The story behind the viral photo of a single dad treating his kids to Jollibee while he ate nothing

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Be inspired by tatay Ryan, a single dad to two daughers and a street vendor who touched the hearts of many by a simple, selfless act

A touching photo of a man treating his two daughters to a meal at Jollibee while not having any food of his own has earned the praise of netizens. The photo was first shared by Jhunnel Sarajan who was touched by the father's simple act of selfless love.

Through his post, he managed to inspire people as well as help the family in the now viral photo.

Returning to the fast food restaurant a day after he took the photo, Jhunnel found out that tatay Ryan was a street vendor, stroke survivor, and a single father raising two girls.

Being a good dad against all odds

ABS-CBN news found out about tatay Ryan and searched for him; they found him in the slums of Tondo, Manila.

Before he suffered a stroke four years ago, 38-year-old Ryan sold boiled corn in their neighborhood. The condition left him paralyzed and unable to work for months, reports ABS-CBN news.

Eventually, his wife left him taking their two kids Rose Ann, 8 and Rosa Mae, 6 with her. But Ryan fought and managed to get back his two girls, striving to put them through school as he makes ends meet with the help of the government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) which grants him an allowance of P2,200 every other month.

"Hindi na po ako kumain," he said, "Makita ko lang na busog sila, okay na ako."

"Kahit pagod ka, lumaban ka..."

"Mahirap din, minsan napapagod ka. Pero kahit pagod ka, lumaban ka-- kahit ang tulog ko konti lang kasi nagtitinda ako eh," he lamented to ABS-CBN news. His eldest is in Grade 2 while his younger daughter is in kindergarten.

Each day, tatay Ryan wakes up at dawn to get his kids ready for school and heads to his government-issued street cart, which he transformed into a sari-sari store. He earns about P100 to P200 per day.

On the afternoon when their photo in Jollibee was snapped, they were celebrating. His eldest Rosa Mae would soon be graduating and moving up a grade.

He allowed both of his daughters to order their favorite meal while he himself had none; he simply watched his precious girls enjoy.

"Hindi na po ako kumain," he said, "Makita ko lang na busog sila, okay na ako."

The netizen who first posted about tatay Ryan found out that the family would go to church at Sto. Nino Tondo Parish every Sunday and eat at the same fast food after mass. Since their story was posted on March 12, many have offered to help the family. The details on how you can help are in Jhunnel's post below.

READ: Dad who lost his job travels on foot for 6 days to get home to family in Isabela

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