A video of a young boy from Cebu went the rounds on social media after showing off his skills in playing the ukelele, performing covers of hit songs “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and “Buwan” by Juan Karlos Labajo.
The boy, now identified as Jonlie “Tongli” Cabradilla, 11, plays his ukelele to customers outside a restaurant near the Mactan Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City.
Netizens were charmed and their hearts were stung when they learned that Cabradilla serenades the public in order to obtain money to go to school and help provide for his family.
He lives in Barangay Lawaaan 2, Talisay City but journeys to Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island every weekend with his mother and father to busk for money.
Cabradilla is the second of six siblings and has told Cebu Daily News Digital that his parents have no permanent jobs which led him to find other avenues where he could help them out.
After learning that he could earn money by busking in populated areas on Mactan Island, Jonlie’s family decided to make it a weekend activity.
Jonlie learned to play the ukelele at the age of four when his father introduced the instrument to him. He would sometimes busk together with his cousins and are usually found outside a mall in Lapu-Lapu City in the morning of Saturdays and Sundays, but one fateful encounter with TJ Clemente gave the young musician the spotlight online due to his viral Facebook post.
It was there that Clemente recounted how he met the boy when they were on their way to a restaurant near Mactan Airport. Jonlie approached them as soon as they stepped-out of the taxi and started playing out of the blue.
“Saludo ako sa’yo! Sana one day ma-discover siya para makapag aral siya at para mas makapag provide sa family niya,” wrote Clemente.