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Blind faith

By Nel B. Andrade

ANTIPOLO CITY – In spite of his failing eyesight, 57-year old Alberto Bautista or “Tatay Albert” still makes an effort to make an honest living selling rosaries outside a church in this city.

He spends most of his days standing in front of the main gate of the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage offering churchgoers the Jesus and Mary chains at P20 each.

Bautista, who used to sell newspapers prior to him almost being rendered legally blind, is hoping the religious item he is selling will strengthen the faith of buyers.

“Sana lalo pang tumibay ang pananampalataya ng mga tao sa Diyos sa pamamagitan ng rosaryo na ibinebenta ko sa kanila,” he said.

At the end of the day, he is thankful the few pesos he earns from each would buy him a decent meal.

Saturdays are considerably less arduous for him as the church offers packed meals for vendors, street children and beggars as part of a regular feeding program.

The childless Bautista longs for his 45-year old wife who is working in Qatar as caregiver.

“Sana maalala na niya ako ngayon. Minsan lang kasi siyang nakapagpadala ng pera sa akin ilang buwan na ang nakakalipas,” he said.

A few months ago, the shanty Tatay Albert calls home was demolished. He is now temporarily staying in a room near the house of his friend.

Readers who may want to lend Tatay Albert a a helping hand may contact him directly at No. 4, Cruz Compound, Santo Nino St., Barangay San Jose in this city.