Tricia Evangelista , a 25-year old junior product designer, is one of millions of PWD Filipinos who are fighting to live their fullest lives, despite the challenged they face because of their different abilities. However, it seems that before anything else, even simple tasks are a huge obstacle for PWDs because of other people’s ignorance.
Tricia’s sister, Jhana posted about the horrifying incident her differently-abled sister went through at a 7-11 branch in Makati.
Tricia, who is deaf, went to the Madrigal Building, Makati City branch of the convenience store, with the intent to purchase a prepaid load card. It’s a common daily task for millions of Filipinos. However, she left the store with a heavy feeling over such a small transaction.
Jhana recounted her sister’s experience in a social media post.
Tricia went into the store at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, September 4 with the intent of purchasing P5 worth of prepaid load. Since not many Filipinos know sign language, Tricia gets by her on a day-to-day basis by typing messages on her phone to communicate.
According to the post, Tricia did her usual routine of typing the message down and showing it to the cashier. She wrote that she needed a P50 Globe prepaid card.
However, the cashier, instead of simply reading the message and obliging to help the customer in front of her, began laughing at Tricia. She handed Tricia a P500 prepaid card, all while reportedly laughing.
Tricia tried to communicate through sign that she only needed a P50 card, but the cashier, soon joined by another clerk, continued to laugh at her and refuse help.
Tricia has difficulties speaking, yet she still tried to ask them “Bakit tawa tawa kayo?”.
Tricia resorted to slamming down a P50 bill onto the counter, which forced the clerks into giving the card value she was asking for.
Jhana frustratedly recounts how her sister left the store in tears, feeling “defeated and helpless”.
On Thursday, September 5, the girl’s mother Beth Evangelista met with the managers of the branch and the clerks involved with the incident. CCTV footage of the encounter confirmed Tricia’s retelling.
Jhana’s post has gone viral, promoting a customer service representative reached out to her and even the president and CEO of the Philippine Seven Corporation, Victor Paterno, reached out to Tricia to apologize.
The clerks involved has since been suspended.