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Pera sa Basura project brings extra income for Pantawid beneficiaries

Dream House. The output of the beneficiaries in one of their Family Development Sessions that symbolizes what they want to achieve in life.

Dream House. The output of the beneficiaries in one of their Family Development Sessions that symbolizes what they want to achieve in life.

Ricky M. Decino has been the sole municipal link (ML) of Pulilan, Bulacan for two years. According to him he never expected that he would be part of the DSWD FO III family under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program as an ML and how he would fall in love with his work.

In sharing his experiences as the municipal link “Isipin mo halos 2,000 beneficiaries ang hawak ko dito sa Pulilan, hindi biro yun at nag-iisa lang ako.” he narrated, “Lahat na ata ng klase ng reklamo narinig ko na, lalo na kapag nagkakaproblema sila sa mga natatanggap nilang grants. Nakaka-stress pero Masaya ako na ako ang na-assign ditto sa Pulilan, sobrang swerte ko sa mga tao ditto at ibayung suporta ng LGU dito.”

He also shared his project Perasa Basura, wherein the beneficiaries try to bring kalakal (recycable junk) such as plastic bottles, tin cans and old newspapers to be traded to junk shops in exchange for money. Ricky then would distribute the money to his parent leaders. He gives his 60 parent leaders a 25 peso load monthly and also provides them fares for commuting. “Hindi kasi tulad ng ibang bayan ang Pulilan, bibihira ang jeep at yung area ng mga parent leaders ko ay malalayo kaya minsan pamasahe sa tricycle P90.00 at P180.00 balikan.”

Beneficiaries also have their coin banks. From January to June they have earned enough money that ranges from P500.oo to P1,000.00 to buy their children’s school supply. Starting from July, the beneficiaries are already saving for the upcoming noche buena celebration of their family. “Masarap isipin na hindi mo iintindihin yung mga beneficiaries mo kung may kinakain sila o wala habang ikaw ay kumakain ng pang-noche buena. At least, kahit magkakalayo kayo alam mo masaya din yung Pasko nila.” said Ricky.

Family Development Session (FDS) is one of the three conditionalities of the program which aims to educate, empower and nurture families on familial and parental responsibilities. It also enhances the skills for parenthood and educates them positive values and attitudes for a better community involvement.

During the FDS of the group, beneficiaries were given a sheet of cartolina, 5 strips of scotch tape and a marker to build their dream house. Most of them have built a simple house and told that they do not need something fanciful but want a home with a complete family with a harmonious relationship. According to Ricky, it is better to conduct a 2-hour FDS by making the lessons filled with learning and laughter because it is easier for his beneficiaries to remember and learn from their sessions.

At the end of the session Ricky and beneficiaries have declared that “Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago” as they continue to walk in their paths towards their fight against poverty. (Alexine Bianca RdS.Castañeda) 12.10.14

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Perseverance, simple living equals success

“Magsikap, Magtipid pag nag-uumpisa sa pangkabuhayang proyekto at ang mga gastusin ay di dapat sosobra sa kinikita.”
The couple believes that through perseverance and simple living, their family will overcome poverty. This is the story of their transformation from sheer poverty to improved quality of life.
Looking Back

The Reyes family belongs to the Set 3 beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of Floridablanca, Pampanga in 2010. The family was however one of those tagged not enrolled resulting to non-subsidy for one (1) year. Upon completion of the requirements, they received retroactive payments of P15,000.00. Rizalita, 43, recalled that she cried with joy when she received the amount, “Nuon lang po ako nakahawak ng ganuong kalaking pera kaya nagpapasalamat ako sa pamahalaan sa tulong na ibinigay sa pamilya ko’’.

With the P15,000.00 cash grants on hand, the family prioritized the most important things which include the food and school supplies of their three children enrolled in the program; down payment of one motorcycle worth P3,400.00; and P6,000.00 as payment for the two Aetas whom they commissioned to plant ampalaya and string beans.

The family used the remaining P2,600.00 as capital in trading vegetables and charcoal from the upland areas to Guagua and Floridablanca public markets. After a month, they started harvesting the vegetables planted by the two Aetas which resulted to more sales and profit.

Rizalita recalled that the financial difficulty they had for a long time was their motivation for their hard work and for not spending any amount for unnecessary expenses.

Before their inclusion in the Pantawid Pamilya, Joseph Reyes, 45, worked as a farm laborer earning P200.00 a day during planting season and 4-5 sacks of rice during harvesting season. Rizalita used to do laundry jobs two or three times a week. Between planting and harvesting seasons, Joseph was jobless.

To cope with their basic needs, the family had to approach sari-sari store owners in the barangay for their daily food subsistence through credit basis. She said that they could hardly meet the educational expenses of their children especially during lean months of farming. “Life was so hard because of the rebuff we received from our relatives and neighbors whenever we tried to borrow money from them,” Rizalita lamented.

Their house is a one-room affair made of light materials, cogon and sawali. They sometimes experienced uncomfortable nights during rainy days because the strong rain would usually rouse them from sleep soaked with rain. They could not afford electricity so a lampara (improvised lamp) was all they had that time.

“We were a ‘nobody’ in the community because of our economic status. That’s why we felt very inferior and had to remain on the sidelines for so long,” Rizalita said.

Things took a turn for the better

With the income derived from our livelihood projects: planting rice to the agricultural lot pawned to us and the backyard piggery, we can now see positive changes in our living condition, Rizalita said. According to her, their monthly income now ranges from P30,000-40,000.00 and that they already finished paying the motorcycle with side car which they use in their business. Their second motorcycle, which is being used as school service for their children, is now on the second year of payment. “Our children are now comfortable in going to school because they don’t have to walk very far,” Rizalita said.

The construction of our three-bedroom house is now underway, Rizalita said with a happy note on her voice. Although their present dwelling is made of cogon and sawali, it is a far cry from the one they used to have, Rizalita
said. She recalled that during rainy days they experienced uncomfortable nights when the strong rain would usually rouse them from sleep and soaked with rain.

They could not afford electricity so a lampara (improvised lamp) was all they had that time. They can now afford to home appliances such as TV set and DVD player, electric fans, beds with mattresses, rice cooker and other small gadgets.

Rizalita added that she has gained confidence in dealing with people and can now express her ideas without fear of being rebuffed. She has to attribute this to the Family Development Sessions (FDS) and the trainings and seminars that she attended as a parent leader of the Pantawid Pamilya. As a result, she was elected as classroom secretary for her two sons enrolled in Grades IV and V. She is also one of the Barangay Health Workers in their community and was elected president of the Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SKA) because of her remarkable ideas during the Business Management Training (BMT) held in their town.

Meanwhile, Joseph personally attends to the agricultural lot pawned to them where they yield 30 sacks of palay every four months.
There is also a notable improvement in the health of their children because of the sufficient and nutritious food intake they have. Their academic standing in school has also improved, Rizalita proudly said.

Gains of the Sustainable Livelihood Program

In 2013, the family had also benefitted from the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the DSWD which they invested (P10,000.00) in expanding their livelihood endeavor, cogon and buho trading. Rizalita said that they are getting an additional profit of P1,000.00 per week.

The couple who believes in the saying ‘save for the rainy days’ had opened a savings account after Rizalita’s attendance to the BMT. She was convinced on the importance of savings and had learned how to prioritize the needs of her family especially the education of her children.

Today the family earns more than enough for their basic needs. Rizalita has this lesson to impart to other beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya and Sustainable Livelihood Program: “Magsikap, magtipid pag nag-uumpisa sa pangkabuhayang proyekto at ang mga gastusin ay di dapat sosobra sa kinikita”. (SMU/SLP)

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Regional Advisory Committee visits Carranglan, Nueva Ecija

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office III led the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) in a field visit in the province of Nueva Ecija. RAC representatives coming from agencies like DepEd, DOH, DILG, DTI, NEDA, POPCOM and DOLE have joined the Regional Project Management Office in visiting Carranglan.

Carranglan Mayor Mary B. Abad, who warmly welcomed the RAC visiting members, thanked the committee for visiting their municipality for the first time. Mayor Abad also recalled that before Pantawid Pamilya was implemented in Carranglan they were ranked as the poorest area in Nueva Ecija. A cultural presentation from Kalanguya tribe has been presented, the dance rituals are only performed in special occasions, like birthdays, weddings and even death.

Assistant Regional Director for Operations Irene C. Crespo extended her gratitude to the staff and beneficiaries of the area and also acknowledged the effort of the RAC partners and the local government unit.

The RAC visiting members were divided into two groups and visited barangays Minuli and Capintalan to witness an actual Family Development Session.

In Capintalan, Riva Martin Felix taught her co-beneficiaries how to make a souvenir out of rock. Because of the abundance of rocks that they can pick beside the river, Riva said, “Lagi kasing nagpapa-project sa school ng mga bata kaya naisipan ko para may pera na magamit na pang-project yung mga anak namin.” Most of the souvenirs are raw materials from their surroundings like the rocks that they form to resemble a chair and dried gugo (a native tree that is extensively used for washing hair and hair tonics) were woven to form other products like baskets. The beneficiaries plan to sell each rock souvenir from 20-25 pesos.

Capintalan is in the boundary of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya where80 out of 121 beneficiaries are members of tribes of Kalanguya, Kankana-ay and Igorot. Based on the observation of the group, the beneficiaries are not fully-prepared about the topics on family planning and immunization. Ms. Tomasa Lirio, Regional Program Coordinator of Pantawid Pamilya reminded the partners that they need to be culturally sensitive in the discussion about topics like Family Planning. Ms. Lirio also encouraged the beneficiaries to comply with immunization because it will not only benefit their children but because it is one of the conditionalities of the program. The beneficiaries gave a positive response on this.

Testimonials from selected beneficiaries were also presented to the RAC. Celia Mariano nervously read her testimony, “Baka po kasi hindi ako makapagsalita sa inyo ngayon kaya isinulat ko po ang aking kwento.” Most of her testimony contained gratitude to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program saying “Malaki po ang naitulong ng Pantawid Pamilya sa aking Pamilya at natutunan ko na maaaring magpatingin sa health center. Sa mga pagdalo ko sa Family Development Session ay lalong lumawak ang aking natutunan at dito ay napag-aaralan kung papaano iaangat ang pamumuhay ng aming pamilya. Lalo akong nagpapasalamat dahil sa Pantawid Pamilya ay nakapasok sa DPWH ang aking asawa at sa patuloy na tulong na ibinibigay ninyo sa amin”.

In acknowledging the support of her municipal link Celia said, “Sa tulong po ng aming Municipal Link at Parent Leaders ay napakalaki ng aming natutunan. Labis-labis ang aking pasasalamat dahil nagpapakapagod kayo para matulungan kami”. ### (A.B. Castaneda)

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DSWD FO III holds Search for Exemplary Children

Winner Regina N. Villarama shows her talent during the Kaya Ko Ang Pagbabago! The Regional Search for Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Children

Winner Regina N. Villarama shows her talent during the Kaya Ko Ang Pagbabago! The Regional Search for Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Children


(City of San Fernando, Pampanga) The Department of Social Welfare and Development led the Kaya Ko Ang Pagbabago!Regional Search for Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Children on September 16, 2014 in this city.

This is to encourage exemplary compliance of children to the conditionalities and co-responsibilities set by the program through recognition of those who excel in doing so and develop exemplary Pantawid Pamilya children beneficiaries as advocates of the program.

On its sixth year of implementation, Pantawid Pamilya expanded its coverage to children up to 18 years of age in order to further pursue the rights of the children and enable the program to contribute to the end of the inter-generational cycle of poverty, thus the launching of the Kaya Ko Ang Pagbabago Campaign.

Also, in line with the national celebration of Children’s Month every October the search was conducted to be a part of the National Children’s Congress that aims to emphasize the importance of the role of the child within the Filipino family and in nation-building. The search will also identify a pool of children advocates of the program.

Mr. Armont C. Pecina, Chief of the Institutional Development Division, who welcomed the guests and participants stressed, “Alam ko at alam nating lahat na ang layon sa ngayon ay pag-igtingin ang programa upang lalo pang umusbong ang bagong uri ng kabataan na taglay ang ugali at kakayahan na halaw sa pagpapanday ng programa.” He also challenged the audience by saying “Kapit-bisig nating iatang sa balikat ang pangarap sa bukas at tupdin any nakalaan para sa maayang hinaharap ng ating kabataan.”

Ten children from different provinces of Region III competed for the title of Grand Winner of the Kaya Ko Ang Pagbabago! Regional Search for Pantawid Pamilya Children. They performed their talents and were judged according to the criteria Kilos at Ugali (Behaviour and Practice), Talento (Talent), Talino at Talas ng Isip (Intelligence and Wit), Pakikilahok sa Komunidad at Eskwela (Community and School Participation), Tindig at Pormang Kaya Ko Ang Pagbabago! (Kaya Ko Ang Pagbabago! Presence and Appearance), each comprises of 20%.

The Provincial Operations Office of Tarlac bagged the top place represented by Regina N. Villarama followed by Pampanga’s representative Rose Ann S. Garung and Bulacan’s Hannah S. Breis.

Regina presented a sing and dance and drama portraying a life of a child who’s living in poverty. She also added “Hindi ko kasalanan na ako ay ipinanganak na mahirap pero magiging kasalanan ko kapag ako ay namatay na mahirap. Kaya Ko Ang Pagbabago! Salamat sa Pantawid Pamilya.”

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Falling in love with hard work means success!

Lucas Family of Casiguran, Aurora was awarded as the Grand Champion of the 2014 Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya

Lucas Family of Casiguran, Aurora was awarded as the Grand Champion of the 2014 Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya

“Ang pag unlad ng Pamilya ay nangangailangan ng determinasyon, pagsisikap, pagsasakripisyo at pagkakaisa”. These are the words of wisdom from the head of the Lucas Family, George. He recalls the times when they used to live in a small barong barong in the distant sitio in Barangay Ditinagyan where life is really hard and everyday living is a sacrifice. The family radiated joy and contentment as they share their rich life experiences that have inspired them to be what they are at this moment.

“Nang dumating ang Pantawid Pamilya, unti unting nabuksan ang isip naming mag asawa na itaguyod ang aming pamilya at tulungan ang aming mga sarili sa pamamagitan ng ibayong pagsisikap”. Being a Barangay Councilor, Kuya George is certain that he cannot provide for his family with the small incentive that he receives. Enthused by his precious dream to create a good future for his children, he managed the awarded certificate of “stewardship” given to him by the Department of Agriculture to till the land and use the income as an additional earning of the family. Aside from this, he spent his free time in fishing while Ate Marina peddles the fish. Working in great stride is the battle cry of Lucas Family; coupled with hard work, perseverance and strong faith, Lucas Family had shown that they are an epitome of a simple living while connecting to the community from where they are a part. They have taken determined steps to assuage the family’s well-being and improve their living conditions.

Lucas Family demonstrates the values of embracing only what is essential, making it clear that sustainable progress is possible by healthy and simple living. In essence, one of the outstanding qualities of Lucas is the family’s spirituality shared by all members of the family. They can be seen to attend church service every Sunday paving the way for strengthened family values and cohesion. Life is hard, there is no doubt about it but Lucas Family remained steadfast in their faith that poverty is not terminal; instead, it is only a stopover. Motivated by the family’s thinking that the soundest way to escape from poverty is to come up with goals and ensuring that these are achieved by working together.

As the family’s foundation, George Lucas embodies qualities of a good husband, good father, good neighbour and good relative. Being elected as Barangay Councilor, Mr. Lucas performs his role well as a part of Barangay Council as attested by residents and community members. Since Barangay Ditinagyan is far from the town proper, getting there takes a lot of effort in terms of transportation and distance; hence, residents are prevented from going to and fro to access basic services such as health and basic commodities. Significantly, Mr. Lucas and family unveil a pure heart by generously allowing residents to use his own tractor for attending to the needs for transportation particularly in the event of health emergencies. People helped by Lucas Family cannot be undermined and counted signifying that the family is sincere and has a genuine spirit for helping other people in need.

As a father, Kuya George projects as a role model to his two sons. Proudly, Ate Marina shared that her husband is not engaged in any vice; therefore, their two sons have adapted and live with this value. On the other hand, Ate Marina, as a mother offers unconditional love by ensuring that her children are taken care of and their needs are well provided.
The children of Kuya George and Ate Marina have realized their parents dream by pursuing what their hearts wanted. The eldest, John Adrian, is currently working as a regular welder of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines in Subic, while Richard Renz is undergoing training at AFP, Joana Marie is studying at Aurora State College of Technology and Joana Lyn and Joana Jane are on high school.

Ate Marina as a Parent Leader is described by her group members as a leader who possesses a strong will and a clean heart. Her willingness to share her learnings and knowledge to her members are evident that it reflects how faithful the members comply with the conditionalities and how it affect their cash grant. Essentially, Ate Marina encourages her members to be involved in community works so as to show the community that Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are active citizens and responsive to the need for active participation.

Armed with the dream to escape from the plight of poverty, the couple have invested in their children by providing them with education and honing them to build their own dreams. In passing, Kuya George and Ate Marina wanted to inspire all Pantawid Pamilya families to be a role model family on their own way. They are passionate about their mantra that “if one is determined to achieve some really big goals, you have to fall in love with hard work,” which means that success comes from within self and the harvest of success comes after hard work and teamwork.

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DSWD FO III reports aid to Typhoon Mario victims

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office III (DSWD FO III) reported that a total assistance of P7,546,265.60 from the combined resources of the DSWD, local government units (LGUs) and non-government organizations (NGOs) has been extended to the victims of Typhoon Mario in Central Luzon.

Of this aid, the DSWD has released P4,367,107.00 worth of food and non-food items; P2,501,425.00 from the local government units of the affected municipalities; and P77,733.00 from the provincial governments of Bulacan (P36,500.00) and Tarlac (P41,333.00). Various non-government organization extended goods worth P600,000.00 to the victims of the province of Bulacan.

Of the assistance extended by the DSWD, P2,933,613.50 was provided to Bulacan; P1,327,744.00 to the province of Nueva Ecija; and P105,749.500 to Tarlac.

Typhoon Mario has affected a total of 71,797 families with 338,718 individuals in 238 barangays in 38 municipalities/cities in six (6) provinces of Central Luzon.

There were 152 evacuation centers opened with 26,636 families or 126,978 persons. To date, 57 evacuation centers are still in operation serving 2,153 families or 8,036 persons. Meanwhile, some 5,624 families or 30, 589 persons were served outside the evacuation centers or in their respective communities.

Typhoon Mario has left 43 families with damaged houses: 14-totally and 29-partially. Two persons from Zambales were reported missing. ### (Evelyn T. Manalo)

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DSWD, LGUs assist Typhoon Mario victims in Central Luzon

Uniformed men of the Police Regional Office III volunteer in the repacking of family food packs for the disaster victims.

Uniformed men of the Police Regional Office III volunteer in the repacking of family food packs for the disaster victims.

Some P1,988,444.00 worth of relief goods have been provided to the victims of typhoon Mario in the affected areas in Central Luzon region.

The assistance came from the combined resources of the DSWD and local government units (LGUs) of the affected areas. Of the said amount, P1,122,116.00 worth of relief assistance came from the DSWD and P825,095.00 from the LGUS of the affected provinces/municipalities.
As in the past, the DSWD Field Office III is always prepared to provide augmentation support to the affected families particularly those who are temporarily staying in the evacuation centers.

As part of its preparation, the Field Office has stepped-up its stock pile of family food packs and non-food items. In addition, some 7,154 family food packs are prepositioned in the seven (7) provinces of the region under the management of the Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) teams.

As of 7:00am today, disaster monitoring report showed that Mario has affected 24,075 families or 114,231 persons from the 20 municipalities of the six (6) provinces of Central Luzon. In terms of affected population, the province of Bulacan ranked first with 16,645 families or 81,508 persons; Tarlac with 3,895 families or 13,847 persons; Nueva Ecija with 1,867 families or 13,167; and Pampanga with 1,363 families or 4,494 persons. Other affected provinces are Zambales with 262 families or 1,018 persons and Bataan with 43 families or 197 persons.

Ninety four evacuation centers were set up serving 15,029 families or 72,677 persons. Of these, Bulacan, the hardest hit province, has 63 evacuation centers serving 13,146 families or 65,528 persons; Tarlac with 14 serving 1,302 families or 4,952 persons; Zambales with 14 serving 312 families or 1,268 persons; Pampanga with three (3) serving 227 families or 1,002 persons; and Bataan with one (1) serving 43 families with 197 persons.

The heavy rains that triggered flood in the said areas had left seven (7) families with totally damaged houses and 24 families with partially damaged houses. There were no reported casualties.
The Field Office has also reactivated its Quick Response Team to monitor the extent of the disaster and identify the other appropriate services needed by the affected families. ### (Evelyn T. Manalo) September 20, 2014

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Pantawid Pamilya: Susi sa Pagbabago

Civil Society Organization Partner Pastor Edwin Villanueva is part of the validating team that visited the home of Orendain family as a part of the Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya. Pastor Villanueva interviews Jose Mario about his perspective about Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Civil Society Organization Partner Pastor Edwin Villanueva is part of the validating team that visited the home of Orendain family as a part of the Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya. Pastor Villanueva interviews Jose Mario about his perspective about Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Bata pa lamang ay nangarap na si Hermosa ng isang magandang buhay para sa kanyang magiging pamilya. Nguint sa hirap ng buhay hindi na niya natapos ang high school, at sa murang edad na 16 ay nakilala niya si Jose Mario, 19, isang mangingisda. Nagdesisyon sila na magpakasal noong 1984 at hindi naging ganun kadali ang buhay mag-asawa para kay Hermosa, napadalas ang pag-inom ni Jose Mario na naging dahilan ng pangbubugbog niya sa kanya.

Nagkaroon sila ng dalawang anak ngunit patuloy pa rin sa pag-inom at pagbibisyo si Jose Mario kaya’t nagkukulang ang dapat sana’y pera na pangtustos sa kanilang mag-anak. Isinalaysay pa ni Hermosa na kapag tag-ulan ay hindi makapagpalaot upang mangisda ang kanyang asawa kaya wala silang mapagpilian kundi gawing lugaw ang kanilang natitirang bigas.

Nung nagsimulang pumasok sa eskwela ang kanilang dalawang anak nahirapan sila sa pagtustos sa kanilang pag-aaral dahil sa mga bisyo ni Jose Mario. “May mga panahon pa na pumapasok sa eskwelahan ang mga bata ng walang baon at kapag recess na nila napipilitan na lang silang manatili sa kanilang mga classroom para di nila makita ang mga kaklase nila na kumakain ng kanilang mga baon.” Mangiyak-ngiyak na pagsasabi ni Hermosa.

Nang makita ng mag-asawa ang grado ng kanilang pangalawang anak ay nagsimulang mag-isip si Jose Mario na itigil na ang kanyang mga bisyo, aniya “Ang talino pala ng anak ko, ano itong ginagawa ko?” Pagkalipas ng sampung taon ng paghihirap ay nasimulan na ang pagbabago sa buhay ng pamilya Orendain.

Panibagong pagsubok ang hinarap nina Hermosa nang mag kolehiyo na ang kanilang mga anak. Nagpatuloy sa pag-aaral ng Nursing ang kanilang pangalawang anak sa tulong ng scholarship na kaniyang natanggap dahil siya ay nakapagtapos bilang isang valedictorian noong high school. Ngunit hindi pa rin naging ganoon kadali ang pag-papaaral sa kanilang anak dahil may mga gastusin pa rin silang kailangan bayaran at isama pa ang baon para sa kanyang pang-araw araw na gastusin sa dapat tugunan. Hindi sumuko ang mag-asawa at naging mas masipag pa si Jose Mario sa pangingisda.

Ang panganay naman nila ay hindi naging kasing palad ng kanilang pangalawang anak, dahil sa kagustuhan na mag seaman at mag-aral sa Philippine Merchant Marine Academy ay hindi sumuko ang kanilang anak na maipasa ang pagsususlit para siya ay makapasok sa kanyang nais na eskwelahan. Tatlong beses bumagsak sa pagsususlit ang kanilang anak at hindi siya sumuko bagkus sa mga panahong naghihintay siya sa panibagong taon upang makakuha uli ng pagsusulit sa PMMA ay naghahanap ito ng mapagkakakitaan upang makatulong sa kanilang pamilya at matutustusan ang kaniyang mga personal na pangangailangan.

Maging si Hermosa ay pinanghinaan na ng loob at sinabihan ang anak na huwag ng ipagpatuloy ang kaniyang pangarap ngunit sabi ng kaniyang anak, “Ito po talaga ang gusto ko ‘nay, hindi po ako susuko.” Sa pang-apat na pagkakataon ng pagsusulit ay nakapasa na ito at nakapasok sa PMMA. Gayunpaman, isang malaking pagsubok muli ito sa pinansyal na kalagayan ng mag-asawa dahil wala silang sapat na pagkukunan ng pera upang maibigay sa bayarin sa eskwelahan ng kanilang anak, sinubukan ni Hermosa na manghiram ng pera sa kanilang mga kamag-anak ngunit imbes na siya ay pahiramin ay may narinig pa siyang pangungutya mula sa mga ito at nasabi niya sa sarili niya na “Ngayon pa ba kami titigil kung kailan college na sila. Balang araw titigil din sila sa pagsasalita ng mga bagay na laban sa amin.”

Samantala, napabilang ang pamilya Orendain sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program at ang kanilang dalawang nakababatang anak ay naka-enroll sa programa. Nakita ni Hermosa ang malaking pagbabago sa kanilang buhay simula ng sila ay mapasama sa programa. Ikinumpara niya ang buhay nila noon sa buhay nila ngayon. Mas naging maayos ang pagsasama ng mag-asawa at naging isang mas mabuting ina sa kanyang mga anak dahil sa Family Development Session.

Nasagot ang kanilang mga panalangin. Nasuklian ang pagtitiyaga at nagbunga ang bawat paghihirap ng mag-asawa ng matapos na sa kolehiyo ang kanilang mga anak. Ang kanilang panganay na anak na si Nazir ay naging isang ganap na seman at nakapagtrabaho na at siyang tumutulong sa kanilang pamumuhay ngayon habang ang kanilang pangalawang anak na si Majendy ay nagtapos bilang isang Cum Laude at naging isang Registered Nurse.

Sa ngayon, patuloy sa pangingisda si Jose Mario habang si Hermosa naman ang naglalako ng kaniyang mga nahuli sa kanilang mga kapitbahay habang ang kaniyang pangatlong anak ay nasa kolehiyo na.

“Naniniwala ako na hindi hadlang ang kahirapan sa pagkamit ng tagumpay, pwedeng mangarap ang mga bata ng mas matayog at mas mataas dahil ramdam ko ang suporta ng gobyerno sa mga batang determinado upang makapagtapos ng pag-aaral. Ang hangad ng programa na maitawid ang Pamilyang Pilipino sa kaunlaran ay totoo dahil ito ang naranasan ng aming pamilya at pwede ring maranasan ng mga iba pang pamilya na naghahangad na makamit ang pagbabago at tagumpay sa kabila ng kahirapan.” Isang malaking ngiti ang naiwan sa mukha ni Hermosa pagkatapos ng mga katagang ito. # (Alexine Bianca RdS. Castaneda)

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