In all of Angelito Gino Gino’s 73 years, the only type of work he has known is the kind that requires his physical presence and effort. He used to sell fish, peddle gallons of water from out of a kariton, drive a pedicab, and even sell lollipops.
In the last 10 years, Angelito or “Lolo Pops” hung outside Pampanga’s Angeles University Foundation (AUF) in the mornings and Holy Angel University (HAU) in the afternoons to sell lollipops to students. With his gentle disposition and penchant for giving fatherly advice, Lolo Pops became a favorite among the young ones.
Then the pandemic struck in March 2020 and lockdowns were enforced to stem the spread of COVID-19. Suddenly, the hardworking husband to wife Pacita and father of their four grown children found himself without a job and unable to go out and look for work. (Read: ABS-CBN Employees Share How the Franchise Denial Affected Their Lives)
That’s when netizens stepped in and the internet proved to be the powerful, life-changing tool that it is. Today, Lolo Pops doesn’t need to leave his home in Bulacan to sell his wares— he’s got an online presence with a worldwide reach at that!
Here are five ways the internet changed Lolo Pops’s life:
#1: Lolo Pops Is Now an Online Seller
Clients and supporters of Lolo Pops can purchase his polvoron, pastillas, and special bagoong with chili garlic at mangan.ph and shopee.ph. The latter was set up in November 2020 by Yannie Yhan, who used to buy candy from Lolo Pops when she was still a student at AUF.
“While checking the comments, nakita ko dami gusto bumili na taga Manila, Bataan, Bulacan, etc. but unfortunately within Pampanga lang pwede mag deliver,” wrote Yannie in a post. “So naisipan kong gawan siya ng Online store. Yes!! Lolo Pops is now an Official Online Seller.”
#2: Lolo Pops Has a Facebook Page, Too!
In December 2020, Yannie set up a Facebook page for Lolo Pops to establish his online presence and “para makapag live selling naman siya,” she says. “’Pag kasi madami nang followers pwede ma-monetize page niya.” See Yannie give Lolo Pops a tutorial on live selling here.
#3: Lolo Pops Has Earned a Customers Worldwide
Buyers who were moved by the story and photos of the hardworking septuagenarian sought him out when he was still selling his wares by the drive-through of Jollibee AUF. Many wanted to purchase treats from him personally (as well as take that all-important selfie, of course!).
#4: Lolo Pops Has Been Receiving a Lot of Help
Through Lolo Pops’s updates on Facebook, his followers have been showing their support for the family man by sending financial donations, (through his GCash account), groceries, and medicines.
Much love and prayers were also showered on him when they found out he had recently been diagnosed with pneumonia and had difficulty walking due to his arthritis. (Read: How It’s Like to Be a Millennial Diagnosed With Diabetes)
“Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng nagpaabot ng tulong. Masayang masaya po si Lolo Pops,” wrote his son Angelo on Facebook. “God bless daw po. Nakakataba daw po ng puso na malaman na marami po nagmamahal sa kanya at handa daw po siyang damayan.”
#5. Lolo Pops Is Able to Say Thanks
Lolo Pops, who has since recovered from his bout with pneumonia (and didn’t require hospitalization or an oxygen tank), says he owes his recovery to all the people who have been sending him good thoughts and prayers. (Read: Mama Mary Helped Save My Niece, Now I Pray the Rosary Daily)
“Nang dahil sa inyong suporta, nabuhayan ako ng loob para sa inyo,” he addressed followers in a video, as messages of support poured in in real-time. The video has been shared over 8,000 times. “Maraming maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.”