Honest airport janitor to next PH president: 'Never get anything that is not yours'

MANILA, Philippines – Since becoming a janitor at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in 2012, Ronald Gadayan has passed up on several opportunities that would have made him instantly rich.

Ronald Gadayan honest janitor
Ronald Gadayan, the "honest janitor." Screengrab from CNN Philippines video

Over the past years, the 39-year-old janitor from Norzagaray, Bulacan had willingly returned lost items he found at the airport.

From gadgets to a pouch with jewellery and cash amounting to P2.4 million left by passengers at NAIA, Gadayan didn’t second guess himself in doing what is right.

Various groups had recognized Gadayan for his honesty. PHOTO CREDIT: Inquirer

Indeed, some of his friends had started calling him “bayaning tanga” or foolish hero for letting go of such “opportunities.” Even when two of his three children were hospitalized due to dengue in 2010, Gadayan chose to return the iPhone he found, which could have been “heaven’s answer” to his ordeal. Instead of selling the expensive smartphone to pay for the hospital bills, Gadayan borrowed money from a lender to whom he pawned his ATM card.

In his interview with Inquirer, Gadayan revealed that he is not a religious person and doesn’t often go to church. But for him, being fair and honest, particularly to God, is enough.

“If you are honest to God, everything will follow through.You may not be rewarded, but God sees you. And it shall bear fruit at the proper time,” he said.

His good deeds had been recognized by several groups including Manila Jaycee Senate Inc. in San Juan City which hailed him “Kahanga-hangang Pinoy”. He was also named Spirit of Edsa awardee in 2013, outstanding alumnus of Caloocan High School, and outstanding citizen by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle in 2012. Recently, the Rotary Club of Pasay-Sinagtala (District 3810) recognized him for his good deeds.

Check out some of the awards Gadayan has accumulated over the past years through this link.

Believing that the country lacks honest leaders, Gadayan hopes that the next president will do what his parents used to tell him when they were still alive.

“‘Never get anything that is not yours.’ I hope our next President knows and does that, too,” Gadayan said.

Watch the video report below.

-Mini, The Summit Express

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