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Boy uses light from eatery to study

This article is more than 12 months old

Picture of nine-year-old outside Cebu restaurant goes viral

He is so determined to get an education that he uses the light from a fast-food restaurant in Cebu City, Philippines, to do his homework.

Nine-year-old Daniel Cabrera's home was burned down and his father died, The Telegraph reported.

Daniel, his seven-year-old brother Gabriel and their mother, Ms Maria Christina Espinosa, live at an eatery near the restaurant.

She earns about 60 pesos (S$1.80) a day, working as a helper at the eatery. She also does other odd jobs to make ends meet.

Daniel was spotted by Miss Joyce Torrefranca, a medical student. She posted the picture on her Facebook page late last month and it went viral, Filipino social news website Rappler reported.

Rappler quoted Miss Torrefranca as saying: "As a student, it inspired me to work harder. I'm fortunate my parents were able to send me to school. I seldom go to coffee shops to study, but this kid just hit me.

"You really don't need much, you just have to be determined and focused on the things that you want to achieve."

When Rappler contacted him, the Grade 3 student said he has just one pencil. One had been stolen by another student. Daniel also said he kept a rosary in his school bag.

"The rosary is to prevent my only pencil from getting stolen."

He said the only school material missing is a drawing book. He is waiting until his mother can afford to buy him one.


Daniel and his brother walk 1km every day from home to school to catch the 8am class.

So what does he want to be?

He said: "I think I want to be a policeman. I also want to be a doctor."

Daniel's teacher Rosalina Detuya described him as "a happy child".

She told Rappler: "He is also intelligent and answers during class discussion, he really participates."

McDonald's restaurant manager Iris Prak told Rappler that the brothers do their homework there after school because they do not have electricity at the place where they live.

After the photo went viral, strangers have come forward to help the boy and the family with whatever little they can.

Daniel, though, is unfazed by the newfound fame.

"I will still study every night and play all day," he said, showing off his new school bag and plastic envelope filled with school supplies.