Local tourist at Ati-Atihan fest captures father and daughter’s priceless smiles in viral photo
A local tourist’s simple act of kindness brought joy to a father and his daughter when he took a photo of them during the Ati-Atihan Festival’s “sadsad” (street dancing) in Kalibo, Aklan.
On Jan. 15, John Ruzel Abadiano posted the now-viral photo along with a narrative of the brief but heartwarming interaction he had with the man, identified as Allan Cortez, and his child, Jocelyn, who sat next to him on the side of the road.
“Overheard this dad-[daughter] sitting next to us. The kid was saying [to her dad na] wala silang picture. Sabi ng tatay niya sa kanya: ‘next time, meron na’ (The kid was saying to her dad that they did not have a picture [of their attendance at the Ati-Atihan]. Then, the dad told her: ‘Next time, there will be,’” Abadiano wrote in his post.
Moved by what he heard, Abadiano offered to take a picture of them using his camera—which they warmly accepted—and gave them a printed copy of the photo.
While the two were waiting for their photo to be developed, Abadiano noticed their priceless smiles and took another snap of them.
Abadiano told the Inquirer in an interview that the kid gave him a fist bump and thanked him for taking their picture before leaving.
“Sometimes, happiness can be found in the littlest of things we do for others. Happy fiesta indeed, Kalibo!” he concluded his post.
A father’s viral smile
Abadiano’s post captured not only the father-daughter duo’s precious bonding moment but also the hearts of netizens, with his post garnering over 41,000 reactions and more than 11,000 shares as of this writing.
In a separate Facebook post on Saturday, Jan. 21, he shared an update on Cortez’s family, along with screenshots of the conversation he had with Cortez’s wife, Jo, who messaged him on Facebook after the latter saw the viral photo of her husband and daughter.
During his conversation with Cortez’s wife, Abadiano learned that Allan works as a tricycle driver, while Jo is a domestic helper in Saudi Arabia. She also thanked Abadiano for posting the photo of her family, which she said relieved her fatigue.
Cortez then gave Abadiano her husband’s contact details so he could reach out to him. However, when he dialed Allan’s number, a woman answered his call and told him that Allan’s phone had been pawned there.
“[I thought], ‘Is that why they didn’t have any camera phones during the parade? [Was it pawned so] that they can experience Ati-Atihan and enjoy the festival together—and make it memorable for his child?” Abadiano surmised in his post.
“Sabagay, para sa isang tatay, mas kayang matubos ang naisanlang cellphone kaysa tubusin ang kawalan ng magagandang experiences na kasama ang anak nya. Sana marami pa ang mga katulad mong tatay, Kuya Allan,” he added.
(After all, retrieving a pawned cell phone is easier for a father than making up for the lack of wonderful moments with his daughter. I hope there are more fathers like you, Kuya Allan.)
Additionally, Abadiano included in the post his recent conversation with Cortez, in which the latter thanked him once more for taking their photo at the festival and sharing a smiling picture of him and his daughter. /ra