Christmas came early for the residents of Tagbilaran, Bohol, after an American randomly gave money to strangers and children he met on the street.
Residents said the American would give P500 or P1,000, but a lucky received P20,000.
The lucky 60-year-old garbage collector Andres Socong said he was on the street gathering some scraps and recyclables when a car approached him. The driver, who was an American, asked him what he does for a living and said he would contact him again.
After three days, the American came back and invited Socong inside his car. Then the foreigner surprised Socong by giving him P20,000, which was equivalent to his one year salary. Socong earns P50 to P100 a day.
The “Secret Santa” was revealed to be Bryan Ahem, a 33-year-old American vlogger living in Dauis, Bohol.
Bryan grew up in America and served in the United States Marine Corps until she met the Filipina medical aid and helper Jodalyn in 2009 in the US.
Jodalyn and Bryan’s family has been living in Bohol since 2011. The family said the money they used for helping others was from vlogging or what they call “vlogging for a cause.”
Bryan said his heart was touched when he saw Socong working hard under the heat of the sun. This prompted him to help the garbage collector by giving him P20,000.
The popular TV show Kapuso Mo with Jessica Soho arranged Bryan and Socong’s second meet up. Bryan visited Socong at his house and gave him an advanced birthday celebration.
“It’s heartbreaking to see people working so hard,” said Bryan when he saw Socong’s house has no electricity.
Bryan and his family pledged to help Socong to fix his house and get electricity.
Watch the full video of this story here.