Architect entrusts signage project to 72-year-old homeless stranger; his story goes viral

by Justine Punzalan
Mar 6, 2020
"Minsan kailangan lang talaga natin magbigay ng konting tiwala sa taong nagpipilit mabuhay ng marangal," says architect-entrepreneur Donn Brian Camus.
PHOTO/S: Donn Brian Camus on Facebook

There are strangers and there are strangers. Some are good, some are bad, like every kind of people. And there are those who turn out to be angels in disguise.

These two strangers met at the time when each, unknowingly, was in need of the other.

Architect-entrepreneur Donn Brian Camus was looking for someone he could trust to do the signage for his shop, Jacob's Convenience Store.

Ruben Verches, also known as Mang Ruben, was the 72-year-old "homeless" man who knocked on the architect's shop seeking commissioned work.

Camus narrated in the now viral Facebook post the happy turn of events that began in the afternoon of February 20.

He uploaded his post on February 28, and since then it has earned 28,000 shares and 74,000 reactions at press time.

Camus wrote, "Kudos to Mr. Ruben Verches aka 'Mang Ruben' who commissioned our signages.

"He is the homeless guy who approached me last week, asking kung kailan daw ba dadating iyong owner ng tindahan kasi gumagawa daw siya ng signage.


"Sabi ko, ako iyong may-ari. Kaya tinanong ko siya saan-saan na iyong mga nagawan na niya ng signages.

"Nakumbinsi naman ako kasi iyong katabing laundry shop, siya daw nag-paint ng signage."


In an interview with (Philippine Entertainment Portal) on March 2 via Facebook Messenger, Camus elaborated on what happened.

"I just gave him a printed copy of the logo, which is designed by my good friend, a graphic artist from Dubai named Jay-ar Vergara."

Mang Ruben then copied the logo design on the steel shutters of the store, which is along San Buenaventura Street in Pasig City.

"He first drew it with chalk, then my staff sent photos to me for approval.

"At first, I was skeptical because I didn't like the outcome of his sketch.

"I'm a bit keen to details being an architect myself and my main startup business is retail construction."


Camus said he almost rejected him.

He told, "When I spoke to him via mobile phone through my staff, I even asked Mang Ruben to just cancel [the task] because I didn't like his mockup sketch.

"And since he already spent three days for the blue background and sketch, I said I'll just pay the days he already rendered for the work."

But after realizing how much this project would help Mang Ruben's situation, he let him carry on with the work.

He told, "Pero noong nalaman kong palaboy at sa ilalim lang pala ng flyover iyong sinasabi niyang puwesto niya, 'tapos iyong mga gamit at iniipon daw niyang mga kalakal ay kinuha ng mga sweepers nakaramdam ako ng awa.

"Kaya parang tulong ko na lang din ito sa kanya."

According to Camus, he saw the determination of Mang Ruben to prove his true capabilities when the signage maker assured him "the final output will be better."


Mang Ruben made good his word. After working four hours a day for five consecutive days, he surprised Camus with an impressive finish.



The architect-entrepreneur concluded his Facebook post with a lesson he learned during the short time he worked with Mang Ruben.

Published as is, he wrote, "Minsan kailangan lang talaga natin magbigay ng konting tiwala sa taong nagpipilit mabuhay ng marangal. Para kahit paano, madagdagan ang pag-asa nila sa buhay," he stated in his post.

"Salamat Mang Ruben hindi ako nagkamali ng pagtitiwala sayo."

He added, "Nag-request akong magpa-picture sa kanya, sabi ko ipo-post ko sa Facebook para magkaroon pa siya ng mga kliyente.

"Ako pa lang daw kasi ang first client nya this year...

"Let's give the man a chance to make a living and build hope by doing his craft."

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"Minsan kailangan lang talaga natin magbigay ng konting tiwala sa taong nagpipilit mabuhay ng marangal," says architect-entrepreneur Donn Brian Camus.
PHOTO/S: Donn Brian Camus on Facebook
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