There are many things in life that we can do multiple times. We can play our favorite games, stream our go-to movies over and over again, or redeem a failed task by doing better on our next tries. But making the first impression isn’t one of them. So, we tried to find out the story behind the redemption of Augusto Virgo, a famous hotdog sandwich vendor in Divisoria. He shows us how he made a completely different impression from the one he had years back.
The story behind the success of a famous hotdog sandwich vendor in Divisoria
The first impression lasts – as we always hear it. Once it is made, if it’s less than great, unfortunately, it takes a long time to make up for a good one. Augusto Virgo was once destined to live by this negative connotation. Before he became famous for his delicious hotdog sandwich, he used to earn a living through various wicked ways. Those acts, consequently, resulted in his imprisonment.
Divisoria, the place that built the man that he is now
Augusto ‘daga’ was already famous in Divisoria even before he ventured into selling hotdog sandwiches. However, it’s not the one to admire. He became a part of a group syndicate, which controls wide-eyed country boys like him to steal from shoppers and stalls there. Therefore, the locals and authorities knew him very well, as they were wary of his presence around the vicinity.
In an interview with Jamil Santos, Augusto mentioned:
Pagdating ko ng 12 anyos, doon ako pumasok sa mga sindikato. Sari-saring kasalanan ang natutunan ko roon.
Originally, he grew up in Batangas until he reached nine years old. According to him, he didn’t want to live there any longer because his stepfather would always abuse him physically. So, Virgo decided to test his luck and take risks in Manila.
At that time, he had nothing, even a single cent. So, he was willing to enter all sorts of sources of income, even faulty and dangerous ones. The syndicate group used him as a prop to swindle and hold up people from buses, sidewalks, and other places.
Basta ang akin, kumita ako ng pera para makakain ako. Hindi ko iniisip ‘yung mapapahamak ba ako.
Augusto’s imprisonment and moving forward to a new and better start
According to Augusto, the authorities caught him for murder at the age of 14 and stayed in prison for ten years. He knew that years of payment weren’t enough to make up for the life he had taken. So, while facing the consequences of his evildoing inside the jail, he promised never to return to it once he got out.
Paglaya ko inisip ko agad, ‘Mahirap sa loob, hindi na ako babalik.
Hope and goodness weren’t lost on Virgo, after all. Every day, he would look forward to being freed and continuing his life outside with a new and better start. To make the days count inside, he worked as a handyman of bayong or bags made from woven dried leaves and saved P83,000.
The making of the famous hotdog sandwich
When the court decided to release Augusto from prison, he used his savings to establish his own business. He first ventured into selling screen protectors. One day, he met a hotdog vendor and thought to make a business out of it. Hence, the making of the famous overload hotdog sandwich.
What made it different from other hotdog sandwiches? All ingredients are overflowing, and customers get entertained with a story: his journey to being one.
Nagtataka sila kung bakit mura. Hindi ko po iniisip na kumita ako nang malaki. Sa isang hotdog, siguro meron lang akong P5. Masaya na ako roon.
When you meet him today, you will not get the impression he once had, but he’ll tell you all of these. Not because he’s proud of his wicked ways back in the day but because maybe you need to hear it and be inspired.
Lagi po nilang i-try ang pagbabago dahil hindi naman nila makukuha sa iba ‘yon eh. Sa sarili po nila ‘yun eh.
Although we’ve lived believing that the first impression always lasts, Augusto wants to tell us that falling once shouldn’t be the end of our story. We are bound for more, just like he is.
Micas pursues writing and photography as a hobby and as an instrument to feature the life of people often ignored in society. She aspires to be a journalist and an all-around cool girl someday. She's in the process of making herself eloquent in writing and speaking.