmas. I knew the night before that it was going to be a big and busy day. After hearing mass, Boyet and I grabbed some breakfast and prepped for our "project". I was in a good mood because my younger brother got out of his bed way earlier than his usual 9ish wake up time.

Since it was Christmas eve and everybody wanted to go home early, it was decided to have the call time at 7 in the morning. We arrived at Ayala at 7:03 only to find out that Kriska, who lives in Antipolo came earlier than us! But the biggest surprise was that the person who requested for the 7 a.m. call time arrived at 7:40! (Blind item: GDL :p)

I fell asleep for a few minutes and just woke up over a commotion in the car. Apparently, we’re lost! After a few calls to my cousin, we arrived at their house at 10 a.m.

We already saw TamTam while we were inside the car. Joie even said that he looked refreshed; his face is much different than what we saw in the picture that my cousin gave me. I noticed that most of my friends were stunned. I couldn’t blame them. How many people have actually seen a young man with no limbs? It was surreal. I pity him yet my admiration towards him grew stronger. I knew that my glances would probably make him feel awkward, or probably unfortunate. So I decided to go straight inside my aunt’s house and just went outside after a couple of minutes.

He started sharing bits and pieces of his twenty years of existence. Sobrang daldal nya! He told us how his parents disowned him, how his father sold him to a perya for PHP3,000, how somebody promised him a better life here in Manila, how he lives in the street and now in a house with no electricity and water supply and how people have been bullying him. Despite his misfortunes, he still took time to tell us how he fell in love with a girl and how their relationship ended. All his stories were too heavy to handle. That’s why I was so relieved when he decided to take a bath. It gave us time to recover from all his sad stories. It gave me time to realize that I am extremely blessed! Ang dami 'kong na-realize sa sobrang tagal nyang maligo! Hahaha!!!

His stories continued after he took a bath. He answered all our questions. And then we decided to give him our gifts. We brought him some grocery items, new clothes, a new baseball cap, vitamins and an old ball. He told us that he inserts half of his body to a ball which then serves as his legs and platform. We also brought him some candies, towels, handkerchiefs and other things which he could use to start up a small business. We also provided him a loading business kit.

He was sooooo appreciative! He kept on thanking us each time we hand him something. Since he told us that he is losing some of his possessions in the room he’s renting, he agreed for my aunt to take care of our gifts and just give some to him little by little.

We would have wanted to spend the whole day getting to know him. But it wasn’t possible. And before we left, he gave in to our request – Teach Me How to Dougie! Oh my! Great talent comes in small packages, literally! He grooves like there’s no tomorrow!

tam Photo courtesy of Hazel

You may think that we gave TamTam an unforgettable Christmas. But the truth is he was the one who gave us one. There wasn’t a single instance that he asked for help. We were always ready to assist him but he showed us how independent he is.

To tell you honestly, I was ashamed. I was sad because I didn’t have time to shop for a new pair of shoes while TamTam never experienced wearing one. It’s ironic how I whine on long walks while TamTam does it effortlessly. I complain how tiring my work is; he battles bullies every day. I have a loving family; his turned their backs on him.

We all wish to help him more because TamTam is more than just a “Christmas Project” to us. We still want to fulfill his dream of finding a better home. We all hope to find him an affordable yet decent place to live in within Pamplona or Cavite. Let's all pray for TamTam! :(

Many thanks to Tita Flory, Hazel, Kuya Lloyd, Kuya Tatit, Kriska, Mark, Gener, Me-Anne, Joie, Jeff, Erlie, Aubrey, Chod, Rissa, Ruth, Abes and Boyet! None of these would be possible without you. :)

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