51-Year-Old Garbage Collector Saved His Meager Salary Of Under $10/Day To Pay For His Daughter's Education

Date June 20, 2018

By 2013, the Philippines was the 12th most populous country in the world with 98.4 million people. With labor participation among men standing at 80% and a national GDP per capita of US $2,791, many people in the country were dependent on government aid.

Public spending on education was also quite low, standing at 2.8% of GDP. Much of this was due to the global financial crisis. Only well-to-do people were able to afford education and for other families, they had to make big sacrifices to keep their children in school.

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Cristito Quimado, a 51-year old garbage collector, was one of the later. For the past two decades, he has earned a living by collecting garbage in the Philippines. His routine usually begins at 4 a.m., and the job is pretty hard and hazardous.

My job is not easy, I handle all kinds of wastes, … I’d always get scratches from shards of broken glass. I do it for my family, for my kids.

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For Quimada, his sacrifice was not in vain as he was on a mission to put his daughter through school. His meager salary, which is less than $10 a day, may seem like a little, but Quimada was able to save enough of it to ensure his daughter and his other three children get a good education.

Education is the only thing I can leave my children.

And his commitment paid off. His daughter is now a college graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition and Food technology.

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Speaking in a new documentary, his daughter said she was very grateful for her father’s sacrifice and was also thankful to God for his help.

I thank God for giving me my dad, he has a noble job. It’s okay even if his earnings are small, at least he’s not doing anything illegal.

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While some people may find the idea that a parent collects garbage for a living far from the best, Quimada’s daughter thinks quite the opposite. While he shared his story in this new documentary, he said his daughter would proudly tell anyone who cared to ask what her father did for a living.

When people would ask what my job is, my daughter would always tell them that I am a garbage collector. She is not ashamed of what I do.

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He also remembered the times when he did not even have enough money to buy food, but it did not stop him from saving money for his daughter's education. On her part, she has high hopes of getting a job soon so she can join her father in raising money for her siblings' education.

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Quimada’s story is going viral, and thousands of people around the world have been sharing their positive reactions to it.

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There is a great lesson to learn from Quimada’s story. In the face of hardship, determination, dignity in labor, and hard work will eventually pay off. All it takes is a little patience and hope in a brighter future.

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