Most of the stuff we do in everyday life involve using both of our hands. Daily routines such as driving, housework and more require the use of both hands.
But what if you had to make do with just one? How would you cope with life and the challenges that goes along with it? Well, it’s time to introduce our main man for this Labor Day feature story.
Meet the one-handed mechanic of Evangelista: Sherwin John “Putol” Miranda.
"Putol" (as he is known by his peers and customers) is 32 years old, hails from Tondo and has been a mechanic for the past 14 years. Miranda said that he wanted to become a mechanic since he was a kid due to his interest in cars. Despite losing his left hand due to a firecracker related incident when he was 12 years-old, Miranda pursued his dream and worked hard to achieve his goal.
“Hindi ako pinaghinaan ng loob dahil ginusto ko talaga magmekaniko,” Miranda said.
(I did not lose hope because I really want to become a mechanic)
He managed to hone his skills through Don Bosco Makati’s Manpower Skills Training Center (MSTC), now called the Technical Vocational Education and Training Center. At Don Bosco he was exposed to the rigors of automotive engineering.
During his stay at the MSTC, Miranda became an intern for a number of automotive marques such as Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan and PGA Cars. Miranda said that his on-the-job training with Toyota lasted for 5 months. Afterwards he spent 3 months with Mitsubishi, 4 months with Nissan and 8 months with PGA Cars. Upon finishing his various internship positions, Miranda was hired to be part of PLDT's fleet maintenance team where he became a mechanic for a year.
When asked on how he can fix cars with only one hand, Miranda said that his secret is a one-two punch combination of wit and experience. He maximizes his right hand to do most of the job while his amputated left hand functions as a support. Even though he only has his right hand to work with, Miranda prefers to do the job on his own without asking for a helper to assist him. He prefers a one man show – no ifs and buts.
With his condition, Mirada said that he has no problem in doing his job and works as if he has two hands.
"Parang wala lang at nagtratrabaho ako na ang nasa isip ko ay dalawa pa din ang kamay ko," Miranda explained. (It's nothing really. When I work, I think that I have two hands)
With this, Miranda shared that an individual should not be afraid to chase their dream. He adds that people should not let a certain disability hinder them from making their aspirations into a reality.
"Wag silang manghinayang na subukan kung ano yung nasa puso’t isip nila. Marami ka pang bagay na magagawa sa mundo dahil buhay ka pa. Kulang lang ng isang bagay. Ako isa lang kamay ko pero kaya ko gawin yung mga nagagawa ng mga kumpleto ang kamay," Miranda said.
(Don’t be afraid and stay true to the dream that’s inside of your heart and mind. There is more to life as long as you’re alive. Like me, I only have one hand but, I can do similar things done by people with two hands)
"Kung mababa ang tinigin mo sa sarili mo at sasabihin mo na wala kang silbi, mahihrapan ka," Miranda concluded.
(If you're going to think of yourself as a lesser person, then you’ll have a hard time coping with life)
Sherwin Miranda works in the Evangelista, Makati area, regularly taking on troubleshooting jobs, underchassis repairs, engine overhaul work, brake replacement jobs as well as electrical system repairs. The average number of cars he services from Monday to Friday are around 10 and are typically comprised of 1993 to 2002 model year Nissans, 1991 to 2007 Toyotas and 1995 to 2008 Hondas.
And he does all of this single-handedly. Pun intended.