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BOATS TO  START  A LIVELIHOOD.

Fifty fishermen  from  coastal  barangays  of  Sariaya  in  Quezon Province receive fiberglass boats as a starter kit upon completion of their skills training on fiberglass boat fabrication  under  the  DSWD’s  Sustainable  Livelihood  Program  (SLP).  The  boats,  which  were awarded to the beneficiaries last April 6, can be used for the fishermen’s small-time fishing activities.

Meanwhile, the skills they acquired from the training can open livelihood opportunities for them such as making boats and acting as resource persons in similar skills training.

This skills training, which costs PhP967,250, is part of the SLP’s employment facilitation scheme that trains program participants towards gainful employment.# [Photo Credit: MPFaller]

 

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Engaging community residents in the Grievance Redress System

Community volunteers in Perez, Quezon attentively listen to Tess Bugarin, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist of the DSWD for the Kalahi-CIDSS program for the CALABARZON Region as she discusses the types of grievances that may be file during a training recently held in the locality. Ms Bugarin also highlighted the importance of speaking out once they observed any problems with the program implementation to secure transparency and safeguard their funds.***

 

 

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900 volunteers trained on Kalahi-CIDSS Grievance Redress System

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently conducted a series of capabililty building activities to at  least 900 community volunteers in Quezon Province on the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) Grievance Redress System (GRS).

The said capability building activity, which was conducted in 12 Kalahi-CIDSS-municipalities in the Province last April 2015, aims to empower the volunteers not only in the monitoring of the various community projects being implemented under the program, but also orients them on the mechanism whereby suggestions, complaints, and problems can be raised.

According to Joedel Lomio, the Grievance Officer of the Program for the CALABARZON Region, the training conducted includes workshops on handling and addressing sample grievances cases in order to enhance the fact-finding skills of the volunteers and their management skills of confidential information.

Among the grievances cases sampled are reports on non-performing staff, offenses on Kalahi-CIDSS procurement and finance guidelines and positive remarks which suggest improvement in the program operations.

“We hope that through this training, the communities will be more encouraged to monitoring of the subproject implementation, and speak out any observations or inquiries that they have.  This way, they will be able to help us guard the process and secure transparency,” Lomio said.

The Kalahi-CIDSS is a DSWD poverty alleviation program which utilizes a community-driven development (CDD) approach.  It engages and builds the capacities of community residents to participate in the planning, identification, prioritization and implementation of need-responsive projects in their respective community.  The said program is being implemented in the 615 barangays across Quezon province in the CALABARZON region alone.***

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PAINTING A BRIGHT FUTURE.

Ananda Wisely, 17, a child-beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from Brgy. San Jose in Antipolo City, Rizal Province, uses her talent in painting to help her widowed mother support their daily needs. Having experienced living under the bridge in Quiapo, Manila, Ananda commits to use her talent and her education to improve their living condition.

Last March 2015, Ananda graduated as class valedictorian among 1,723 graduates of San Jose National High School. In the coming school year, she plans to enroll in Far Eastern University and take Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with specialization in Digital Arts from scholarship grants she received as one of the 2014 Ten Outstanding Public School Students in the Philippines and Natatanging Mag-aaral ng Antipolo City in 2015.***

 

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A ‘PICTURE ‘ OF DREAMS COMING TRUE

 

For a girl with big dreams, having to stop her schooling is a big disappointment.

Ananda Wisely, 17, a resident of Brgy. San Jose in Antipolo City, still clearly recalls how she felt life became meaningless when she had to leave school. From their small home under the bridge in Quiapo, Manila, Ananda had no other choice but accept her parents’ decision. They can no longer afford sending them to school.

What hurts her more is that her two younger siblings had to stop schooling, too despite consistently being on top of their class.

Little did she know, however, that this challenge will make her more determined to get out of this situation.

“Noong mga panahon pong ‘yon ko nasabi sa sarili kong ayaw ko nang maging ganito, nakatira sa ilalim ng tulay, wala sa eskwelahan. Ayoko nang maging mahirap at lalong lalo nang ayaw kong ipamana ang ganitong paghihirap sa mga magiging anak ko at sa susunod naming henerasyon,” Ananda shared in tears.

The glory of being in school

Since she has talent in arts, Ananda decided to use this to earn money and help herself and her two younger siblings to be back in school. She did portraits and paintings.

It was at this time in their life that their family became a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. For Ananda and the rest of her family, this is a blessing they will always be thankful for.

“Para akong nakakita ng liwanag sa gubat na madilim. Makakabalik na rin kami ng mga kapatid ko sa pag-aaral,” she shared.

The following school year, all three of them went back to school and became more determined to excel in their classes and reach their dreams. However, another challenge came to the family when her father, Harry, was shot dead in their community, which is notoriously known for various crimes.

With a widowed mother, life became harder for Ananda. Her mother, Marjorie, 38, is a reflexologist and barely earns enough to feed all of them.

“Dahil sa hirap ng buhay at para na rin sa aming seguridad, lumipat na rin kami sa Antipolo para magsimula ulit,” shared Ananda.

With a heavy heart, Ananda has to leave school again and make a new life with new people in a city she hardly knows.

They rented a cramped room, which they can barely afford from her mother’s income. However, according to Ananda, since they receive financial grants from the Pantawid Pamilya program, everything became easier as there is always a sure budget for their needs in school.

“Kasabay po ng Pantawid, hindi  kami tumitigil para masigurong hindi na ulit kami titigil sa pag-aaral. Patuloy pa rin ako sa paggawa ng mga paintings na aming binebenta para kahit papaano ay may panggastos kami,” Anada said.

Despite the challenges, Ananda’s determination always gives her direction, especially in excelling in her classes and achieving her dreams.

In 2014, Ananda was awarded as Kabayan Noli De Castro’s Ten Outstanding Public School Students (TOPS) for her academic excellence. She also graduated as valedictorian among 1,723 graduates of San Jose National High School last March 2015. She was also recognized as one of the Natatanging Mag-aaral in Antipolo City.

For Ananda, these achievements—which are brought by the opportunity of being in school—are opening a lot of good opportunities for her. Her college education is now secured as she received full scholarship grants from TOPS and the city government of Antipolo.

Painting the future

Ananda is very grateful for all the opportunities that came along her way.

“Klaro na po ang mga pangarap ko. Kahit anong mangyari, magtatapos ako sa kolehiyo. Hindi ko kinakalimutan ang sinabi ng aking ama na tulungan ko ang aking sarili sa pamamagitan ng edukasyon para bumuti ang aming buhay,” she shared.

In the coming school year, Ananda plans to enroll in Far Eastern University and take Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with specialization in Digital Arts.

Looking back at her life, Ananda understands what poverty is. She has learned to live under the bridge, which she describes as “magulo, malamok at maraming ipis at daga.” She knows how hard it is to just stare at the tall buildings from their home under the bridge, which she always compares to their life—having high dreams but having no capacity to achieve them.

With the direction she is going right now, Ananda is certain that she’ll no longer experience those again. If she can paint the future, she knows it will be as bright as she is dreaming it to be—where they’ll have a permanent and safe home, a happy family and a successful career as an artist.***

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LEANING TO THE LIGHT.

Johnlerry Olonan, 17, a child-beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from Lucena City, always has to rush doing his school works while there is daylight. Their small home in the coastal community of Brgy. Dalahican has no electrical supply yet as his family cannot afford paying the bills. This and his other struggles in life coming from a poor family, however, did not hinder him from dreaming big and achieving it. Last March, he graduated as valedictorian among 409 graduates of Lucena-Dalahican National High School.

According to him, his graduation is the start of getting out of their current situation. With a full scholarship in a private university in the city, he’s a hundred percent certain he’ll reach his dreams of being an architect and finally give a brighter future for himself and his family.***

 

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THE JOURNEY OUT OF THE DARK

Immediately after arriving home from a busy school day, Johnlerry has to open his books and rush doing his assignments. With his broken eyeglasses, he needs to finish his school work before getting dark. Otherwise, he has to struggle with his homework with only a small kerosene lamp to give him light.

Johnlerry Olonan, 17, a child-beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from Brgy. Dalahican in Lucena City, Quezon Province, has endured doing this every night just so he can achieve his dream of being an architect. According to him, this situation made him more determined to rise higher and experience a better life.

“Kahit po ganito ang sitwasyon namin, sinisikap ko po talagang mag-aral nang mabuti, kahit madilim o kahit pumunta ako sa kapitbahay kapag gabi para makapag-aral sa maliwanag dahil walang kuryente sa bahay namin. Hindi ko ito ginawang hadlang para sa pag-aaral ko dahil alam kong ito lang ang magagamit ko para maging mas maayos ang buhay namin,” shared Johnlerry.

Last March 2015, every night of his sacrifices in the dark bore great fruits. He graduated as valedictorian among 409 high school graduates of Lucena-Dalahican National High School.

“Ito na po ang simula ng ating pagyabong. Pagsusumikapan ko pa pong lubos sa susunod pang mga taon upang maisakatuparan natin ang ating mga pangarap,” shared Johnlerry, who was referring to his parents, during his valedictory speech in his graduation ceremony.

Building a better life

Johnlerry’s family stays in a small hut in the middle of a crowded coastal community in Lucena City. His father, Roberto, is a fisherman and is the main provider in the family. His mother, Edita, stays at home but sometimes works as a housemaid in other provinces to help with the daily needs of the family.

“Ramdam n’ya (referring to Johnlerry) ‘yung hirap ng buhay. ‘Yun na lang mag-aral sa madilim at lumabo na ang mata kakasulat at kakabasa kahit madilim ay malaking hamon na para sa kanya. Kahit noong nasira ‘yung salamin n’ya hindi namin mapalitan kaya nagtatiyaga s’ya na naka-epoxy lang ‘yung salamin n’ya,” shared Edita, who is almost in tears.

As a student, Johnlerry sees how hard it is for his parents to support him and his older brother. His brother, John Robert, 27, only reached second year college because their family can no longer support his needs in school.

“Kapag walang kita sa pangingisda, nangungutang sila para may pambaon kami, pambili ng projects o kaya para may pamasahe ako kapag sumasali ako sa mga contests,” said Johnlerry.

The coming of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in 2009 became a big relief, especially for Johnlerry, who was the only qualified child in the family.

“Natulungan ako ng programa sa pag-aaral ko at natutuwa ako na hindi na masyadong nahihirapan ang mga magulang ko. Dito kasi sa amin, kapag malaki ang alon sa dagat, walang kikitain ang pamilya namin. Noong nagkaroon ng Pantawid, hindi na naging balakid sa aming pag-aaral dahil nasisigurong may nakalaang pera para sa pag-aaral ko,” he shared.

This inspired Johnlerry and his parents to continue working hard to improve their lives.

As a result of his hard work, Johnlerry is very grateful that graduating as valedictorian is opening good opportunities for him. He is able to get a full scholarship in a private university in their city and is a hundred percent certain he’ll enroll in the coming school year.

For Johnlerry, he’ll not waste this opportunity. For his parents, on the other hand, they’ll do everything to support their son until he gets his dream.

“Masakit sa loob kung hindi s’ya makakapag-aral, alam ko kung gaano kalaki ang mga pangarap n’ya at nakikita ko ang mga pagsisikap n’ya. Kahit magtrabaho ako sa malayo, ayos lang sa akin, basta masuportahan ko lang ang pagkokolehiyo n’ya,” shared Edita in tears.

Inspiring others to do the same

As a son of a fisherman, Johnlerry understands that when at sea, he cannot control the wind. However, he isn’t bothered at all since he knows that he can set the sail and go wherever direction he pleases.

In his valedictory speech he delivered during their graduation ceremony, he challenged his classmates to not be bothered by the struggles they have to face in the next few years and use what they have learned in school to set a good direction for their future.

“Tayo ang mag-aayos ng layag para makapunta tayo sa ating mga pangarap,” he shared.

Today, Johnlerry understands that his high school graduation is also the end of their being a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilya program. He considers this a blessing and is grateful for the program for supporting his dreams. He’s more grateful that his family has learned to strive harder because of the program and would be glad that their graduation from the program will mean other families and other children will be given the same opportunity provided to them.

Looking back at his life, Johnlerry has already proven how despite poverty, someone can rise and change his life through hard work and determination.

For him, the next five years in college will be another struggle—to go to a private university without enough allowance, attend each class with broken eyeglasses, and come home every afternoon and rush to finish school works while there is daylight. However, he’ll never mind these challenges because for sure, there’s a good life waiting for him and his whole family when he finishes college and becomes an architect.***

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BRINGING THE LESSONS OF PANTAWID PAMILYA.

Nestor and Milagros Nario, beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from Brgy. Mahipon in Cavinti, Laguna Province, are proud of their youngest daughter Maralyn’s achievement when she graduated third in her high school class last March. Although Maralyn’s graduation from high school also means their family’s graduation from the Pantawid Pamilya program, the three of them commit to work harder for Maralyn’s college education. According to them, they’ll be bringing with them the lessons of the program, especially on continuously working hard and supporting each other to achieve their dreams of a better life for their family.***

 

 

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More inspired to move forward after Pantawid Pamilya

 

As the youngest in the family, Maralyn Nario, 16, looks up to her six siblings for almost about everything. For her, they are her role models and have ever since helped her in making decisions about life.

After graduating from high school last March, she made the best decision she learned from her siblings so far—that is to continue going to college and achieve her dreams.

Five of her siblings finished only high school; one has finished college. Comparing their life situations, Maralyn is smart enough to know which route to take.

“Base po sa nakikita ko, malaki ang kaibahan kapag nakatapos kang college kumpara sa high school. ‘Yung ate ko po, teacher na ngayon, professional na s’ya at may regular natrabaho. ‘Yung iba ay nagtatrabaho sa factory o nagbubukid at alam namin na kahit kelan, p’wede silang mawalan ng trabaho. Walang kasiguruhan ‘yung trabaho nila,” shared Maralyn, a resident of Brgy.Mahipon in Cavinti, Laguna Province.

This inspired her to pursue going to college. After finishing third in her class, she is certain that going to college will develop her potentials better and help her succeed in life. She is hopefulthat she’ll pass in any of the scholarship programs she applied for to help ease the financial burden of a college education.

In the coming school year, she plans to take Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in Laguna State Polytechnic University in the province’s capital.

Getting hope

All throughout her childhood, Maralyn has experienced life’s difficulty being raised from a big family. She experienced going to school without much of the support of her parents.

“Busy lagi sila sa paghahanap buhay kaya wala na silang oras para sa amin. Kahit mga meetings sa school, hindi na nila napupuntahan,” shared Maralyn.

Milagros, 53, Maralyn’s mother, admits to her daughter’s confession.

“Napakahirap talaga ng magpalaki ng pitong anak.  Nagpapaupa kaming mag-asawa sa bukid at minsan ay tumatanggap din ako ng labada para pantustos sa mga pangangailangan nila,” shared Milagros.

Despite their financial struggles, Milagros and husband Nestor, 55, both understand that sending their children to school is important. According to them, sending them at least until high school will enable their children to be better employed and have better lives.

“Wala kaming tigil sa kakahanapbuhay para maitaguyod sila. Hindi na kami makaipon kahit ng maliit na pang-puhunan man lang para sa aking pananahi dahil lahat talaga ng kinikita namin, nagagastos para sa pangangailangan nila,” shared Nestor.

Life became easier for the couple when the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program came in 2013. Although Maralyn is the only child qualified to be a beneficiary of the program, the family is thankful that it opened a lot of opportunities for them, especially for their youngest.

“Noon, talagang ramdam ko na nahihirapan kaming maghanap kung saan kukuha ng pera para sa mga gastusin sa school. Pero dahil sa Pantawid, nasalihan ko na lahat ng activities na gusto ko. Nakakapunta na ako sa iba’t ibang lugar para lumaban sa mga contests at doon ay mas natututo ako lalo nasa pakikisalamuha sa kapwa ko bata,” shared Maralyn.

This change in her life only fueled Maralyn’s desire to study harder. She gives credit to the Pantawid Pamilya program for inspiring her to dream bigger and eventually graduate on top of her class.

A new challenge in the family

As she is rewarded by her high school diploma and her recognitions, Maralyn is now ready to face college. However, her graduation from high school meant their family’s graduation from the Pantawid Pamilya program as well.

In the Pantawid Pamilya program, family-beneficiaries are supported until all child-beneficiaries reach 18 years old or finish high school, whichever comes first.

Though Maralyn and both her parents acknowledge how the lack of support from the program will affect their family in the years to come, they do not worry.

“Hindi ako kinakabahan na wala na kami sa Pantawid. Patuloy pa rin kaming magsisikap para suportahan si Maralyn sa kanyang pag-aaral. Nagpapasalamat kami sa oportunidad na binigay ng programa lalong lalo na sa pagtuturo nito sa amin na patuloy na magsumikap para sa ikabubuti ng aming pamilya,” shared Milagros.

Maralyn agrees with her mother. According to her, she can deal with the financial struggles during college. What matters to her is to have her parents’ support every step of the way to her dreams.

“Napansin ko na dahil sa Pantawid, naging mas suportado sa aking pag-aaral ang aking mga magulang. Nagkaroon sila ng oras para sa akin at ‘yun ang gagamitin kong inspirasyon para magtagumpay,” said Maralyn.

As the youngest in the family, Maralyn has seen how her parents worked hard to support all of them. At this point in her life, she does not doubt a bit that they’ll do everything they can to help her achieve her dreams. And to pay them back, she knows getting a college diploma, a good job and a better life would be more than enough for their sacrifices.***

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WEAVING A GOOD LIFE.

Leonor Conde, 52, and daughter Rose Anne, 16, residents of Brgy. Sisilmin in Cavinti, Laguna Province, weave together a hat, which they’ll sell for ten pesos each. All her life, Rose Anne experienced rushing home from school to help her mother and five other siblings in weaving hats and selling them so they’ll have money for dinner and when lucky, for their school needs the following day.

As a student, Rose Anne is grateful that their family became a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in 2012. According to her, it provided for their school needs, which made life easier for them. Hence, she can already allot time to read her books and study her lessons at night. This made good results in the end because last March 2015, she graduated as class salutatorian of her high school class. This, Rose Anne shared, is the start of helping her family get out of their situation and give every member a good life in the future.***

 

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WEAVING A BETTER TOMORROW

 

At the end of every school day, Rose Anne Conde has to rush home to weave hats.

Sixteen-year-old Rose Anne, a resident of Brgy. Sisilmin in Cavinti, Laguna Province, learned the art of weaving hats made of pandan leaves at an early age of seven. The woven hats have been the family’s main source of income to support their daily needs.

Instead of spending time for her schoolwork, Rose Anne, together with the rest of her siblings, needs to help her parents in weaving hats so they can earn enough for their dinner and their school needs the following day. For the past two years, however, she no longer had to do this; instead, she was given time to spend on her books and assignments.

“Naging masigla ako sa aking pag-aaral at dito ko natutunang mag-ambisyon at lubos pang magsumikap para mabago ang takbo ng aming buhay,” Rose Anne shared.

For Rose Anne, this small change in her everyday routine opened big opportunities for her. Last March, she graduated as salutatorian of her high school class. And what makes her close to her dream is not just her desire to go to college but her parents’ commitment towards supporting her all the way.

Change of course

Rose Anne gratefully attributes this change in her life to the coming of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in their family last December 2012.

“Noong dumating ang Pantawid, napakalaking tulong nito sa pamilya namin. Napakalaking bagay na ‘yung pambaon sa school naming magkakapatid ay hindi na kukunin sa aming kikitain mula sa sombrero,” said Rose Anne.

Rose Anne’s mother, Leonor, 52, relates how they have to work together as a family to earn enough for their needs.

“Maaga kong tinuruang maglala ng sombrero ang mga anak ko dahil iyon lang ang aming pinagkukunan ng ikabubuhay. Kadalasan, kapag tulong-tulong kami, maswerte na kaming kikita ng Php130 sa isang araw.  Iyon ang ginagamit namin pambili ng pagkain at pambaon na rin nila sa school,” Leonor shared.

Rose Anne recalls that whenever their stomach complains, her mother would encourage them to weave faster so they can immediately sell their finished products for around 10 pesos each. And since the family struggled to keep food on the table, Rose Anne remembers having a hard time complying with school requirements because they cannot afford paying for them. She even noticed how her mother became too sickly because of spending almost day and night weaving just so they can have some money to spare.

The Pantawid Pamilya program gave the whole family hope—that they can work together to get their family out of this situation. The financial assistance from the program eased their burden, and the children were given time to spend for their studies, instead of weaving hats almost all their time.

For Rose Anne, however, she is more thankful that Pantawid Pamilya not only fueled her desire to study harder but also taught her parents to dream for them and support their education.

“Kung hindi sa suporta ng Pantawid at sa pagtulong nito na magkaroon kami ng ambisyon, okay na sana sa amin basta makakain lang sa isang araw. Kahit laitin kami ng mga kapitbahay, ayos lang,” Leonor added.

Today, Leonor is happy seeing her children determined to go to school. She is sad, however, that her eldest Roland, who is only 19, has to work early after his high school graduation to help them. Still, she is proud of her son for his desire to help his siblings finish their studies and get better lives.

Rachelle, the second eldest in the family, has finished a vocational course with Roland’s help. Rose Anne, being the third, will be supported by her parents and her two elder siblings for her college education, especially after seeing her potentials when she graduated on top of her class.

“Igagapang namin s’ya sa kanyang kolehiyo. Hindi kami nawawalan ng pag-asa na sa aming pagsisikap ay makakatapos s’ya,” Leonor said with conviction.

A clearer tomorrow

Rose Anne cannot control her tears when she recalls how she was bullied as a child coming from a poor family.

“Naranasan ko kung paano kami maliitin ng mga tao. ‘Yung ibang kaklase ko sa school, dina-down ako dahil hindi kasing ganda ng porma nila ang mga damit ko,” she shared, recalling how her clothes would always be ‘hand-me-downs’ from relatives or neighbors.

For Rose Anne, these people have become her inspiration to excel in school and help her family to finally get up.

“Sinisikap ko po talagang mag-aral nang mabuti para hindi na kami maliitin. Pag-iigihan ko pa sa kolehiyo para maging teacher ako. Kahit di sakto ang allowance ko, gagawa ako ng paraan para makatapos ako,” shared Rose Anne, who plans to find a part time job to support her education.

When she becomes a teacher, Rose Anne promises to help the rest of her siblings, especially for their college education.

“Hindi ko sukat akailain na nagkaambisyon kaming lahat, ‘yan talaga ‘yung ipinagpapasalamat ko nang malaki sa Pantawid. Kami ay patuloy na magsisikap dahil wala kaming mararating kung magiging tamad kami,” Leonor shared.

After finishing college, Rose Anne imagines rushing home again seeing every member of her family happy—without anymore the burden of having to weave day and night just so they’ll have something on the table. She knows that her hard work and determination in the next few years will be the key towards making this vision a reality.***

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DOING IT ALL FOR A COLLEGE EDUCATION.

Child-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who graduated from high school this March 2015 are positive that they are a step closer to getting out of their current living condition.

Pantawid child-beneficiaries Marisol De Castro, Rhea Doce and Jenny Doce, honor-graduates of Sampiro National High School in Brgy.Sampiro, San Juan, Batangas Province, explore all available scholarship programs and are even open to working and saving for a year or two for their college education. For the three of them, going to college means not wasting opportunities already open for them andfinally helping improve their respective family’s lives in the future.

 

 

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COLLEGE:  THEIR ONLY ESCAPE OUT OF THEIR SITUATION 

 

While other high school graduates are busy picking universities best to enroll in, Marisol, Rhea and Jenny are busy looking for opportunities to enroll in any school for their college education.

A couple of months prior to their graduation, Marisol De Castro, Rhea Doce and Jenny Doce, students of Sampiro National High School inBrgy. Sampiro, San Juan, Batangas Province, pray hard that they be able to qualify to any scholarship program that will bring them to college.

For these three students who graduated with honors from the said school last March 2015, life for the next school year will depend on whether or not they get a scholarship. Having one will mean a college education for them; otherwise, it means having to work for a couple of years or so to save enough money to support their own education.

“Nagkakaiyak na nga po kami sapag kumbinse sa mga magulang namin na pag-aralin kami ng college. Pagtinatanong ko sila, sinasabi nila na ‘pag may scholarship, sige.  Pagwala, wala,” shared Rhea, 16, who graduated 6th in her class.

Despite knowing how important a college education is, these three graduates understand their family’s incapability to support them to college. Jenny’s and Marisol’s parents are engaged in farming and vending vegetables for a living. Rhea’s father, on the other hand, is a tricycle driver while her mother stays at home.

Despite this, all three of them are determined to go to college and chase their dreams.

“Sayang naman po ang lahat kung hindi namin ipagpapatuloy ito, sayang ang pagkakataon para makamit namin ang aming mga pangarap,” sharedJenny, 15, who graduated 3rd in her class.

Their goals, determination

Marisol, 16, dreams to be a teacher. Jenny wants to be a veterinarian and Rhea, a police officer.

“Lahat ng scholarship na p’wede naming applyan, ina-applyan na namin,” shared Marisol, who is 5th honors.

With their grades, they are positive that they’ll soon find a scholarship. All of them, however, do not depend on the scholarship alone or their parents either.

“Tutulong ako sapag titinda ngayong bakasyon para makaipo na kong pambaon sa pasukan.  Magtatrabaho rin ako habang nag-aaral para hindi lahat iaasa na lang,” shared Jenny.

Rhea, on the other hand, is open to working for a couple of years first to save for her college education. Despite her desire to immediately go to college, she knows working for a couple of years is a little sacrifice as compared to the good life she’ll get once she finishes college.

Proud of their roots

Because of the family’s financial situation, Marisol, Rhea and Jenny are all beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Through the program, their high school education was supported and according to them, this support allowed them to graduate with flying colors.

“Naging mas madali na po sa amin ang pag-aaral dahil may sumusuporta na sa amin. Mas madali nang sumalisa mga extra curricular activities at hindi na namin problema ang pambaon,” shared Marisol.

She recalled that before, her parents would always fight over their lack of money to support their daily allowance in school. Jenny, on the other hand, had witnessed how her parents would go to their neighbors early in the morning to borrow money for their school needs. She shared how hard for a daughter like her to see her parents crying over their financial incapacity. Jenny admits that situations like this always affect her performance in school not because of the financial difficulty but of her emotional worries.

Looking at the medals they received on their high school graduation, the three girls can never be happier. For them, the medals are symbols of success—of getting a high school diploma and finally making them a step closer towards changing their families’ fate in the future.

“Minsan po, hinuhusgahan kami ng mga kaklase dahil benepisyaryo kami ng Pantawid.   Pero tinatawanan na lang namin sila. Malaki ang naitutulong sa amin ng programa kaya binabale wala na lang namin sila. Proud kami na kasama kami sa programa at gagawin namin ang lahat para hindi masayang ang pagkakataon na ibinigay sa amin,” shared Jenny.

For the three of them, they won’t stop until they reach their dreams, even if this means taking a lot of scholarship examinations or even working for a year or two to get the help they need. After all, there is nothing impossible for a determined and hardworking person.

Posted in Featured, Pantawid PamilyaComments Off on DOING IT ALL FOR A COLLEGE EDUCATION.

IMPROVING LIVES THROUGH EDUCATION.

Melanie Cabangon, a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from Brgy. Taguin in Macalelon, Quezon Province, can never be prouder as a mother seeing her children determined to improve their lives through taking their education seriously. Like what she learned from the program, she knows that the hard work of every member of the family is important in achieving their common dream—to taste a more comfortable life in the future.

 

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EVERY EFFORT COUNTS

 

In a poor family, every member’s desire to get out of the situation counts.

For the Cabangon Family of Brgy.Taguin in Macalelon, Quezon Province, it is through every member’s hard work that they’ll be able to achieve the good life they all are dreaming to have.

Melanie, a mother of five, is thankful that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which they are a beneficiary of since 2010, did not just give them financial assistance. It also provided them the greatest lesson for improving their family—thatis to work together even in the simplest of things.

Strengthened commitment

Melanie shares the struggles of raising a big family, especially that she and her husband are determined to help them succeed through sending them to school. Her husband’s income as a utility worker in Quezon City is not sufficient even for their daily needs.

“Napakalaking tulong para sa tulad naming gustong tumawid sa kahirapan ang Pantawid. Sa pagiging benepisyaryo namin, nakapaglalaan kami para sa kanilang pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan, pag-aaral at pangkalusugan,” Melanie shared.

Besides the cash grants, she is more gratefulthat the program renewed her commitment to change their lives for the better.

“Dapat pala sabayan namin ng pagsisikap ang tulong naibinibigay ng gobyerno para maiangat namin ang aming buhay,” she shared with pride.

With this, Melanie started doing her share for the family, especially the children.

“Natuto akong gawaing panlalaki katulad ng pagpapaupa sa gawain sa bukid para kumita para sa pamilya.Nagtatanim na rin ako ng iba’tibang gulay sa aming bakuran naibinebenta at pinagkukunan ng ulam. Nag-aalaga na rin kami ng baboy at iba pang mgahayop,” Melanie said.

According to Melanie, this commitment to improve their life is strengthened through the lessons she learns from her monthly attendance to the Family Development Sessions (FDS).

The FDS is a component of the Pantawid Pamilya program that serves as venue for teaching parent-grantees on various topics such as strengthening marital relationships, child-rearing, budget management and disaster preparedness.

It is through the FDS that Melanie learned how to budget what little income they have. She shared that proper budgeting is a big help for a poor family like them as this allowed her family to save money to support their other needs and even invest on expanding their livelihood (planting vegetables and hog raising).

Family’s teamwork

“Ang pag-angat pala ng buhay ay dapat pinagkakaisahan ng buong pamilya.  Dito kami namulat na dapat magtulong-tulong kami para makatawid sa kahirapan. Kapag walang pasok, tumutulong ang mga anak ko sa pagtatanim para kumita ng pera,” she proudly shared.

More than this, Melanie is proud of how all her children believe that education will be their key out of poverty. As a mother, she is glad seeing all her children determined to go to school daily despite struggles in their finances.

Her three children are already high school graduates; two are taking up vocational courses today. The other is taking upa bachelor’s degree in Arts Studies in the University of the Philippines-Diliman. The two youngest are still in elementary and are being supported by the Pantawid Pamilya program.

“Proud ako sa mga anak ko dahil talagang nagsisikap sila para makapagtapos ng pag-aaral. ‘Yung isa ko ngang nag-aaral ng vocational course, naglalakad lang mula sa bahay nila papunta sa kanilang school sa Quezon City para makatipid sa pamasahe,” she shared.

For Melanie, there is no greater satisfaction than seeing her children get their diplomas and get stable jobs to make their lives better. She and her husband can only promise them to continuously work hard to support their needs.

As she imagines the future, Melanie is certain that it will be a lot sweeter, especially that each member is making a big effort now to make their dream a reality.(with reports from LLCortez)***

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