Cessa Arquelada, a content creator, was taken by surprise when her TikTok post featuring a “tambay” named “Kuratong” in their locality garnered over 3 million views, all thanks to his kind gesture of offering to buy her sanitary pads on a night when she ran out of supplies.

She recounted to Palawan News that on July 6, around eleven o’clock in the evening, she needed sanitary pads. However, when she stepped out of her house in Barangay San Manuel, the small stores were already closed, which presented a problem for her.

Fortunately, Kuratong approached her and asked what she needed. Despite her initial reluctance to reveal what’s troubling her, she eventually had to admit it because she was in desperate need of them.

“Eleven o’clock na po yan, pa 12 midnight. Naubusan ako ng pads—pagsilip ko sa labas, sarado na yong binibilihan namin na mga tindahan. Tapos sila, nagkukuwentuhan din dito sa gilid, tapos nag-alok siya na siya na ang bibili kasi nga daw po may mga tambay din sa unahan. Tinatawag po siyang ditong Kuratong,” Cessa said Tuesday. July 11.

Cessa mentioned that Kuratong frequently loiters in their vicinity along with others, making him recognizable to her.

She felt embarrassed and hesitated because it was a women’s necessity, and typically, men don’t like buying them from stores or groceries.

The store from which Kuratong purchased the sanitary pads was located quite far from their house, which heightened her gratitude towards him despite her slight embarrassment.

“Siya na ang nagsabi na, ‘Ako na, ako na, kasi maraming tambay dyan sa unahan.’ Nahiya na rin akong tumanggi,” she said.

Cessa further explained that she had previously held a negative perception of tambays, or loiterers, due to unpleasant experiences she had encountered with them in the past.

However, Kuratong’s kindness completely changed her perspective and served as a valuable lesson that appearances can be deceiving and not all tambays are inherently bad.

“Nag-thank you ulit ako noong makita ko siya noong isang araw. Hindi talaga natin mahuhusgahan yong tao base sa kung ano lang yong nakikita natin sa kanya. Kahit ako kasi sa sobrang dami kung trauma about sa tambay, parang doon ako nahihirapan magtiwala ulit,” she said.

“Pero dahil sa nangyari na yon, hindi na siya fear—na overcome ko na yong fear na yon dahil sa naranasan ko na maganda,” added Cessa.

Cessa, who also dabbles in poetry and other interests, has experienced an increase in her TikTok following, which now exceeds 5,800.

She stated that the video she made about the kind gesture she got allowed her to completely embrace what she does as a content creator, which she hadn’t been able to do often owing to her school responsibilities as a senior high student at Fullbright College.

“Hindi ako masyadong nagpo-post kasi po marami din akong responsibilities sa school. Pero itutuloy ko na rin, kasi opportunity na. Kaya malaki rin ang pasalamat ko sa kanya,” she said.

Meanwhile, TikTok users who commented on her video viewed the incident as a reminder not to unfairly judge tambays, as not all of them possess ill manners or negative intentions.

In Filipino culture, “tambay” refers to individuals who spend a significant amount of time idly loitering or hanging out in public places, often without a clear purpose or occupation.

They are a common sight in many communities in the Philippines and have become a subject of various discussions and perceptions, ranging from social issues to stereotypes.

“Tito ko yarn🥹🥰 minsan talaga namimiss- interpret sya pero pag kilalang kilala mo sya isa sya sa pinakamabait na tito namin. Tito Kuratong💖,” said Marga.

“Sometimes kung sino pa yung pinakajinajudge ng karamihan sila pa talaga yung mga tutulong sayo para maiwasan yung kinakatakutan mo sa kanila,” account shasbf_ said.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.