HIGHLIGHT: For 45-year-old taxi driver Roderic Almeda, April 8 was like any other Friday morning with heavy traffic left and right, building up on the congested streets of the metro.
Grateful for this seemingly well-off man who boarded his taxi, he got zero idea that this ordinary day will be a life-changing one.
"Naisakay ko po siya sa bandang Morato. Nagpahatid po siya sa house nila. Habang bumibyahe po kami, tinanong ko po siya kung kumakain sila ng peanut butter. Sabi niya, 'Oo naman po.' So, inalok ko sa kanya 'yong product ko. Doon na nagsimula ang kuwentuhan namin,
(I was able to fetch him a ride near Morato. He asked me to take him home. During the commute, I asked if they are into eating peanut butter. He said “Yes, of course.” So, I told him about my product. That’s where everything started)", Almeda recalled during a phone interview with ABS-CBN News.
Tatay Roderic sells home-made peanut butter for 3 years now apart from his driving stint. According to him, most of his customers would just ignore him whenever he tries pitching his products. But this time, a boarder paid attention while he sales talk.
Almeda's passenger then was Troy Sitosta, a 28-year-old art director and owner of the design studio Shao Long Bald.
"He was nervous at first but I was instantly grabbed by his sunny disposition, plus it was very novel for me. I have rode cabs all my life and this was the first time a taxi driver tried to sell me something that he made himself," Sitosta adage in a separate interview.
Touched by the Almeda's sincerity and hardwork toward his job, Sitosta added, " In a time where the news was always about the faults and crimes of taxi drivers, I was moved by his sincerity and his resourcefulness to stay honest with his job."
With the exchange of their life stories, the young graphic artist humbly insisted and volunteered to design a label for Almeda's products, which he named RJ's Peanut Butter.
Last Tuesday, Sitosta shared photos of Almeda and his peanut butter on his Facebook account. Here, he wrote how they met and ended up as friends. He included contact numbers of Almeda and his wife, where people can reach them for orders. And boom,the post went viral.
As of now, the Almedas have been getting five times the regular number of orders they receive, getting a lot of orders via text messages. Tatay Roderic plans to own a motorcycle and eventually, may quit his job as a taxi driver. The power couple wishes to focus on selling peanut butter and atsara.
Sitosta, on the other hand, encouraged fellow Pinoy designers to use their skills and talents to help other people improve their lives.