“To smile is a natural habit, it is either simple or inspirational, but one thing is sure it saves the world from hatred and tears.”

This famous adage perfectly describes who Edna Donato is when I first met her during my arrival in Palanan, Isabela.

Ate Edna, 42 years old and a resident of Dimaliculicu, Palanan, Isabela is one of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries.

Before the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) was being implemented in the area, Ate Edna and her family relied on farming which undeniably insufficient to meet the needs of their family. She had two (2) high school students and a college student. She works in their house and does chores while his husband worked under the striking heat of the sun to have some money to earn. She indeed spent the rest of her days and nights thinking on how she can have enough money to spend for her family.

When she heard that SLP of the Department of Social Welfare and Development is offering livelihood, she almost felt like she have worn out all the thorns that have been troubling her for many years. Ambitiously as it may seem, but she told me then that one of her wish is that someday, their product (sabutan) would be known in the main land.

Indeed her ambition came to reality when one day her sabutan bag was recognized by Community Crafts Association of the Philippines (CCAP). CCAP is an association that promotes cultural heritage of Filipinos through the development of craft industry. They currently export innovative products made out of indigenous materials in the United States of America, Asian and European countries. And when CCAP hosted a trade fare on June 2013, her sabutan bags were one of those products sold during the said fare.

Success indeed comes to people who believe. Edna’s story is a testament that the world offers a lot of things. It is on how we deal on it that carries and brings us to the door of success. ### By: JUNETT C. ADDURU, PDO II, 1st District of Isabela