Sep 24, 2020

Sari-sari store on wheels

Jay Silvano with his two daughters, Leslie Ann and Ashley joining him on his trip from Sta. Monica to City Proper vice versa on weekends and holidays.

A green multicab has recently gone viral for a perculiar thing—going around Puerto Princesa selling merchandise like a store-on-wheels.

Jay Silvano, 32 years old, has been driving the green cab for a year and a half, after working as a tourist van driver for three years.

The idea to convert their multicab into a mobile sari-sari store came from his children, Silvano told Palawan News on Wednesday.

The display of snacks and drinks for sale inside the multicab

“Noong bakasyon walang pasok, laging sila ang kasama ko dito sa multicab dahil wala naman makasama sa bahay, kami lang. ‘Yong time na ‘yon, sabi ko ano kaya kung maggawa na lang tayo dito ng tindahan para di tayo bili nang bili, ‘yon ang una, naglagay kami ng candy. So, nakita namin ang potensyal kasi meron mga bumibili, nagdagdag kami nito (chips),” he said.

His store started by selling candies initially profiting P200. With influx of buyers, he then added chips, biscuits, and drinks to his merchandise.

He pushed the idea further by selling water and sodas inside his cab when triggered by an emergency after a passenger suffered high blood pressure because of the humid weather.

“Sa akin, wala akong idea na nalaman na meron ganito sa iba at wala akong nakunan ng idea, yong sa akin lang kasi, marami naman pasahero na pwede, may experience talaga kasi ako na meron akong naging pasahero na galing SM so masyadong mainit, tumaas yong blood pressure, inatake ron sa loob. Siguro sa sobrang init, kung may mga tubig na pwedeng mainom dito, hindi pa inatake. Isa rin yon sa mga ano ko na dapat meron tayong mga tubig dito,” he added.

Jay Silvano’s daughters, Leslie Ann and Ashley inside their store on wheels

His two children, Ashley and Leslie Ann, are helping him during weekends.

Silvano is not just multi-tasking on driving his cab and entertaining his customers with his store, he is also acting as mother to his two daughters because his wife is now in Jordan working as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) since last year.

He resorted to utilizing his multicab to augment their income. Doing both things during the entire trip is no different from giving change from fares of passengers, he added.

“Hindi siya hassle kasi walang pinagkaiba kung nagbabarya lang ako. Kasi yong mga paninda ko dito meron ako sa likod na dini-display na once na may magustuhan sila sa loob, dito na lang kukunin. So, parang nagsusukli lang ako na kapag may gusting kumuha, inaabot din ng pasahero ko sa likod tapos iaabot sa gusting bumili,” he pointed out.

Since starting his mobile store, he has not heard any negative comment from his passengers, and instead, he sees their smiles when they see his merchandise.

His regular route is Sta. Monica to City Proper and vice-versa.

As a father of his two daughters who are now in grades 5 and 3, his dream is to give them a good life and better education.

He is optimistic that his children would learn something from what he is doing.

“Pangarap ko lang sa kanila mabigyan sila ng magandang buhay, makapag-aral nang maayos at saka maging aral din sa kanila ito na paano sila magpursige para sa sarili nila, unang-una sa mathematics magagamit nila yan, sana maging daan ito para magpursige din sila,” he emphasized.

He gives free lollipops to mothers who have small children but only have enough money for transportation.

He was shy at first in displaying his food merchandise inside the multicab, he said, because of the owner. But when he asked, Silvano was surprised to know that the owner was supportive of his business.

Romel Tejada, the operator of the multicab, said that he supports Silvano because he is resourceful enough to find a legal means to augment his income.

“Suportado ko siya sa kanyang business, hindi ko siya hinihingian ni singko na dagdag doon sa kaniyang sari-sari store, wala akong kinukuha. Boundary lang talaga ng sasakyan, boundary niya noong wala pa siyang sari-sari store sa multicab ay P500. Ngayong meron na siya, iyon pa rin, nakakatuwa na nakikita mo ‘yong mga driver mo may ginagawa sila at umaasenso sila,” Tejada said.

Tejada also commended Silvano because he is also one of his trusted drivers who takes care of his multicab.

Silvano encouraged his fellow drivers to choose a “decent alternate job” to increase their income instead of being involved in crimes.

“Ang masasabi ko sa mga kapwa ko driver, hindi na natin kailangan na gumawa ng masama o magkaroon tayo ng iba, minsan nadi-disappoint tayo dahil wala tayong kita, humanap tayo ng paraan na kumita tayo nang marangal na ipakain natin sa mga anak natin. Isa ito sa ini-encourage ko na sana lahat tayo meron, at saka isang malaking bagay din ito sa mga pasahero natin kasi minsan kasi mga biglaang sakay wala pang inom at kain, at least meron tayong pampaunang kain para sa kanila,” he said.

His next plan is to have free wi-fi on his cab once he finds budget for it.

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