VIRAL: Homeless father, son study hard along Davao street

Lira Valderama
VIRAL: Homeless father, son study hard along Davao street
Tatay Efren and 10-year-old Fren Fren are seen studying and writing despite the lack of a light source outside a building along Ilustre Street in Davao City

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Even without a roof over their heads, a little boy and his father have been persevering to study hard for school. 

Taken by Facebook user Mildred Catadman Yu, a photo of a little boy named Fren Fren with his father Tatay Efren studying together went viral online. In the photo, the two were seen studying and writing despite the lack of a light source outside the building along Ilustre Street in Davao City.

The 10-year-old kid was seen doing his assignment while his father was helping him with his projects. The two shared a small space together outside the building, with only thin carton boxes shielding them from the cold pavement.


“Habang naglalakad ako, ang daming pumasok sa isipan ko. Saan kaya sila naliligo? Saan kaya sila naglalaba? Kapag natutulog sila, ang dami kayang lamok. Paano nila natitiis yun?” Yu shared after taking the photo.

(While I was walking, a lot of questions entered my mind. Where are they taking a bath? Where are they doing their laundry? There are a lot of mosquitoes where they sleep. How can they endure all those?) 

In her post, Yu appealed to her network of family and friends to help the father and son in the spirt of Christmas. 

Another Facebook user, Maresh Agero dela Pedra, reposted Yu’s photo on her account in a bid to spread their story and encourage help from strangers and friends alike. The reposted photos reached 443 comments and 667 shares, as of posting.

“Makita jud nimong naningkamot sila makalingkawas sa kalisod,” Dela Pedra said.  (You can see that they are working hard to surpass poverty.)


In a chat with Tatay Efren, Dela Pedra learned that they lost their home in a fire. She also said that the Fren Fren’s mother reportedly left them a few weeks back. 

In her separate post, Dela Pedra appealed to netizens to donate school supplies to Fren Fren and Tatay Efren. Fren Fren is a kinder student at a nearby school, Dela Pedra said. 

Several people have so far heeded to their call. Dela Pedra, along with her classmates, have been regularly updating posts regarding the help people have given and channeled through them. 

May Good Samaritan pong magso-shoulder sa titirhan nila Tatay from Digos City po. May magpapadala din po bukas ng allowance nila P1,000 from,” Dela Pedra said.  (We found a Good Samaritan from Digos City who will shoulder their housing. Somebody will be giving them P1000-worth of allowance) 

Fren Fren wants to be a soldier when he grows up. Against all odds, Tatay Efren said he would help his son make his dreams come true. 

The heartbreaking photo is reminiscent of the viral photo of Daniel Cabrera, the kid who was found studying along Cebu sidewalks. Then 9-year-old Cabrera was pictured while sitting on his legs, with a look of concentration on his face as he writes on an open book. Without a decent place to go home to, Daniel was studying outside while using the light illuminated from the nearby fastfood place. 

That photo changed Daniel Cabrera’s life. After inspiring community action here and overseas, he now has a scholarship until college and his family now has a place they can call home. – 

Lira is the Rappler lead Mover in Davao City