After Viral Success, Handless Craftsman Doubles Down On His Craft

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Andy Villaruel and his employer, Julius Lusaya. Image via Rappler
Andy Villaruel tasted internet fame when a video of him creating unique miniature tricycles went viral last year, and since life for the hand-less craftsman has changed for the better.
“Nagpapasalamat ako doon kasi dagdag inspirasyon ‘yun para sa akin tapos nakapagbibigay ng mensahe na nakakataba sa puso. Nakakadagdag po ng tiwala sa sarili ko,” he said.
But Villaruel has not been complacent with his success. Even after sales for his miniature models of tricycles went through the roof, he is still working hard to perfect his craft, giving up smoking and drinking to focus entirely on his work.
It’s something that not everyone in his company could do.
“Yung mga tine-train ko, hindi nila kaya. Siguro kasi dito sa amin, ‘yung mga bisyo, tulad ng inom at paninigarilyo, bawal ‘yan sa akin. Kaya siguro di nila ma-resist rules ko,” Julius Lusaya, his employer said.
And even with his disability, Andy is stil determined to become an electrician to help send his younger sister to college.
“Si Andy, determinado pa talaga. Balak pa nga niya mag-electronics. Tinuturan ko rin siya. Balak ko papaaralin ko na lang siya sa TESDA,” Julius said.
According to Andy, buying miniature tricycles from Dumagete miniature artworks isn’t just a simple purchase – it’s helping a fellow man prove that he’s still capable despite his disabilities.
“‘Pag nag-order ka nito, hindi ka lang bumili ng isang souvenir mula dito sa Dumaguete. Bumili na rin kayo ng isang gawa ng akalaing mong tao na may kapansanan at wala nang magawa sa buhay. Tumulong na rin kayo sa kapwa niyo,” Andy said.

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