THE staff of a restaurant at a popular mall in Davao City were unsung heroes to a child with special needs after treating him to a delicious meal and pooled resources to get him gifts.

In a viral video posted by ABIG PITIK: Maestro Facebook page on January 22, 2023, crew members of Chikaan at Abreeza Ayala Mall, Davao City accommodating a person with special needs serving him food he wanted to eat.

George Paolo Guirigay, a public school teacher and the administrator of Abig Pitik: Maestro, said in his post that the boy entered the restaurant at 3:15 and was treated by the staff with “utmost courtesy.”

“As a teacher myself I got curious what would the restaurant crew would do to the person with special needs, because if I were them I might not know what is the right thing to do,” he said in an interview with SunStar Davao.

Guirigay said the staff had a brief conversation, who later checked the menu. The crew took note of the order. However, when they asked the boy if he can pay for it, the boy said he can’t.

The staff continued to talk with the boy and asked him about his background. The boy would ask once in a while where his order is and the staff would respond that it is already being prepared.

They soon served him lumpia but the boy said it was not his order. Nonetheless, the staff comforted him, telling him it was being prepared.

“A minute or two later came the order, to my surprise they gave a whole order of buttered chicken for I was expecting they will just give a piece. The boy smiled and laughed seeing his order and immediately started to cry while praying for his food,” Guirigay said.

They later found out that it was the boy’s birthday.

“What they did afterward surprised me more,” Guirigay said.

The restaurant staff then sang Happy Birthday to the boy. They also gathered whatever resources they have to give the boy gifts.

“They gave a ball cap, a new slipper, and a checkered polo,” Guirigay said.

“But I am amazed because one of the crew treated him with full courtesy, he treated him like he’s like a normal person, without hesitation, although he's inaudible,” he added in the interview.

Mary Anne Guno, the mother of “Binsoy”, the person with special needs highlighted in the viral video, said they have been looking for their son since 5 a.m. of January 22. She also revealed that her son is diagnosed with down syndrome.

“Actually dili niya (Binsoy) birthday atong Dominggo, pero dako kaayo kong pasalamat na naay mga maayong tao na maoy nakakita niya (Actually Binsoy’s birthday was not really on Sunday [January 20], however I am beyond grateful that good people were the ones who found him),'' she said in an interview by SunStar Davao.

She said she has been contacting almost all police stations and even Central 911 just to locate her son. She also said this is not the first time she had to seek help from the authorities.

“Makulbaan jud mi basta mawala na siya kay basig tripan siya, pero kabalo mi na buotan na siya, grabe kapolite, dili manghilabot og dili na sya bayolente (We get anxious if he suddenly leaves the house because there could be people who could hurt him. But we know that our son is kind, polite, and is not violent),” she said.

“Ginatudluan lang jud pod namo siya na every time mangayo, magpasalamat. Magpray before magkaon (We taught him to always be grateful, to be kind, to pray before eating),” she added.

Anne Lorraine Domingo, the owner of the restaurant, said in a public Facebook post she got anxious when the viral video about her restaurant surfaced on social media.

"When I started to read this post, kulba kaayo ko kay abi nko major complaint gi post sa FB. Nanlamig na jud akong buong lawas sa kakulba and sige na ako isip paano rectify ang problem (I was nervous because I thought it was a major complaint being posted on Facebook, I felt cold because I was nervous and I thought hard about how to rectify the problem),” Domingo said.

“But, mid-part, I started crying. I've never been so proud of my team," she added. ICE