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Street vendor stands tall

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ANTIPOLO CITY – Selling crunchy peanuts and assorted chips after school has been the daily routine of Mharell Dawinan, an 18-year old freshman at a private computer school in this city.

Dawinan, who stands around 3 feet tall, is regularly seen by pedestrians walking around Sumulong Park and the streets in the vicinity of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Cathedral, with her backpack and holding the assorted chips that she has been vending everyday.

Taking up Business Office Administration Service, a diploma course at the AMA Computer Learning Center (ACLC) here, Dawinan, considered as a person-with-disability (PWD), said she hopes to become a successful entrepreneur someday.

Vivian Mercader, a PWD entrepreneur said she and her fellow PWDs learned of Dawinan’s inspiring traits a few months ago when they spotted her braving the heat of the summer sun while offering her goods to people walking on Sumulong Park.

Mercader said that Dawinan managed to enter in a private institution through a scholarship program of City Mayor Casimiro ‘Junjun’ Ynares, III; her strong perseverance to finish her 2-year diploma course, and of course, her diligence to earn money for her daily needs from selling chips and peanuts.

Dawinan said after her parents’ death, she moved to her sister’s house where she realized that her success will depend on her own perseverance, thus her daily routine of selling chips alongside her dedication to study hard will help her in achieving her dream of becoming a big time entrepreneur someday.

Everyday, Dawinan attends school from morning until 3 p.m. and vends throughout the afternoon until early evening.

Mercader said Dawinan’s positive outlook in life will be her best asset in achieving her goal in the future.

“In fact, she (Dawinan) has not let all the insulting comments about her physical appearance distract her in her daily routine, “ Mercader said.

Dawinan, is just one of the only few PWDs based in this city who earns a living either by selling food stuff or employed as contractual worker doing janitorial work at the city government. (NEL ANDRADE)