Life on Wheels

Jul 28, 2018

Marlon Fuentes (7) was born with Tourette Syndrome but this fact is unknown to his family and even to himself. His repetitive and involuntary movements caused by the disease are often thought as pasma or simple mannerisms. Despite this, he lives a normal life and even learns to drive a vehicle. However, he is always turned down by women and thus lose his confidence when it comes to love and courting. One day, when Marlon is at his job, he meets Rio (17) who is on her 4th year in high school and currently having her internship in the company where Marlon works. When Rio meets Marlon, she thinks that Marlon winks at her to impress her at that time. Marlon’s “mannerism” charms Rio and when she smiles at him, Marlon instantly is caught in a spell. The two start to date and eventually, Rio (18) elopes with Marlon (23) with their two children. Rio’s family is angered by this but in due course, Marlon stays at Rio’s house as he still could not provide for Rio and their family. As a wife, Rio serves as Marlon’s protector whenever he gets bullied because of his “mannerisms,” while Marlon ignores the hurtful look comments he gets from others. Eventually, Marlon learns that his condition is not a habitual gesture but in fact, a genetic syndrome. Rio immediately accepts and understands this, explaining to others the condition of his husband. Marlon and Rio’s relationship gets tested as Marlon can’t easily provide for his wife and two children because of his involuntary movements. As a result, Marlon tries hard to find a stable job and fulfill his role as a good husband and father. He (39) becomes a Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) driver and works for Grab – a ride-sharing application company. Upon seeing his hard work for his family, Marlon’s in laws eventually accept him as a good husband to Rio (34). Being a Grab driver, Marlon faces many prejudices from his passengers as he is often judged as a drug addict or having seizure attacks. He shares his problems at work with Rio who eventually suggests him to put in his vehicle a placard that will inform his passengers of his condition. In that way, they can lessen judgment from the passengers, while helping others understand what Tourette Syndrome is. Until one day, one passenger of Marlon captures his story and posts it online. The post garnered positive comments because of Marlon’s effort and hard-work to provide for his family. Currently, Marlon is still driving for Grab and despite the circumstances, he is working honorably to serve as a role father to his children and loving husband to his wife.



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