Vendor who survives mild stroke gives unsold taho for free at test site

by Justine Punzalan
Jul 26, 2020
"Masaya po ako, nakatulong ako sa taong nahirapan sa haba ng pila," says Gimmy Conos, a 57-year-old mild stroke patient selling taho in Manila.
PHOTO/S: Screenshot from Stand for Truth on YouTube

Since the beginning of quarantine, street vendor Gimmy Conos has been earning much less than his usual income from selling taho before the pandemic.

He said in an interview with GMA Public Affair's Stand for Truth last July 23, "Noon, inaabot po iyan PHP1,500 isang araw. Sa ngayon, balik-puhunan lang...."

Gimmy has had a mild stroke and gets tired easily. His daily routine starts as early as 5 a.m. and by 9 a.m., his body is ready to give way.

He related, "Isa po akong mild stroke [patient]. Hindi ko na kaya magbuhat ng taho.

"Ito pong kaliwa, naiaano ko pa, kaya lang walang puwersa. Hindi ko magalaw ng maayos, mahina na.

"Saka iyong aking pagsasalita, nahihirapan na ako sa aking pagsasalita.

"Alas singko ng madaling-araw, sige na ako ng lakad..."

Tired from lugging two big aluminum buckets of taho on his shoulder for hours, Gimmy said he would stop for a break at a COVID-19 testing site in Manila before heading to his home in Quezon City.

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There, the 57-year-old vendor would give cups of his unsold sweetened soy pudding to the people standing in the queue.

He continued, "Alas-nuwebe na, pinamimigay ko na para makauwi na ko kasi bawal ako magbuhat ng mabigat... Madalas ako mahilo 'pag ganon na oras...

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"Marami pang laman, nanghihinayang po akong itapon.

"Mas mamabutihin ko pang mapakinabangan ng mga tao kesa itapon ko

"Masaya po ako, nakatulong ako sa taong nahirapan sa haba ng pila."

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said he chose to do his usual round of selling taho even during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon so that he could provide for his own needs.

He recounted, "Lumabas ako mag-umpisa ang lockdown kasi ikukulong nila kami doon, hindi kami puwedeng lumabas.

"Mild stroke [patient] ako, mainit iyong bahay ko, wala pa kong gamot na suporta kundi pagkain lang.

"Wala pa akong gamot, baka mamatay pa ako sa stroke ko... Ang kinatatakutan ko lang po, biglain ako ng aking sakit.

"Nararamdaman ko iyong batok ko sumasakit talaga at iyong ulo ko parang iniikot."

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Adding to Gimmy's travails is the ongoing ban on jeepneys in Metro Manila, forcing to take a cab from his night shelter in Quezon City to his taho supplier in Manila.

He rued, "Inaabot ako ng PHP700 ang aking pamasahe. Napakahirap pang bumenta ng libo.

"Kailangan naman po namin matugunan iyong aming kahilingan, bigyan niyo kami ng service ng aming pagtitinda para hindi na kami sumakay ng taxi.

"Do’n lang napupunta ang aming kinikita."

If you want to help Gimmy, you may contact him at 09515625149.

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"Masaya po ako, nakatulong ako sa taong nahirapan sa haba ng pila," says Gimmy Conos, a 57-year-old mild stroke patient selling taho in Manila.
PHOTO/S: Screenshot from Stand for Truth on YouTube
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