A new short film by ad agency Leo Burnett Manila retells the story of a homeless 9-year-old Daniel Cabrera who went viral after a photo him using the light of a McDonald’s to study was posted online.
In 2015, medical technology student Joyce Torrefranca shot the photo of the boy when she was taking a break with her friend from a night of studying.
“We decided to take out from McDonald’s,” Torrefranca recounted in the video. “I saw a kid sitting. He was studying on the sidewalk beside a small source of light.”
She said she felt sorry for Daniel and decided to take his picture under the lights of the Golden Arches.
“For me, I have no excuse to study because I have everything,” the MedTech student explained.
Inspired by the boy’s diligence despite his circumstance, Torrefranca posted the photo on Facebook, and it went viral shortly after.
Many people around the world donated to Daniel, including McDonald’s which offered the boy an allowance that will support him until he reaches high school.
The film by Leo Burnett Manila and Filmex Production also recollects the difficult situation Daniel’s family was in and his persistence to finish school so he could become a policeman, according to his mother, Cristina.
One year on, Daniel is in third grade and is in the top ten of his class.
At the end of the video, Cabrera is reunited with the girl who changed his life with one Facebook post, while carrying a meal from the fast food chain for Torrefranca.
The Philippines, a Catholic country, has one of the longest Christmas seasons in the world and the short film was used as a way to highlight a message of love and compassion during the festive period, noted The Drum.
The campaign, posted on December 12, has racked up more than 2.4 million views on Facebook and 1.8 million views on YouTube as of this writing.