Street vendor’s heart-warming story of drinking milk tea for the first time goes viral

Teban, the street vendor. <i>Photo: Julio Mallari</i>
Teban, the street vendor. Photo: Julio Mallari

A street vendor’s priceless reaction to drinking milk tea for the first time has made him a viral sensation in recent days.

The elderly man’s story was shared on Monday on the Facebook page of Cabin Brew Milk Tea, a five-month-old boba store in Dasmariñas City, Cavite.

The post’s caption relates a conversation between an unidentified man — who turned out to be the store’s owner, Julio Mallari — and a vendor named Tatay (Father) Teban. Mallari spotted the vendor while the latter was looking at the store’s menu.

Mallari told Teban: “Father, do you want one?”

Teban said, “I’m just looking at it. That’s for rich people; I can’t buy one.”

“I’ll pay for it. Come in and choose one drink,” Mallari answered.

Teban insisted that he would pay for the drink and said that it was the first time he would drink milk tea which Mallari said “broke his heart.” He then told Teban to choose a drink but refused the elderly man’s payment.

Mallari also took a photo of Teban while he was drinking his milk tea. He wrote in his caption, “I told him I’d take a picture of him, like what we do for our customers. I didn’t expect this kind of reaction.”

See Teban’s photo below. Isn’t that precious?

Cabin Brew’s post has gone viral and has been shared almost 99,000 times. Mallari wrote in an update that Teban has managed to sell a lot of products since the post has appeared because people recognize him as the man who tried milk tea for the first time.

In an interview with Coconuts Manila, Mallari said he saw Teban on Monday, the day he wrote about their encounter. Teban told him he would often pass by their store whenever he sells his products all over the city.

“He looked exhausted and overwhelmed because it was the first time he was able to look closely at our menu,” Mallari said in a mix of English and Filipino. “I knew that I had to treat him to a drink because he’s old and a street vendor.”

“I invited him to come inside the shop and told him that the dark choco flavor is really good. So he ordered the dark choco. I told the staff not to make him pay for the drink.”

“I told Father that I wanted to take his photo and they went viral a few hours after I took them. He said he’s grateful for the experience.”

In exchange for the drink, Teban offered to give Mallari one of the products that he was selling. Mallari requested a bottle cleaner, something that he knew Teban wasn’t selling. But the old man went back to their store yesterday to give Mallari the products that he requested.

“He found a way to give me back something [in exchange for the drink],” Mallari said.

People only had good things to say about the touching story. “I salute you brother for giving Father a sweet treat. God bless you both,” wrote Jed Jacobe.

Photo: Cabin Brew Milk Tea/FB
Photo: Cabin Brew Milk Tea/FB

“Two people sharing and offering what they could give. A good unquestionable intention from the heart,” wrote Hilda Villegas.

Photo: Cabin Brew Milk Tea/FB
Photo: Cabin Brew Milk Tea/FB

“There is always joy in giving. And it’s better to give than to receive,” wrote Felix Goling Jr.

Photo: Cabin Brew Milk Tea/FB
Photo: Cabin Brew Milk Tea/FB

Meng Baldoza was emotional. “When I read posts like this, I cry,” she wrote.

Photo: Cabin Brew Milk Tea/FB
Photo: Cabin Brew Milk Tea/FB

Have you heard of similar stories? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.

Read more Coconuts Manila articles here.

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