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  • Writer's pictureLeonora Lo-oy

80-year-old man in Cagayan refuses to part with 2-decade blue barber chair

Updated: Oct 17, 2022


There is always something to someone that is of sentimental value, and for the 80-year-old barber from Aparri, Cagayan it is his 20-year-old blue chair.


The octogenarian has been cutting hair in his dilapidating barbershop, which has served his community for decades. Recently, his barbershop has undergone renovation with most of the furniture and equipment being changed or thrashed out.


The old man, however, refused to let go of his shabby blue barber chair. The pairs of scissors and the barber chair that he uses are about 20 years old.


Tatay Piping, as the locals call him, has been living a simple life, waking up every day to provide services to those wanting to have a haircut. The shop, some customers say, has grown old with the man.

Before the renovation, the shop roofed and walled with galvanized iron could be observed leaking on rainy days and shaking to the beat of strong winds.


Tatay Piping went viral when Kulas, a Canadian vlogger, showed his barber shop and told his story on video.


The viral video caught the attention of the Local Government Unit of Aparri, and the officials decided to replace the shop with a concrete one, fully furnished with what a barber needs.


Some netizens also donated some facilities or pieces of equipment like pairs of scissors, and a new barber chair.


The old man accepted the donations and was happy with the help, but still won’t trade the blue barber chair for any other.


The reason behind the keeping of the old chair


In an episode of ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’ this Sunday, July 17, Tatay Piping shared he and his late wife raised their 8 children through their barbershop.


A witness to his perseverance for the past decades is this infamous blue barber chair that he bought with his late wife.


Tatay Piping said the chair does not only serve its purpose, rather it also reminds him of his happy days with his wife and kids.


“Isu pakalaglagipak iti naragsak nga panagbiyag ko, sir. Daytoy kwarta nga naigatang ken daytoy, kwarta mi kenni baket ko. Isu nga haan ko mabalin nga ibelleng. [Iti] Panagayat ko kenni baket ko, kasta met iti panagayat ko ken dayta tugaw ko ta pagsapsapul ko,” he conveyed.


‘What I got was a beautiful lesson’ - Kulas


Vlogger Kulas, who was the reason why Tatay Piping became viral, wrote on his Facebook that he first met Tatay Piping five years ago. He described the latter to be the best Filipino barber because of his ‘attitude, perseverance, hard work, and contentment in life’.


“He had a broken-down little barber shop along the side of the road, and I just thought it would be great to get a haircut. What I got… was a beautiful lesson about life,” he wrote.


In a separate post on July 16, Kulas explained he never portrayed Tatay Piping in a ‘he needs our help kind of way’ because he didn’t want to overshadow his attitude and inspiring personality.

Since he got his first haircut from Tatay Piping in 2018, the vlogger wrote that the octogenarian never asked him for anything.


“I didn't want the evidently rundown barbershop to overshadow the beauty of him. Please know that I really don't like the idea of "Poverty Porn" and sharing people in difficult situations for "personal exposure". Which is why you would never have seen anything to do with me, and money, and Tatay,” he explained.


Nevertheless, Kulas emphasized he is elated that the barber’s beautiful story was not only featured on national television but it became an organized avenue for people to share their blessings with him. He also thanked KMJS for showing their care to the barber after taking him for a general check-up at a hospital in Tuguegarao City.


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