Amidst the crowd that went to mass in Quiapo church, the woman caught Gutierrez’s attention. The boy was carried in a blanket like a baby. Gutierrez noticed the young man was thin and had small hands. The woman was having difficulty getting a ride because the jeepneys were full and no one was helping her. They were finally able to spot an available jeepney and Gutierrez was able to help the woman get inside. As they sat together side by side, Gutierrez brought out her fan to help the woman and the boy some respite from the punishing heat. All eyes were on the two.
When the two got off, Gutierrez got off with them to ask what help she could give them. She even offered to take them to lunch but the woman had said they had to go to the boy’s check-up. Gutierrez asked, “Napaano po ang anak nyo? [What happened to your son?]” The woman smiled and said he wasn’t her son and that he had cerebral palsy. Gutierrez was surprised to see such effort from a woman who wasn’t even the boy’s mother. The woman said she had been taking care of the boy since his mother had committed suicide when he was just a baby. The woman herself was alone and had no children of her own. Gutierrez asked her if she had difficulty in carrying him. She merely replied she was used to it despite her age.
The woman introduced herself as Jean Leones and the boy was identified as Engelbert Garcia, 21 years old. They were on their way to Sta. Mesa for the boy’s check up but usually stopped by Quiapo Church for mass.
Gutierrez again assisted the couple to get a ride to Sta. Mesa and even gave them a small amount they could use. Leones shyly said they weren’t asking for alms. Gutierrez then got permission to post their photo on Facebook so that they could get more help. When asked what Leones really wanted, she said she hoped they could get a wheelchair someday which could support Engelbert’s head so they could take him out more.
For those willing to help Leones, she is located in Payatas, Quezon City and can be contacted at 09268142158. They could use all the support they could get to help in Engelbert’s therapy and medication.