Jeepney driver’s own ‘Libreng Sakay’ initiative earns netizens’ praises

Jeepney driver  ‘Libreng Sakay’
Jeepney driver Michael Kimuell captured the hearts of Filipinos with his Good Samaritan kindness. Photo from Ian Macalanda FB Post, netizen comments.

A jeepney driver’s own ‘Libreng Sakay’ initiative shared by a passenger on social media went viral as the good deed earned netizens’ praises.

The picture of the driver, later identified in the comments of the post as Michael Kimuell, showed a handwritten transportation fare list hanging from the back of the driver’s seat with a unique additional note at the bottom:

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“Para sa walang-wala TY lang OK na (For those who cannot afford the fare, your thanks is enough),” the cardboard notice said.

Passenger Ian Macalanda posted the picture on August 9, 2022, highlighting the free ride offer of the jeepney driver plying the Sangandaan-Divisoria route in Manila.

The Facebook post immediately went viral after captivating the hearts of internet users, garnering over 17 thousand views and over 8 thousand shares within a few days.

Commuter netizens expressed their praises in the comments section of the FB post while news media interviewed the now-famous jeepney driver.

Netizen Jayjay Guiral summed up many of the kind remarks with the comment, “Some of the most kind individuals are the ones who don’t have that much. God Bless you tatay!”

In an interview with state television PTV News, Macalanda said that one of the reasons he posted about the jeepney driver was to inspire other people. “Kung yung simpleng tsuper nga kaya makagawa ng mabuti, pano pa kaya ako? Pano pa kaya yung iba? (If a simple driver can do a good deed, how about me and others?)” Macalanda said.

The 62-year-old jeepney driver from Tondo said he had considered offering free rides after the jeepney fare increased in June.

Michael Kimuel’s regular work day would see him ply the route from Divisoria from 7 AM until 2 PM, after which he would look after his ailing wife who has been struggling from a stroke. But even with the challenges he faces, he was still able to support the education of his two children.

Many individuals were touched by the jeepney driver’s generosity, although several reminded people not to take advantage of the free ride offer.

In Macalanda’s follow-up post about the jeepney driver, he highlighted the comment from the driver’s daughter who saw his viral post.

“Nagpapasalamat sayo ang daddy ko. Salamat daw. Dahil sa tagal niya namamasada ngayon lang siya [na] appreciate ng iba. Natutuwa at parang sasabog ang puso niya sa saya. Kasi sumikat daw siya kahit matanda na siya (My father sends thanks. He’s been a driver for so long but it’s only now that he was appreciated by others. He says he feels like his heart would burst from the happiness because he suddenly found fame even at his age.)”.

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EJ is a BA Communication Arts student who hopes to become a great film maker or a good editorial writer one day. Writing for him is a way to share a story that will connect with every reader to whom he can provide lessons and inspirations. He is a smile campaign advocate and aims to see everyone in good spirits. His life motto is - Keep Smiling.