73-year-old street vendor builds dream house with earnings from Shopee

(Press Release)

Despite his age, Lolo Pops, a small business owner from Angeles City, still works hard to earn money. At 73 years old, Lolo Pops may be a bit weaker and hard of hearing, but the sprightly man still insists on managing his shop. Together with his son Angelo, Lolo Pops runs a small online store selling pastillas, polvoron, and other local goods.

Lolo Pops, who is something of a local celebrity in Angeles City, was a former street vendor and enjoyed a steady stream of customers, thanks to residents who used to be sukis when they were schoolchildren. However, as the pandemic set in last year, business slowed down. Lolo Pops did not give up, citing his wife as his source of strength. With the help of one of his sukis, Lolo Pops and Angelo decided to take their business online to reach more customers.

Since onboarding on Shopee over a year ago, Lolo Pops was able to sell homemade goodies, including new products such as bagoong and chili garlic, to Filipinos nationwide. Although they initially struggled to adapt to new tools and technologies, Lolo Pops and Angelo found success. They also consider being able to take their business online a blessing since Lolo Pops is now too weak to go out too much, especially during the pandemic.

For the father-and-son duo, selling on Shopee has been a big help. They were able to leave their ramshackle house and start building a new one in Bulacan with their earnings, a far-off dream that Lolo Pops never thought would come true. “Hindi namin inakala na makakapagpatayo kami ng bahay sa ganitong panahon. Dati ay pangarap lang namin ito. Nagpapasalamat kami ngayong natutupad na ito dahil sa pag-asenso namin sa Shopee,” he shared.

Although it took a while since they also had to cover daily expenses, Lolo Pops made sure to save bit by bit for his dream house every few months. “Kung ano ang sobra, inilalaan namin sa pagpagawa ng bahay. May mga araw o linggo na hindi ganoon kalakas ang benta, pero nagtatabi talaga kami. Awa ng Diyos ay sana makalipat na kami bago matapos ang taon.” Now, as the construction nears completion, Lolo Pops remains in awe of how much his humble business has grown on Shopee and feels excited to finally see the fruits of his hard work.

Inspired by Lolo Pops’ story of hard work, Shopee partnered with Appliance Hub, Firefly, Gaviscon, Globe, Strepsils, Sustagen, and Unilab to surprise Lolo Pops and his family with a few gifts and essentials for their new home. They got a new laptop, phone, and router to use for the online shop; multivitamins and protective masks to keep the whole family safe and healthy; and a speed fan to keep their new home well-ventilated. To help the family as they try to save enough money to finish building the house, Shopee also donated biscuits, coffee, and other groceries.

Malaking bagay ito para sa amin. Dahil sa Shopee, may sumusuporta sa akin, maraming tumutulong sa akin. Ngayong pandemic, marami tayong ika nga ay mga problema. Pero walang imposible kay Lord. Habang nabubuhay ang tao, tuloy ang pag-asa,” Lolo Pops said.

Watch Lolo Pops’ journey with Shopee over the past year here.