For Marvin Padilla Daludado, the word “can’t” doesn’t exist in his vocabulary. Last May, the 22-year-old went viral for his Facebook post about graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from the University of the East Caloocan. How he did it: with the money he earned from driving his father’s jeepney.
That’s right—pamasahe (jeepney fare) was where he got his allowance, funds for school projects, and when he had extra, even his tuition fee. (Read: Here’s How You Can Help Jeepney Drivers Affected by the Lockdown)
Think about that the next time you ride a jeepney. The fare may not be much, but when accumulated, it’s just enough to change someone’s life.
Here are four things to pick up from the guy who defines dedication, perseverance, and commitment on his own terms.
Inspiration from Marvin: He started when he was 17
Though his parents were against it, Marvin proved that he could handle the demands of driving a jeepney even if he looked like he couldn’t. With his boyish looks and small built, he was a curiosity among passengers.
“Kasi sobrang totoy ko pa nun,” he said in an interview. ‘”Yung tipong hinahanap ng pasahero kung nasaan ‘yung driver dahil ‘di nila ako makita at ‘yung iba na matatanda natatakot at tinatanong kung marunong daw ba talaga ako mag-drive.” (Read: Prayers for Drivers and Safe Driving)
Inspiration from Marvin: He worked before—and after—school
At 5 am, while many of his classmates were still fast asleep, Marvin was already on the road, ferrying passengers on his jeep from Malanday, Valenzuela City to Pier 15 in Luneta and Recto in Manila, until it was time for classes at 8 am. If he needed a little more money, he’d ply the same route after school.
To the traffic enforcers who attempted to slap him with a violation, he’d say “Kumukuha lang po ako ng pambaon,” and they’d let him go.
Inspiration from Marvin: He didn’t let the pandemic stop him
When strict quarantine measures forced people to work from home and the public transportation system to grind to a halt, this jeepney driver simply pivoted. He sold fruits on the side to continue earning for his school needs.
“Dahil sa pandemic naging negosyante ako,” he wrote in his August 31, 2020 post on Facebook. #pagmaytyagamaynilaga
Inspiration from Marvin: He was happy to do it
He had to wake up earlier than usual and endure heat, pollution, traffic, and nasty passengers before going to school. But Marvin actually enjoyed what he was doing, and it was this attitude that helped him reach his goal and earn the admiration of the likes of Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian. (Read: Here’s a Prayer to Start Your Week with Positivity)
“Laging sinasabi ng iba na bakit pa raw ako namamasada eh nandiyan naman daw ‘yung magulang ko, bakit ‘di nalang daw ako humingi sa kanila,” he said “‘Di naman porke nandyan ‘yung magulang mo ay iaaasa mo na lahat sa kanila. Natuto akong maging independent at tumayo sa aking sariling paa dahil masarap sa feeling na sa maliit na paraan ay nakakatulong ako sa mga magulang ko at ‘yung mga gusto kong bagay ay nabibili ko kahit papaano nang ‘di ko na hinihingi sa kanila.
“Kahit sa maliit na paraan ay malaking tulong na sa kanila ‘yun dahil ‘di na nila ako intindihin,” he said.