FEATURE: Pot of Gold

Life is full of twists and turns. It gives both sunshine and rainstorms as one treads the road to a happy and successful life. And along the way, one has a choice to either succumb to death or continue the journey to grasp victory.

Patience, endurance, indomitable will and humility- these are some of the attitudes that shape a person’s spirit towards a positive perspective, towards setting goals and reaching them without inhibitions. These values have molded Aling Rosalie Gadiaza to become who she is now. She bows in humility with what she has achieved but she stands with pride as one of the most successful beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Cauayan City, Isabela.

The Gadiaza family is headed by Mang Albert who at the age of 42 feels contented and fulfilled with having an understanding wife and three loving children. Mang Albert and Aling Rosalie have began weaving simple dreams together. Before, they just wished to have a family with a simple life- a small house, a backyard garden, some chickens to raise, have enough food for the family and just a little earning to send their children to school and finish high school. Bringing the children to college seemed impossible.

“Kung alam niyo lamang po, mula ng binuo naming mag-asawa ang pamilyang ito, ni sa panaginip ay hindi namin naisip magkaroon ng maalwang pamumuhay. Ang natatandaan ko lang po ay lagi naming ipinagdarasal na sana ay hindi maranasan ng aming mga anak ang hindi kumain dahil sa kahirapan,” Aling Rosalie shared, as a tear rolled from her eyes.

Mang Albert grew from a family of farmers in Turayong, Cauayan City while Aling Rosalie hailed from Calasiao, Pangasinan. She set footsteps in Cagayan Valley to become a caretaker of her sister’s house in Cauayan City.

Financial constraint has been naughtily handcuffing the couple’s hands towards reaching their simple aspirations. They began to worry about what lies ahead. They thought that they will never have a glimpse of the world’s brighter side. With a sullen feeling, Aling Rosalie asked help from her sister who happened to be a successful fish dealer while Mang Albert exhausted his efforts as a tricycle driver.

“Napakahirap ng buhay para sa amin. Naranasan po naming pagtawanan at kutsahin ng mga kapit-bahay habang tinutulak namin ang pupugak-pugak naming tricycle. Maliit at tagpi-tagpi lamang ang aming tinitirhan noon. Wala rin kaming pahinga sa paghahanap-buhay. Minsan habang naglalakad ako palabas sa maliit na eskinita patungo sa malaking bahay ng aking kapatid, nakadumog ako at kusang tumutulo ang mga luha sa mga mata ko. Iniisip ko na magkakaiba nga ang kapalaran naming magkakapatid, ngunit hanggang kailan ako magtitiis?”, she reminisced in between tears.

She even remembered that in order to provide for their children’s needs, she has to work as a babysitter from Monday to Friday bearing the thought that no one is left at home to care for her two young children. During Saturdays and Sundays, she and her eldest child will help in the market.

“Kapalit ng pagtatrabaho ko ay kumita ako ng P100 sa isang araw. Binibigyan din ako ni ate ng kunting bigas at ulam na pagkakasyahin naming kainin sa ilang araw at tig-70 na baon ng dalawa kong anak sa loob ng isang lingo,” Aling Rosalie said.

“Ang hirap po pala ng walang sapat na kinikita. Parang pinipiga ang puso naming mag-asawa sa tuwing umaalis ang aming mga anak na tanging kanin at noodles ang lagging almusal at ni wala man lang bitbit ni biskwit para panlaman sa kanilang sikmura kapag recess,” she added.

It was in 2009 when their household was enumerated by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and they were validated as one of the poorest of the poor families in the city. It was also in the same year that they decided to let their second child and only daughter to temporarily stay in her sister’s house to help in the household chores while studying. Aling Rosalie was giving birth to their third child and could not anymore provide for their children’s basic needs.

“Naiinggit ako noon sa mga kapatid ko dahil nagging matagumpay sila kung kaya’t naisipan kong umutang sa Bombay nang magka-puhunan sa pagtitinda ng tuyo ngunit minalas po kami,” she shared.

Aling Rosalie’s depression on their bankruptcy has worsened when her husband also changed. Vices have forayed Mang Albert’s membrane. “Alak, babae at sugal”- as Rosalie has termed it. “Halos mabaliw ako sa problemang pinagdadaanan namin. Lagi akong tulala at hindi nakakatulog dahil sa pagkakalubog sa utang.”

While it’s true that after the rain, the rainbow appears next. Aling Rosalie’s topsy turvy situation was quite relieved with the coming of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in 2012. A pot of gold has somehow drizzled at their doorstep.

“Sa pagdating po ng Pantawid Pamilya, nakasilip ako ng kunting pag-asa para sa buhay namin ng mga anak ko. Naaalala ko pa na yung unang tanggap ko ay inunti-unti kong ipinabaon sa mga anak ko at nagtatabi ng maliit na halaga para pandagdag sa pambili ng pagkain.”

 “Alam ko pong hindi kami papabayaan ng Diyos at pag may pagsisikap, may mararating. Ang pangarap ko ay mapagtapos ang aking mga anak kahit sekondarya. Ngunit ang taong nagdadasal at nagsisikap ay makatatanggap pala ng mas maraming biyaya. Nagsimula akong mag-ipon ng kaunti mula sa natatanggap kong cash grant.”

 “Sinubukan naming hiramin ang isang katamtamang laking kaldero nung barkada ng asawa ko na dati ay may lugawan. Nagsimula kami sa isang libong piso, isang kalderong lugaw at sampung regular na customer. Pinagtulungan naming dalawa ng asawa ko ang magtinda sa tabi ng kalye tuwing gabi. Minsan ay kasama pa an gaming panganay at bunsong anak samantala yung pangalawa ay patuloy pa rin sa pagtira at pagtulong sa bahay ng ate ko,” she continued.

Discipline among the Gadiaza family was enriched. They struggled so hard that Aling Rosalie has to still work daytime in her sister’s house. Until such time that Aling Rosalie has heartily understood every topic during FDS and and what interests her the most was the topic on “Pangangasiwa ng Tahanan” which includes subtopics on “Epektibong Pangangasiwa ng Oras”, “Wastong Pangangasiwa ng Pera” and “Kahalagahan ng Pag-iimpok”. These topics helped them to both increase their capacities. It motivated them to dream bigger and that the realization of their dreams lie in the handgrip of the pot of gold they received.

Fifty regular customers, seven tables, two helpers and with an operation from 7:00 PM to 4:00 AM, the “Gadiaza’s Lugawan” is quickly growing in just seven months. Aling Rosalie has to give up working at daytime and her husband has to stop from being a tricycle driver. Aling Rosalie also decided to get their daughte since the couple could now provide for all their children. Rosalie even borrowed money from a micro-finance company for additional capital.

“Nagpapasalamat po ang buong pamilya ko sa pag-asa at pagkakataong ibinigay ng programa sa amin. Higit sa lahat ay ipinapagpapasalamat ko rin yung mga hindi material na bagay na hindi ko man natutunan sa paaralan dahil mababang antas lang ang natapos ko, ay matiyagang itinuro sa amin. Yun pa lang ay isa ng kayamanan na hindi matutumbasan ng salapi,” Aling Rosalie expressed.

Everything has changed. The Gadiaza’s lives turned from roller coaster of problems to a remarkable achievement. Now their home has a flat LED television, a desktop computer and a window-type air condition. Adorning their living room are photos of their children and certificates showcasing their accomplishments.

Ivan Brent is a junior Accountancy student at the Our Lady of the Pillar College. Rica Mae, the unica hija, is now a Grade 9 student at Cauayan National High School, while the youngest, Nico, is at 5th Grade at the Cauayan South Central School.

Indeed, the Gadiaza family is now living a comfortable life but nothing has changed as regards to Aling Rosalie’s perspective towards life. She could only figure now that everything that they are enjoying is the sweet fruits of their labor. She even feels ashamed if there are people appreciating their family’s efforts.

“Mahiyain at mapagkumbaba pa rin po ako hanggang ngayon. Kulang na lang po ay taguan namin yung mga taga-media nung minsang may nag-interbyu sa amin,” she said meekly.

When asked how she could inspire her fellow beneficiaries, Aling Rosalie bowed her head in silence and said, “Matuto po tayong mangarap at kumilos upang matupad ang mga pangarap natin dahil naniniwala po akong hindi tayo kailanman magiging mahirap kung alam nating pahalagahan ang bawat bagay na mayroon tayo. Habang umaagapay sa atin ang Pantawid Pamilya, magsikap tayo at magpasalamat sa tulong na ating natatanggap. Sana ay gamitin natin ito ng wasto.”

Now, Aling Rosalie is very open to share what they have. They give food to strangers knocking at their doors. They employed six staff in their lugawan, one driver and one laundrywoman. They were also able to build a small concrete house for her father in-law. She lends money to her neighbors during emergencies.

They were embarrassed sometimes when people judge them to be an inclusion error in the program. However, Aling Rosalie and some fellow beneficiaries countered that it is the program which helped them transform from rags to riches. Although Aling Rosalie has expressed her willingness to waive her rights from the program, her gratefulness towards it is unfathomable.

The Gadiaza family is just one of the living witnesses that the chain of poverty has an end. A lifetime may be too long to know what you can do. It is too long enough to acknowledge that a tiny lift can actually help anyone to have a better view of the sky. It is too long for a tiny step to become giant leaps, and giant leaps towards highest peaks. ### By AILEEN GUZMAN, City Link- Cauayan City, Isabela

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Pantawid beneficiaries embrace Family Planning, avail free ligation

GAMU, Isabela – Aware of the importance of Family Planning, around 20 mother beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in this municipality received a free Tubectomy or Tubal Ligation earlier this month.

“Sa pamamagitan ng Family Development Sessions, nalaman ko ang kahalagahan ng pagpaplano ng pamilya, at masaya na ako sa pagkakaroon ng dalawang anak. Dahil ditto, matututukan ko na rin kung paano mag maging responsableng magulang sa aking mga anak,” Mari Jane Dolatre, 36 years old and a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary said.

Aside from the Tubectomy, an orientation on Responsible Parenthood and counselling were also conducted. The medical outreach was spearheaded by the Department of Health in partnership with Luzon Health and the Rural Health Unit of Gamu.

Family Planning and Responsible Parenthood are included as topics in Family Development Sessions which is being conducted monthly by the Municipal Links together with the partners from national government agencies and civil society organizations.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development and rights-based program of the national government and is being implemented by DSWD. The program invests in the health and education of poor Filipino children aged 0-18 years old by providing cash grants in exchange of compliance to certain conditionalities. ### By SHAYNE C. CORPUZ, Municipal Link- Gamu, Isabela

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Pantawid Pamilya children beneficiaries shine during Children’s Month Celeb

Children beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya ran the show for this year’s celebration of Children’s Month with the theme “Komunidad at Pamahalaan Magkaisa, Pang-aabuso sa Bata, Wakasan Na!” held in Tuguegarao City, November 4-5, 2015.

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Children participants from the four provinces pose together to cap-off the two-day celebration.

Different activities were prepared for the festivity namely the Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children 2015, Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago Dance Contest and Essay Writing Contest which aimed on recognizing the skills and knowledge of the children.

In the Search, four talented children showcased their singing and dancing prowess, acting skills and their intelligence during the Tagisan ng Talino at Talento wherein Jane Marie Ramos of Tuao, Cagayan was hailed as the region’s most exemplary Pantawid Pamilya child. Meanwhile Maria Angela Andres of Naguillian Isabela, Jochelle Daguro of Cabarroguis, Quirino and Rommel Pilde of Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.

For the Dance Contest, each province was represented by five children beneficiaries who grooved to the Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago official music. The Quirino group landed on the first place, followed by Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Cagayan.

Four children beneficiaries also battled it out with words in the Essay Writing Contest wherein Rannol Ross Cuyao (Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya) placed first. Playing bridesmaids to her are Jochelle Daguro (Cabarroguis, Quirino), Sherily Simangan (Reina Mercedes, Isabela) and Roben Baldesancho (Tuguegarao City, Cagayan).

In her message, DSWD OIC-Regional Director Ponciana P. Condoy emphasized on the important role that children play in poverty-alleviation and nation-building.

Meanwhile, in order to strengthen the children’s knowledge regarding their rights, there were discussions on laws and rights of children and AVP presentations on the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children and on the Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago! Campaign. The Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago is an empowerment and information campaign that aims to communicate the stories of change in the lives of the beneficiaries of DSWD’s programs and services, especially the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development and rights-based program of the national government and is being implemented by DSWD. The program invests in the health and education of poor Filipino children aged 0-18 years old by providing cash grants in exchange of compliance to certain conditionalities. ### By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Information Officer II-Pantawid Pamilya

 

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Cagayan’s bet hailed as region 02’s most exemplary Pantawid Pamilya child

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Jane wows everyone with a declamation piece during the talent portion.

With her impressive display of wit and talent, Jane Marie Ramos of Tuao, Cagayan bagged the coveted title of the Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children 2015 during the Tagisan ng Talino at Talento held at Casa Angela, Tuguegarao City on November 4-5, 2015.

Ramos won the hearts of everyone especially the judges’ when she performed a declamation piece. During the Q&A Portion, she said that she would be an example to her fellow children beneficiaries by having good academic standing and by being involved in community activities while enjoining her fellows to do the same. In this way, she can prove that children, despite of their young age, can have big contributions in poverty alleviation and nation-building.

“I’m very happy that I won in this Search. This is such a very important happening in my life that I will always be proud of. There are already lots of good things that happened since my family became one of the beneficiaries. I’m just so thankful,” Jane said.

“Because of Pantawid Pamilya, I was inspired to study better to achieve my dreams. And when that time comes, my family will also be one fulfillment of the program’s thrust that ‘Kayang-kaya ng Pinoy tumawid tungo sa kaunlaran!” she added.

She received a certificate of recognition and a cash prize awarded by DSWD OIC-Regional Director Ponciana P. Condoy and other members of the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children or RSCWC.

Consequently, Ramos, together with the 2nd and 3rd place winners namely Maria Angela Andres (from Naguillian, Isabela) and Jochelle Daguro (from Cabarroguis, Quirino) will join the National Children’s Congress in Manila later this month.

The contestants were judged according to their Talino at Talas ng Isip (Wit and Intelligence), Talento (Talent), Pakikilahok sa Komunidad at Eskwela (Community and School Participation) and Tindig at Pormang Exemplary (Presence and Appearance).

The Search is done annually by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in order to recognize children beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who set excellent examples in their households, schools and in their community.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development and rights-based program of the national government and is being implemented by DSWD. The program invests in the health and education of poor Filipino children aged 0-18 years old by providing cash grants in exchange of compliance to certain conditionalities. ###By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Information Officer II- Pantawid Pamilya

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DSWD stages Pantawid Pamilya National Family Day

With the aim to celebrate the positive changes in the lives of Filipino families, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 joined in the nationwide simultaneous conduct of the Pantawid Pamilya National Family on October 4, 2015.

All roads led to the Red Eagle Gymnasium, Cagayan State University-Carig Campus in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan as Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries from the different municipalities of Cagayan Province, and partners from the National Government Agencies, Civil Society Organizations, Academe and Media, gathered for the three-hour festivity.

Bannering the message “Tuloy ang Pagbabago”, selected beneficiaries shared their story of transformation as a result of the Pantawid Pamilya.

CHANGING LIVES

“Dahil sa tulong ng programang Pantawid Pamilya, nagkaroon na kami ng katuwang sa pagtustos sa mga pangangailangan ng aking anak sa  at sa pagsisiguro sila ay malusog,” shared Arlene Narag, a beneficiary from Brgy. Linao East, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

“Ngunit higit sa tulong pinansiyal, pinalawak ng programa ang aking kaalaman tungkol sa maraming bagay, katulad ng aking mga karapatan bilang isang babae at kung paano pangasiwaan ang isang pamilya,” she added.

Arlene also expressed gratitude to the partners of DSWD in the implementation of the program and enjoined everyone to heed the call for the institutionalization of the Conditional Cash Transfer.

“Sana magpatuloy pa ang programang ito upang ang mga mahihirap na pamilyang katulad namin ay patuloy na makaranas ng mga mabubuting pagbabago at tuluyan na makamit ang minimithing kaunlaran,” she ended.

Arlene’s testimony together with the other success stories of her fellow beneficiaries which were written in a fruit-like paper were all hung in a symbolic tree called as the “Puno ng Pagbabago.” This three showcased the real life stories of the beneficiaries on how the program has changed their lives for the better.

CELEBRATING THE FILIPINO FAMILY

In her message, Dir. Ponciana P. Condoy emphasized on the efforts of the government on serving and catering to the needs of the Filipino families, especially those who belong in the disadvantaged and marginalized sectors.

“Kami sa DSWD, katuwang ang iba’t-ibang sector ng lipunan, ay taos-pusong naghahatid ng serbisyo sa inyo. Sama-sama nating ipagdiwang ang mga kuwento ng pagbabago at patuloy natin itong palaganapin hindi lang sa loob ng ating sariling pamilya, kundi lalo na sa ating lipunan, nang sa gayon, lahat tayo ay magkakapit-bisig na tatawid tungo sa kaunlaran,” Condoy said.

In the spirit of convergence, partners also shared their commitment in taking part in the implementation of the program.

There were also presentation numbers and parlor games that made the event more colorful and fun.

The Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor Filipino children aged 0-18 years old. In exchange of cash grants, children must be enrolled in school and must regularly visit health centers. Parents must also attend the Family Development Sessions. As of now, there are 96, 638 household beneficiaries for the region.###By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Information Officer II-Pantawid Pamilya

 

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E-SGPPA scholar hailed as Miss ISU-Palanan 2015

“The crowd begun to shout loudly when my name was called and crowned as Miss Isabela States University (ISU) Palanan 2015. I was very happy, overwhelmed and a little bit nervous at the same time. I can’t even describe what I felt especially when all eyes were at me,” exclaimed Jerameel Molina, a 17-year old lass from Centro West, Palanan, Isabela, as she was crowned as the Miss Isabela State University-Palanan 2015 recently.

Molina is a sophomore student taking up Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education is also a scholar under the Expanded Student’s Grants in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation or E-SGPPA. She is the eldest among the brood of five and a daughter to Lanie Molina, an active parent leader for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, and to Enrique Molina, a driver.

Molina recognizes the importance of education because she believes that it would be the key to uplift the status of her family. “I’m truly grateful for being an E-SGPPA grantee because it paves the way to the realization of my dreams,” she emphasized.

Aside from her grace and stature, Molina won the hearts of the judges with her wit during the Q & A portion. When asked if how can she help as a student amid the many crisis that happen in our country today, she answered, “I could help by being an agent of change in promoting peace, love, compassion and discipline to strengthen values and character among Filipinos.”

Molina also bagged all the major and minor awards. She bagged the Minor Awards like Ms. Smart Padala, Ms Watson, Ms. Lady’s Store, Ms. Body Beautiful and Ms. PR Bank. She also garnered best in Beach Wear, Best in Casual Wear, Best in Production, Best in Creative Attire and Best in Gown in major awards.

Despite of what I felt in that certain moments, there is a feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction in me. It was my first time to join in this such prestigious event and my hardship were all paid off,” she ended.

Being an ESGPPA scholar, joining in that prestigious pageant is her one way to prove to herself and in the community despite of their status of living, she has the ability, talents, brain and guts to join and win the crown. She want to eliminate the irony of capabilities of the 4p’s beneficiaries to the mind of the community. She is a living model to all the 4p’s beneficiaries of Palanan Isabela.

The Expanded Student Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) is a scholarship granted to all poor but deserving College students belonging to indigent household specifically 4p’s beneficiary identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in coordination with Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as long term mechanism with full commitment to breaking vicious cycle affecting the families. ###By RONALD D. RAMOS, Social Welfare Assistant- Palanan, Isabela

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DSWD begins quest for exemplary Pantawid Pamilya children

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office II is again on its quest to recognize children beneficiaries who set an excellent examples in their family, school and in the community through the Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children.

The Search is done annually to give recognition to model children beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. It also aims to emphasize the importance of the role of the child within the Filipino family and in nation-building.

Presently, the Provincial Operations Office of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya conduct screening to identify their provincial nominee. The four family entries will compete for the regional level and will be subjected to interviews and field validations which will be spearheaded by the Regional Program Management Office together with partners from the national government agencies and civil society organizations.

Provincial winners will compete for the regional title wherein cash prizes will be awarded. Entries will be judged according to their 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), and Tindig at Pormang Kaya Ko! (Kaya Ko! Presence and Appearance).

Moreover, the regional winners will also serve as advocates of the department in promoting the gains and impacts of the program.

The Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor Filipino children aged 0-18 years old. In exchange of cash grants, children must be enrolled in school and must regularly visit health centers. Parents must also attend the Family Development Sessions. ### By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Information Officer II- Pantawid Pamilya

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FEATURE: As One

“Hindi hadlang ang kahirapan sa pagkamit ng ating mga pangarap, basta mayroong tiyaga at pagsisikap,” Hazel, the eldest among the brood of four, said. Born to parents who both work as farmers, the Calano family lives a humble life in Delfin Albano, Isabela.

Her parents, Jojo and Haydee, wakes up even it’s still the wee hours of the morning to prepare breakfast and to gear up for the day’s work.

“Sobra po akong naaawa sa aking mga magulang dahil maaga silang nagigising upang magtrabaho sa bukirin. Mas nagpapabigat sa aking kalooban ang makita silang nakabilad sa araw habang nagtatanim at nag-aararo,” she shared with a heavy heart, though she knew that this is the only way so that they can survive everyday.

Life is definitely not a bed of roses for the family considering that there are four children whose needs especially in school must be catered to. And in this aspect, Hazel truly feels that they are not endowed with the luxury of money.

She related how she often fall prey to her classmates’ constant picking because of her clothes, and for having a daily allowance that only amounts to P3 pesos or P2 pesos. “May mga araw din na wala na talaga akong baon pero pumapasok pa rin ako, at tinitiis na lang ang kalam ng aking sikmura pag ‘recess’ na,” Hazel added.

“Pero sinisikap ko pa ring pumasok para lang makatapos ng pag-aaral at balang araw, makatulong sa aking mga magulang,” she continued.

But what really broke Hazel’s heart was when her mother decided to work overseas. This has brought sadness in the family especially to the children as they have to live without their mother. Like a table that cannot stand firm because of a lacking leg, the Calano family is crippled without their maternal fortress.

Hazel knows that what her mother did is also for their benefit, so that they can have a good life, but it was really a sad picture for her, until a ray of sunshine beams in – her family became a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

“Hindi ko maipaliwanag ang kasiyahan na aking naramdaman nung nakasama ang aking pamilya sa programang ito,” she gushed.

The Pantawid Pamilya is a poverty-alleviation program that invests in the health and education of poor Filipino children aged 0-18 years old. The beneficiaries receive monthly cash grants in exchange of compliance to health and education conditionalities, and parents must also attend the Family Development Sessions or FDS.

Since then, life began to play a sweet tune for the family because aside from the income of her parents, the cash grant they get augments in sustaining their needs, especially for the school expenses.

“Ngayon kahit papaano, nakakapagsuot na ako ng magandang damit at hindi na tampuhan ng tukso ng aking mga kaklase,” Hazel managed.

She is determined to finish schooling and have a good job someday so that she can free her family from the choking grasp of poverty. Because of her diligence and as a Pantawid benificiary, she became a recipient of the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) in their school that allowed her to have an extra allowance. This gave her an opportunity to lighten the financial demands of her family.

Hazel continues to brave life’s challenges and maintains a positive outlook. She believes that her family will transition to the self-sufficiency level, because all of them are doing his part in the attainment of this goal. His father, battling the scorching heat of the sun to plow the fields; her mother, fighting thousands of miles as she works in a foreign land; and them children, toiling hard in their studies. And also with the help of Pantawid Pamilya, the Calano family is being guided in the right track towards the road to progress.

“Tunay akong nagpapasalamat sa Pantawid Pamilya sa patuloy na pagtulong sa tulad naming mahihirap. Sa mga tao sa likod ng programang ito, asahan niyong hindi ko kayo bibiguin,” Hazel concluded, accompanied with eyes that glitter with hope and a voice that resounds determination. ### By WILMA PASCUA, Municipal Link

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NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

The public, whether an individual, group or organization is invited to submit to DSWD any derogatory report or information on the CSOs who are applying for accreditation to implement programs/projects using government public funds. Check the list of CSOs here...

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