Children’s dream of Jollibee fulfilled

Posted on November 6, 2012


Ewican family members are treated to a fried chicken and spaghetti lunch at SM Consolacion, a simple wish come true for the kids who wanted to try Jollibee. (CONTRIBUTED/ RJ LEDUNA)

Five children who cleaned tombs in Consolacion town to earn P5 per job to contribute to their daily meals of rice, water and ginamos (fish paste), got their wish – a family meal in Jollibee.

They didn’t spend their hard earned coins.

An SM Cebu mall official read the story in Cebu Daily News about the Ewican children spending All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day earning extra money cleaning niches and graves at the public cemetery.

Last Saturday, the children and their parents were treated to Chicken Joy, spaghetti and vanilla ice cream in the mall’s newest branch in Consolacion town.

Their father Richard Maglasang was also offered a job as a carpenter at the SM project site.

“Dili jud ko kalimot aning higayona kay naka sulod nami ug Jollibee ug malipayon kaayo ko,” 13-year-old Luigi told Cebu Daily News after posing for a photo with the Jollibee mascot. (I will never forget this moment because I was able to enter Jollibee. I’m very happy.)

In the CDN Nov. 2 article “Dreaming of Jollibee” the children said they had always longed to eat at the fastfood outlet and wanted to save up for it, but were discouraged by friends who said they couldn’t afford it.’

“So we focused instead on our schooling,” said Luigi at the time. For baon lunch, they would bring rice sprinkled with salt. At the end of a good day at the cemetery, each child would earn only P20 whereas a one-piece chicken meal in Jollibee would cost P80.

On Nov. 3, Luigi sat down for his first Jollibee family meal with his five siblings, Luela, 10; Jaynarb, 9; Jeric, 5; Cyril, 2; and 5-month-old Ritchel and their parents Bernadette Ewican and Richard, all residents of Purok 2, barangay Nangka, Consolacion.

When the fried chicken was placed on the table, Luigi had a wide grin while Cyril immediately picked up a piece in his right hand and took a bite.

Jeric, after his spaghetti was mixed, took a single pasta strand in his hand and ate it.Asked how the food was, Cyril shot back, “Lami (Delicious).”

Their father Richard was almost in tears about the job offer.

“Dako kaayo ni ug tabang sa akong pamilya. Dili jud ni nako makalimtan. (This is a big help to my family. I won’t forget this.)

Van Aberia, SM Consolacion mall manager, said there was a vacancy in the mall, and they decided to give Richard a break to practice his trade as a carpenter. He was due to return yesterday for his second job interview.

Never in his life, said Richard, did he expect someone to offer him a job and gift them with groceries.

After the meal, the family was brought to the mall’s mini stage to watch the Jollibee mascot dance to the hit song “Oppa Gangnam Style”.

After the short program, the family was given gift certificates to shop in the grocery. They immediately bought two sacks of rice. On their way home, they were given a box of chocolates.

RJ Leduna, press relations manager of SM supermalls in Visayas-Mindanao, said that after reading about the children in the paper, they immediately went to the Consolacion cemetery looking for them and bringing the Nov. 2 CDN issue with the photo of the children to show to bystanders. Someone showed them to the Ewican’s shack.

It’s not the last surprise for the children. Another CDN reader, Tessie Vasquez, a senior citizen from Mandaue City sent a handwritten letter to the paper asking how to locate the children so she could treat them to Jollibee. She said she was “greatly touched” by the story. “Simple dreams of very simple people,” sh e said.

She plans to invite the family for a Jollibee lunch on Saturday.

(CDN Correspondent Jucell Marie P. Cuyos wrote the article “Dreaming of Jollibee” as an All Souls’ and All Saints’ Day feature and was surprised herself to end up seeing the children live out their simple dream. – Editors.) /Jucell Marie P. Cuyos, Correspondent


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