87-year-old street vendor, who walks from Pasay to Makati daily, gets free bike

Jun 5, 2020
Haggling for a bike he had saved up for, itinerant street vendor Carlos Samonte gets much more than what he has bargained for from Carbs shop owner Fe Carandang.
PHOTO/S: Screenshot from CARBS Motor/Bicycle Parts on Facebook

Itinerant street vendor Carlos Samonte, 87, plies a route stretching from Pasay City to Makati City to sell candies.

One day in May, he stopped at Carbs, a shop selling bikes and parts on Andrews Avenue in Pasay City.

He wanted to buy a bicycle with the money he had saved for the purpose. But the ones that were available were too big for his liking.

He was back at the shop the next day and again the following day in case. Still no bike with the right size.

Since then, for days on end, it had become part of Carlos's routine to stop at Carbs, check out the bikes, only to leave again to hawk his wares, walking.

When a bike that he liked became available, he would haggle for it with the money he had saved—every day.

But in the end, Carlos got much more than what he bargained for.

Continue reading below ↓

Carbs owner Fe Carandang told him to keep his money and gave Carlos the bike.

And it was not just one of those riding bikes.

A video of the heartwarming moment was uploaded on Carbs Motor/Bicycle parts Facebook Page on the same day.

The caption read: "Eto po si Tatay. Mula May 15 hanggang kahapon [June 2], araw-araw po siya dumadaan sa shop para magtanong kung meron bang bike na available.

"Dalawang beses sa isang araw: isa sa umaga bago umalis, at dadaan ulit sa hapon bago umuwi.

"Last week po naging available ang mini MTB (mountain bike) sa shop at araw-araw niya din po tinatanong kung pwede niya bilhin iyong bike sa halagang PHP2,000."

The actual cost of the mini mountain bike was PHP4,800, but among all the bicycles available in the shop, it was that one that Carlos wanted.

According to Elvie Cotelo, a cousin of Fe, "Kasi noong malaki daw ang bike niya, naaksidente daw siya.

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"Noong malalaking bike ang andito, hindi siya nagtitingin kasi mahal.

"Noong isang linggo, dumating na ang order ng maliliit. Sabi niya ngayon, 'Ay, iyan ang gusto ko.

"Sabi ng matanda, 'Ito nang gusto ko. Puwedeng PHP2,000 nalang?'

"Isang buwan na siyang pabalik-balik, tinatawaran niya ng tinatawaran."

Elvie further related to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) on June 4 in a phone interview their family's touching encounter with Carlo.

Continue reading below ↓

She said, "Sabi ng anak ni Fe na sundalo, 'Mama, sagutin ko na lang iyong bike.'"

But Fe had a better idea when Carlos returned to the store at 11 a.m. the following day.

Elvie recounted, "Sabi ni Fe sa kanya, 'May pera ho ba kayo? Ibibigay na namin sa tawad niyo iyong bike.'

"Hinahawakan na ng matanda iyong bike. Sagot niya, 'Meron po.'"

She also remembered Carlos getting his money from his "napakalumang wallet."

Elvie continued, "'Ito,' ibinigay ng matanda iyong pera niya. 'Tapos humihingi ng resibo.

"Sagot ni Ate Fe, 'Ay, hindi na po natin gagawan ng resibo. Itong PHP2,000, sa inyo na. Bibigay ko sa inyo, tulong ko na.'"

Fe recalled in a Facebook post the day Carlos received his gift.

She wrote, "Ngayong araw na ito, hindi po sya nabigo.

"Nakuha niya po iyong bike na gusto niya sa KAPALIT ng isang NGITI lamang."

Elvie told PEP.ph, "Naluluha iyong matanda. Kaming mga nanonood, naiiyak na rin kami.

Continue reading below ↓

"Inalis niya iyong mask niya at sinabing, 'Salamat po.'"

Later that day, Carlos' son went to Carbs to thank his father's kindhearted donors.

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Haggling for a bike he had saved up for, itinerant street vendor Carlos Samonte gets much more than what he has bargained for from Carbs shop owner Fe Carandang.
PHOTO/S: Screenshot from CARBS Motor/Bicycle Parts on Facebook
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