MANILA - It was a fitting end to a long journey at a job that sustained him and his family for 36 years.
On his last day as bank security guard, Tereso Ampong Calibo was surprised by his children, now mostly professionals, in an expression of gratitude for his hard work.
"We went to my father’s workplace. It was his last day at work and we wanted to surprise him," wrote Therese Calibo-Spiers in a social media post.
"My siblings and I managed to graduate (from the) University because of him. Thank you Papa for all your sacrifices and hardwork. We love you and we really appreciate you," she added.
Now, patriarch Tereso can live comfortably, a far cry from when he skipped meals and went to work hungry.
“Masayang masaya ako. Nakikita ko 'yung sa kahirapan ko sa trabaho, may kapalit din pala. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon… Ayoko [yung] naranasan ko, maranasan nila. Ayoko matulog sila sa kalye… kailangan kung mag trabaho kayo sa medyo malamig na lugar—sa opisina na kayo,” he said, expressing his hope for a better future for his children.
(I am very happy. I saw that all I did was worth it. I thank God for this. I don't want them to experience what I went through, sleeping on the streets. I want them to work in offices.]
“Masaya rin na kahit bilang guwaryda, nakapag tapos silang lahat. Yan ang number 1 kong naisip talaga. ‘Di ko makalimutan sa sarili ko na ganun ang nangyari. ‘Yan ang number 1 kong pinasasalamat talaga sa Panginoon,” he added.
[I am very happy that even if I worked as a security guard, I was able to send all of them to school. That's what I am most thankful for.]
His children are graduates of Computer Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology.
SERVICE AND LOYALTY
It was a hard life for Tereso and his family, who experienced losing a home to a fire and demolition. Thankfully, his bosses at the Metrobank N. Domingo, San Juan branch did not abandon him and chipped in to gather funds for his new house.
This motivated Tereso to work harder and show loyalty to the company.
He was also always applauded by clients and his managers for his honesty, be it in returning small things like lost umbrellas to lost car keys and wallets.
“Hindi ko pwedeng ipagpalit yung serbisyo ko [at] ang tiwala sakin sa [bangko]. ‘Di ko pwedeng sirain ang sarili ko. Ang pamilya ko nakasalalay dito. Kasi kung wala ang [bangko], wala ang agency sakin, hindi makakapagtapos ang mga anak ko,” he said.
[I cannot lose their trust. My family depends on me, so I need to do my best at my job. If not for the bank and my agency, my children won't finish school.]
Tereso's outlook in life also motivated his children to do better. Spiers recalled how the "lowest" moment made her motivated.
“Wala talaga kaming makain nung araw na ‘yun. ‘Di namin alam kung saan kami kukuha ng pera. Tapos naalala ko noon, may inutangan si mama, parang P5 na lang yung binigay sa kanya. Tapos ‘yun yung pinambili namin ng tuyo… ‘yun yung mga lowest point namin na wala talaga kaming makain," Spiers recalled.
“Sabi ko sa sarili ko noon, kelangan makapagtapos ako. Sabi ko, hindi ako magiging ganito lang. Gusto ko lumaki, mag grow para sa sarili ko at para sa pamilya ko,” she added.
Aside from financial problems, she was also not spared from bullying as some people threw discouraging remarks at her because of her father’s job.
“Ang daming nagsasabi sakin na “ah, ‘di ka makakatapos kasi… yung tatay mo security guard,” she said.
But like her father, she was firm in her resolve to make her dreams come true.
“Sila talaga yung biggest inspiration ko. Kasi sabi ko, ayokong dumating sa point na wala na naman kaming pera… Sabi ko, hangga't kaya ko makapagtrabaho, at kaya ko pang maghanap ng ibang part time jobs, kakayanin ko,” she said.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, sa tatay ko, “pa, ngayon, kahit mawalan ka ng trabaho, tutulungan naman kita. ‘Wag mo na alalahanin yung pagkain everyday. Kahit dito ka na kumain sa bahay, meron ka pang allowance,” she added.