Rappler met Daniel in person the next day at his favorite study spot, that he says is near a bright lamp post in the parking lot.
When Joyce Torrefranca posted photographs of a young boy on Facebook, she had no idea what an impact that simple action would soon have on the child’s life. It was then shared nearly 7,000 times and the story was then picked up by several local and worldwide news outlets.
She used to wash people’s laundry and also earn small cash as a street vendor, selling cigarettes and candies to passers-by.
Their grocery store home is close to the McDonald’s outlet that had served as Cabrera’s study nook, she said.
“I’m fortunate my parents were able to send me to school”, she said.
She became the sole provider for Daniel after his father died of severe diarrhea in a prison cell three years ago.
She described the boy as a tenacious child with a single-mined focus on getting an education.
“He is a very studious and determined boy… he would insist on going to school even without his lunch money because I have no money to give”, Ms Espinosa added.
He told Rappler that he wants to complete his education.
The campaign was successful, with area residents donating school supplies, lights, toys and money.
The local church and government social welfare office have also accepted aid on his behalf. Violeta Cavada, the city’s social welfare chief, said that her office is now experiencing difficulty in managing the amount of financial assistance, Daily Mail reported. Despite the country’s strong economic growth recently, millions still live on less than one dollar a day.
Torrefranca’s post was shared around the world and in multiple languages, including Spanish, German and Portuguese, all touched by the boy’s perseverance.
After the photo went viral, Philippine news station ABS-CBN found the boy at the McDonald’s, where he told them his family home had been destroyed in a fire.
The med student who took the original photo has said the thought of young Cabrera helped inspire her to work harder.