MEDALS, CAREERS AND A BETTER LIFE
A HANGER OF MEDALS. Marilyn Magbuo of Brgy. Duhatan, Balayan, Batangas is a proud mother of seven honor students, three of whom are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Every year, each one of her children receive academic medals, which in turn becomes her inspiration to work hard and be able to send them to school. She believes in the importance of education as means of having a better lives especially for her children.***
If medals can be sold at least for a hundred peso each, 47-year-old Marilyn Magbuo of Brgy. Duhatan in Balayan, Batangas will be richer today. Perhaps, she does not have to worry about sending all her seven children to school anymore, at least for a year or two. With all children being top performers in school, she cannot anymore count how many medals they have at home nor does she know to whom a piece belongs to.
All four of her elder children graduated valedictorian from the nearby Duhatan Elementary School and the younger three, who are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, are honor students of their respective classes, too.
Despite their family’s low income, Marilyn and his husband Mario work hard to send all their children to school. The get most of their daily needs from the income they get from the small sari-sari store they were able to open through a loaned money, and from the small income Mario earns as a truck driver. With seven children to feed and send to school, the eldest is in college, it is a wonder how Marilyn and his family go by day after day.
Sending Her Children to School
The approximately one hundred academic medals brought home by her children inspire Marilyn to work hard to be able to continue sending all her children to school. She believes education is important especially in having a better life.
"Importante na makatapos ang mga anak ko sa pag-aaral para magkaroon sila ng magagandang trabaho at maayos na buhay," Marilyn said when asked how important she sees education for her children.
“Noon, ginagapang namin ang pag-aaral ng mga anak namin. Bago magsimula ang pasukan, humahanap kami ng mga scholarships na maaaring magpondo sa pag-aaral ng mga anak namin,” Marilyn added. Luckily, the good grades that her children get each year make it easier for them to be awarded with scholarships.
Life with Pantawid
If scholarships are gifts to her children, so is Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
Before being beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya, Marilyn recounted her struggles to settle school contributions. She said that before, she’ll only settle the contributions from the previous school year during enrolments. But since Pantawid came, she is able to settle all contributions right away.
“Ngayon, nabibigyan na ako ng pambili ng mga kailangan ko sa school tulad ng notebooks, uniform, at projects,” his 10-year-old son Merwin, who ranked fourth in his fifth-grade class last year, shared. He added that since being a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya, his usual 10-peso baon has increased.
Marilyn proudly said that preparations for this school year were easier for her, especially with the grants they are receiving from Pantawid.
“April pa lang, nakabili na ako ng uniforms nila at ibang gamit sa school,” she added.
Seeing the Future
Sending seven children to school all at the same time is difficult for most families, especially those who have limited income like that of Marilyn’s. But Marilyn is a mother with dreams for her children and she cannot afford seeing any of them without education.
The coming of Pantawid Pamilya to her family simply fueled her desire to send her children to school and let them achieve their dreams. She does not want her children to be vendors or factory workers, which she knows are not stable jobs. She believes that only a good education will open better opportunities for her children in the future.
In her young son's mind, Merwin studies hard for him to finish his schooling and get a good job as a pilot in the future. Soon, he wants to help his parents and build a better and bigger house for their big family.
“Napakalaking tulong po sa amin ng Pantawid. Malaki ang aming pasasalamat dahil kahit papaano ay nakakaraos kami sa buhay,” Marilyn shared. “Kapag natapos na ang programa, pagtatapusin ko pa rin ang mga anak ko, kahit igapang pa naming mag-asawa.”
For some families, having a low income hinders the education of children. But for Marilyn, poverty is something she can continually live with if it means sending her children to school and seeing them get their diplomas, good careers, and better lives in the future. Like all other mothers, she has her dreams for all seven children and she'll strive harder, even against poverty, just to see them out of the situation they all are getting a taste of these days.
For Marilyn, the medals are riches that she won’t be willing to trade for money. The medals her children have presented her are treasures she will guard and be forever proud of.# Noemee Jane Mayor