Words and Photos by: Jenny Paleracio
I came across this beautiful cafe, and as I started to go there frequently, I befriended one of the baristas. His cheerful persona and singing caught my attention. He would sing along passionately to the Pandora songs playing throughout the cafe while he was making everyone’s order.
“Then every time I see on the road, I see a Mauna Loa or Hawaii shirt or whatever, so I felt like that is a sign for me to go back … So there’s a ticket sale – in the Philippines. It was a Sunday and I only got a hundred bucks and the ticket was like six hundred dollars. I call my friends, my mom and my brother was there, and they were like ‘Oh we’re here already. Do you still want to purchase a ticket?’ Then after awhile I went back to the Philippines, back to see my family and friends. And I came here last February to continue what I started.”
Because of a series of events, Darryl ended up on Hawaii last February to pursue his passion – making coffee.
“In the future I want to own a coffee shop, maybe in the Philippines, ‘cause I heard they’re producing beans now in the Philippines. Maybe I can open a shop in the future. So I’m absorbing all of the things I could learn.”
Not only is he here to pursue his passion, he is here in Hawaii to provide a better life for his family in the Philippines. He works 7 days a week so that he can send money to his brothers and sisters back home.
It touched my heart when I heard his story, because he is so selfless. He dismisses all the pain, and all the hardships he goes through just so that he can provide for his family back home. I saw the fire in his eyes when he talked about how hard he works every single day to provide money and send home Balikbayan boxes (a care package) to his family.
I’ve said it before but… Do not be afraid to look around and ask someone “What’s your story?” Every time I discover someone’s story, my life changes and my perspective is shifted.
Every day I walked into that café, minding my own business. I did not even think about the struggles of other people around me. But because I finally opened up my eyes and asked that barista what his story is, I met someone new – someone with the heart of an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker).