Soliman visits Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya Province

“Kami sa kagawaran ay natutuwang marinig ang inyong mga kuwento ng tagumpay. Sana ipagpatuloy niyo pa ang mga magagandang pagbabago sa inyong buhay, pamilya at komunidad,” said DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman to the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program during her two-day visit in the provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya on June 3-4, 2015.

Sec. Soliman’s visit highlighted on her interaction with the 200 Parent Leaders of the aforementioned provinces in a Focused Group Discussion. The beneficiaries shared how the Pantawid Pamilya made a positive impact in their lives.

KAYA KO ANG PAGBABAGO!

Soliman listened to the testimonies of the beneficiaries on how the program changed their lives for the better.

“Dati kuntento na ako kung anong meron lang, gaya ang mapag-aral ang anak ko, pero dahil sa Pantawid, mas lumawak ang mga pangarap ko para sa mga anak ko at sa pamilya ko,” said Mary Jean V. Magoncia, a Parent Leader from Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya.

Also through the program, she was empowered and now actively take part in community activities. “Nasa loob lang ako ng bahay dati. Nahihiyang makisalamuha sa mga tao. Pero nung nasa Pantawid na ako, mas lalo akong nagkaroon ng tiwala sa aking sarili at lakas loob na nakikihalubilo sa barangay, at sa mga matataas- tulad ni Governor”.

She also related how the Family Development Sessions (FDS) benefitted her and her husband. “Lagi na lang kami nag-aaway at nagbubulyawan ng asawa ko, dahil kulang-kulang ang pera namin. Ngunit dahil sa pagdalo namin sa FDS at sa mga aral na natutunan namin dito, mas umaayos ang pakikitungo namin sa isa’t isa,” Mary Jean ended.

The beneficiaries also had the opportunity to raise their concerns to which the Secrtary responded.

THE CALL FOR CONVERGENCE

“Mahalaga ang pagtutulungan ng pamahalaan sa lahat ng antas- sa nasyonal, sa pangrehiyon, sa probinsiya at sa bawat bayan upang masiguro ang maayos at mas epektibong pagpapatupad ng mga programa at serbisy lalo na sa mga nangangailangan,” Soliman emphasized during her interaction with the local officials of the two provinces, headed by Gov. Junie E. Cua of Quirino and Gov. Ruth R. Padilla of Nueva Vizcaya.

The Secretary stressed that convergence among all levels and sectors in vital in eradicating poverty and in uplifting the well-being of the poor.

Soliman’s itinerary capped off with a visit in the project sites under the Sustainable Livelihood Program or SLP. The first stop was the vegetable farm of the Sulong Dibul SEA-K Association in Brgy. Dibul, Saguday, Quirino. The beneficiaries also showcased their products made from fossilised fuel which are being sold in and out of the country. Soliman also witnessed the basket-weaving and broom-making livelihood of the beneficiaries under the May-Pag-asa SEA-K Association in Brgy. Baliling, Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya.

In her entire visit, Soliman was joined by DSWD Regional Director Remia T. Tapispisan together with the members of the ManCom and some staff of the Pantawid and SLP from the Regional Program Management Office. ### By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Information Officer II- Pantawid Pamilya

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FEATURE: In Her Own Little Ways

“Dahil sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, nagkaroon ako ng tiwala sa aking sarili na kaya ko ring makiharap sa mga tao na mula sa iba’t-ibang yapak ng buhay,” Mae said, with her eyes that shines with strength and hope.

Her family is one of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid program in Tuao, Cagayan. She is a loving wife and a caring mother to her husband and children. But aside from this, she also squeezes her time as an active Parent Leader who takes charge in disseminating information to her members about the schedule of Family Development Sessions and meetings.

“Bilang isang Parent Leader, sinisikap kong gampanan ng mabuti ang aking mga tungkulin. Sa pamamagitan ng aking mga simpleng pamamaraan, nasi ko ring makatulong sa aking mga kapwa benepisyaryo,” she shared.

Mae is well-loved and is much-respected by her members because she executes her responsibilities admirably. A doting matriarch and a responsible Parent Leader, these are the adjectives that can be used to describe her. But Mae also rolls up her sleeves as a Barangay Health Worker, a Community Health Team partner, and a Barangay Human Rights Action officer.

She performs these roles with enthusiasm, with the goal of making a positive influence in the lives of her fellow beneficiaries.

“Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila na ang kahirapan ay hindi makakasagabal sa pagpapaunlad ng ating mga pagkatao,” Mae expressed. She added that poverty, when dealt with an optimistic perspective, can be actually used as a motivation to transform one’s self into a better version he could ever be. And as for Mae, she used poverty as an instrument to touch and make a change, even just little, in the lives of her co-beneficiaries.

Mae owes this huge positive change through the program’s Family Development Sessions. According to her, the FDS has strengthened her knowledge and has awakened her soul on how to be a more responsible and active member of the society.

“Dati, nahihiya akong makihalubilo sa ibang tao dahil nandun yung takot at hiya. Pero dahil sa FDS, nabawasan ang mababang pagtingin sa aking sarili. Nagsimula akong magkaroon ng tiwala sa aking kakayahan at potensyal,” she added.

Mae is grateful for the program because it made her believe that there is something she can do, despite the lack of money. Pantawid is also able to augment the needs of her children in school.

“Napakaraming mabuting pagbabago ang dumating sa aming buhay dahil sa Pantawid Pamilya. Nakakatulong ito sa mga pangangailangan ng aking mga anak gaya sa pagbili ng notbuk at pagbayad ng mga fees. Nasisiguro ko rin ang kanilang kalusugan dahil sa regular na pagpapacheck-up,” Mae emphasized.

But greater than this, she concluded that through the program, Mae began to have faith in herself and trust in her abilities. In her own little ways, she is able to make big changes not just in the lives of her fellows, not just in the community where she belongs, but most of all, she made a big change in herself. ###By JANET A. BALMORES, Municipal Link of Tuao, Cagayan

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FEATURE: Afraid No More

Fear will always be a part of a person’s life. It could turn into a weakness that could hinder anyone in everything that he wants to do. Thus, the choice lies in the person’s hands whether he would be afraid in his whole life or he can choose to face his fears and turn his weakness into strength. And along with this idea, the story of Gina Viloria comes to life.

Manang Gina is a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from Buguey, Cagayan. Because she was not able to finish her studies, she has many apprehensions in life. “I never had the courage to speak for myself,” said.

“I don’t have the ability to stand up for myself. How could I? I’m poor and I didn’t finish college. All these things make me weak, especially that I, too, have succumbed to the cruelty of domestic violence,” she continued.

Gina and her husband have been together for almost a decade. But those ten years were not all hugs and kisses for the couple. Unfortunately, Gina experienced all types of abuses from the own hands of her husband- physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse.

But she kept her lips sealed and continued living with her husband despite the pains and the tears. Gina endured the situation for the sake of her children, and their future. She was blinded with the belief that it was only her husband who can provide for the family’s needs, that as a woman, and as a housewife, she can’t do anything to bring food to the table.

“My husband is loving and responsible, but that changes when he is already under the influence of liquor. Drunk, he begins to make my life gloomy and miserable,” Gina shared.  “I wanted to run away from him, to fight back, but I can’t. I just can’t. I’m scared,” she added.

Yet, a big change entered Gina’s life that made her strong and stand in her feet. That’s when she became a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya.

“Through the Family Development Sessions, I learned about the rights bestowed to men and women. I understood what gender equality and equity means. I learned my rights and that there are laws which protect me as a woman. Through the FDS, I began recognizing my potentials and realized that I can do something for my family, for myself, for my children,” she stated.

Now, her belief has changed. Gina now knows that a woman can also stand up for herself. She developed the courage to defend herself. She became strong enough to report her case to the Municipal Social Welfare Development Office, and there she found out that there are people who are ready to help her.

Gina now believes that a woman can do anything that a man does, that a woman or a wife, a mother, can also roll up her sleeves and provide for her family. She believes that she can perform even the role of her husband, and she can do it better.

Presently, Gina works as a farm laborer. Aside from this, she also juggles her schedule as a laundrywoman and as a junk collector, she goes house to house to collect and buy bottles for selling to junkshops.  Tiring as it may seem, but she manages to perform these jobs to make both ends meet for her family, and not solely depend on her husband.

Gina still lives with her husband, but now, it’s a totally different situation. No more pains. No more tears. She does not allow herself to fall prey under her husband’s rage because she already knows where to go. And she possesses the courage to fight for herself.

It took painful years, countless sacrifices and oceans of tears before Gina finally stepped out from the dark and danger zone. She took thousands different steps for her to become fearless and fight for what is right and appropriate.

“I was able to understand that great change will always start at me; I chose not be silent anymore and not be afraid anymore because of my weaknesses. My children are my source of strength and will forever be my motivation to continue to my fight against violations or abuses. I do not want my children witness and experience this agonizing situation. I do not want to waste or compromise their talents, their intelligence just because I choose to be fearful and quiet,” Gina uttered.

Now, her life is very much different from what has been. She’s happier. What inspires her more to always be a better version of herself is that her children are performing well in their school.  Her two daughters, who are in Grade III and Grade V, are reaping grades of flying colors and are constant  honor students in their classes.

“I owe these changes in my life to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. I am now able to perform my task as a caring mother to my children. I was able to provide sufficient time for them. I was able to provide their needs especially in their school.  I learned not to depend too much to my husband and to what he can provide to us and most of all, I was able to understand my rights as a human and as a woman,” Gina concluded.

There are things in life that we choose not to fight because we are so much afraid of its effects, to us and to other people, even if our freedom, our peace and rights as human are being compromised. However, we can never lock ourselves from our fears, from all our weaknesses. We have to fight and learn how to fight for our rights not because we want to win but because we have to win, for our love ones and for their safer and peaceful tomorrow. ### MAC PAUL V. ALARIAO, PDO II- Gender and Development

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FEATURE: Half-way There

Aling Delia is a loving housewife and a budding entrepreneur rolled into one. She attends to her husband and children’s daily needs. Also, she has a small business of buying and selling tobacco.She buys dried tobacco leaves from Benito Soliven and rolls it ready for selling. She buys the tobacco for P100 pesos per bundle and sells it for P130 pesos per bundle too.

Her family is in Set 1 of Pantawid. The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Aling Delia said, taught them to be more responsible parents and citizens. They also use the money to buy for medicines and school materials. Aling Delia even bragged that the contributions of her children to school were already taken care of.

But greater than the transformation of their behavior, the Pantawid Pamilya has also equipped them with knowledge and an empowered spirit which serve as their armor against life’s tribulations.

INVOLVEMENT IN THE COMMUNITY

Aling Delia is very active in their community, Barangay San Pablo, San Mariano, Isabela. Just like any other parent leader, Aling Delia has many responsibilities like spearheading the conduct of meetings, monitoring of the use of cash grant and those who might use if for gambling and advising parents on how to treat their children.

Aling Delia is very popular in their place; she is called as “Ate Delia” and proves to be a very effective parent leader adored by her members.

She is also the President of the SALBABIDA SKA (Self Employment Assistance Kaunlaran Association).

On June 2011, Aling Delia’s Salbabida SKA received an amount on P75, 000 pesos from DSWD Field Office II to put up a small business in their barangay. The Salbabida has income generating ventures like a mini-grocery, selling of “balot” and “penoy”, and the making of “baki” which is made up of bamboo where chickens can lay their eggs.

When asked why Salbabida is the name of their SKA? Aling Delia said, “Diba kasi ma’am pag nalulunod ka, salbabida ang sasagip sayo? Kaya yun ang pinili kong pangalan namin. Kasi ito ang sasagip sa amin sa kahirapan.”

Aling Delia’s betterhalf,  Mang Ricky , 47 works as a Tricycle Driver and at the same time, a Palay Farmer. He also spends most of her free time as a Barangay Tanod. He makes sure that barangay San Pablo is peaceful. Together with his colleagues, they often stay at waiting sheds to watch out for those who might cause trouble.

Just like his wife, Man Ricky is also active in community organizations. He is the president of the Parents and Teachers Community Association (PTCA) of San Pablo Elementary School. He spearheads the formulation of plans that can contribute in the improvement of the school and its students. They also conduct monthly general cleaning of the school.

GIFTED AND PROUD PARENTS

Aling Delia and Mang Ricky are blessed with three smart children. They are Carol, 15, in 3rd year highschool and wants to be a Flight Attendant; Derick, 12, 1st year highschool, Seaman; and Jenny, 8, Grade 3, Teacher. The three are honor students and are active in extra-curricular activities. They are members of their school’s drum and lyre corps.

The Abella children are very ambitious, but are very much motivated. They know that they have to toil hard if they want to be successful. And sure they can, with the love  and support of their parents; nothing can hinder them from grasping success.

Aling Delia and Mang Ricky are saving up for their children’s future. They really wanted that Carol will become a Flight Attendant, Derick as a Seaman and Jenny as a Teacher.

They also make extra income through their vegetable garden which has a vast array of trees, vegetables and plants. Name it, they have it: gabi, munggo, sitaw, bitwelas, santol, saging, kamoteng kahoy, suha, malunggay, papaya and mangga.

Little by little, the Abella family is reaping what they have sown. With Aling Delia and Mang Ricky’s hard work and their children’s impressive intellectual perspicacity, the Abellas are halfway there. ###By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Information Officer- Pantawid Pamilya

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DSWD stages celeb event for Pantawid Pamilya high school graduates

“Pagtatapos niyo, tagumpay ng Pilipino!”

This was the highlight statement during the series of provincial celebration event for the high school graduates of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in the region.

The festivity kicked-off in Cabarroguis, Quirino on April 27, 2015 which was followed by three provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan and Isabela from April 28-30, 2015 respectively.

Children beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from the four provinces who graduated from high school together with their parents, and partners from the local government units, civil society organizations, academe and media graced the celebration.

Exemplary graduates from the provinces also shared their transformation stories on how the Pantawid Pamilya program brought positive impacts on their lives, especially on their education.

“When we were not yet a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya, my parents always come to school asking for promissory during exams because we don’t have enough money to finance my needs,” Rhealyn Zonio, a valedictorian from Diffun, Quirino, shared.

She also added that her parents still borrow money from relatives whenever there are seminars and contests, but everything changed when the program came to their lives.

Rhealyn continued, “It was in 2012 when we became a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya. Since then, I was able to pay my school obligations on time and I can always attend seminars and co-curricular activities without thinking where to borrow for the expenses. Indeed, being in the program motivated me to study harder and I finished high school at the top of my class.”

In her message, DSWD Regional Director Remia T. Tapispisan encouraged the graduates to continue the positive change within them and continue reaching for their dreams.

“Kami sa DSWD ay tunay na nagagalak na masaksihan ang bunga n gaming programa. Kayo ang mga patunay na ang Pantawid Pamilya, at maging ang mga programa ng gobyeno ay nasa tamang daan upang masugpo ang kahirapan. Ipagpatuloy niyo ang pag-aaral ng mabuti at lagi niyong patunayan na ‘Kayang-kaya niyo ang magandang pagbabago!”, Tapispisan said.

For this year, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has produced the first batch of graduating high school students with a total of more than 300, 000 students nationwide. For the region, there are a total of            5, 560 children beneficiaries who graduated from high school.

The “Pagdiriwang para sa mga Pantawid Pamilya High School Graduates” was conducted nationmwide to recognize the achievements the high school children beneficiaries.

The event was also a manifestation of how the program positively affects the lives of its beneficiaries and its contribution in keeping the children at school, which is vital in harnessing increased support from the stakeholders. It also served as a venue for the graduating students to be linked to opportunities such as scholarship, internship and part-time jobs that will help them realize their dreams of finishing their studies.

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. Cash grants are provided to families in exchange of compliance to health and education conditionalities. Parents must also attend the Family Development Sessions. ### By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Information Officer II- Pantawid Pamilya

 

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Pantawid benefs share life-changing stories, inspire audience

Beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from the provinces of Quirino and Isabela drew admiration from the spectators as they shared how DSWD’s programs and services changed their lives during the conduct of the remaining legs of the CSO-Led Fora recently.

“Since we became a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilya, lots of positive changes happened into our lives,” Ronelyn Resureccion, a beneficiary and a Parent Leader from Nagtipunan, Quirino, shared.

Resureccion said that through the cash grants they receive, her children are now enjoying a healthy breakfast before they go to school which make them perform better in class. Also, they can already afford to pay her children’s school obligations.

“But more than the financial help, the program has improved my knowledge through the Family Development Sessions (FDS) and capacitated me to fully develop my potentials through the trainings I attended,” she added.

Also, scholars under the Student’s Grants in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGP-PA) shared how the government is helping them to be closer to their dreams.

Aiza Wakit, was an ESGP-PA scholar when she was pursuing Bachelor of Secondary Education in Nueva Vizcaya State University- Bayombong Campus. She now works at the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) of Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.

The SGP-PA is a tie-up college scholarship program of DSWD and the Commission on Higher Education for the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamila wherein a student grantee is entitled to a maximum of P30, 000 pesos per semester.

The series of CSO-Led Fora conducted aimed at showcasing and strengthening the department’s partnership with the Civil Society Organizations. The activities in Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya were spearheaded by the Quirino Ministers Fellowship and by the I-HELP.

Meanwhile, 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. Cash grants are provided to families in exchange of compliance to health and education conditionalities. Parents must also attend the Family Development Sessions. ### By MARICEL B.ASEJO, Information Officer II- Pantawid Pamilya

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VALEDICTORY ADDRESS: Turning Dreams into Reality, One Step at a Time

(Delivered by Rachel Joyce R. Tattao, a children beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Jones, Isabela, during the ‘Pagdiriwang sa mga Pantawid Pamilya High School Graduates’ of the province on April 30, 2015.)

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Rachel continues to brave the challenges that come her way. “Kahirapan ang pinakamatamis nakapaitan sa ating buhay. Akala ng iba napakalaking pasakit ang ating kinakaharap dahil sa lugar na ating kinasasadlakan ngunit lingid sa kanilang kaalaman, ito ang lubos na nagpapatatag sa ating mga puso at nagpapatibay ng ating pagkatao,” she said.

I was once a normal student, simple and aim to be successful to help my parents. Everyone dreams about success, to fulfill every ambition.

Kahirapan ang pinakamatamis nakapaitan sa ating buhay. Akala ng iba napakalaking pasakit an gating kinakaharap dahil sa lugar na ating kinasasadlakan ngunit lingid sa kanilang kaalaman, an gating kalagayan ang lubos na nagpapatatag sa ating mga puso at nagpapatibay ng ating pagkatao. Ito ang pumanday sa aking determinasyon upang magpursigi na makamit ang lahat ng aking mga pangarap para sa pamilya ko. Ang kahirapan ay hindi dapat maging hadlang sa pagkamit n gating mga adhikain.

Sa isang napakalayong lugar ng Jones, Isabela nakatira ang aming pamilya. Sa isang maliit at gawa sa kahoy na bahay ako bumabangon araw-araw. Sa paggising ko sa umaga, hindi ko alam kung ilang pagsubok pang aming kakaharapin. Apat kaming magkakapatid, pangalawaako at nag-iisang babae. Ang bunso naming ay isang specialchild kaya a toto lang, mas lalo akong magsusumikap para sakanya at sa aking pamilya. Ang mama ko ay isang huwarang ina dahil nandiyan siya para alalayan kami, nag-aalaga at nagmamahal sa amin.

Ang aking ama naman ay isang magsasaka. Araw-araw siyang nasa bukid kahit tirik ang araw at minsan malakas ang ulan. Sila ang nagsisilbing sandalan ko sa mga oras na nahihirapan ako. Ang kanilang sakripisyo ang nagpapatatag sa akin araw-araw kahit sobrang hirap. Yung tipong pag papasok ako, kailangan kong pagkasyahin ang baon ko, pag may project, nahihiya akong magsabi dahil baka wala silang maibigay o yung tipong may contest akong sasalihan, at mangungutang pa upang makapunta ako.

Bilang isang estudyante, ang aking motto ay “Endure the hardship of learning than to taste the bitterness of ignorance.” Noon, punung-puno ako ng pangamba dahil baka hindi ako makatapos ng pag-aaral but everything was changed.

I was delighted when the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program came into our lives. The government helps us, the reason why I studied harder. I challenged myself and my perseverance pushed me to excel in academics and extra-curricular. I am very happy and fortunate that my family was chosen to be a beneficiary. I know I’m not yet done with my journey, but as I look back, I can finally say, I have fulfilled one of my dreams, and that is to finish highschool, and to graduate as the top student, as a valedictorian from Sgt. Prospero G. Bello High School!

I know this will open more opportunities for me. I want to prove that I was worth to be chosen to make a difference as a student and as a Filipino citizen.

Let me just share to you some of my experiences when my family became a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilya program.

Napakadaming nagbago, naging sapat na yung baon ko araw-araw. Nakakabayad na ako kaagad kapag may project at kapag nakikicontest ako, hindi na kailangang mangutang. Sa mga pagbabagong natamo ko, marami akong naranasan.

Noong nakarang taon, hindi ko inaasahan na ako ang napili ng probinsiya ng Isabela na ipanlaban sa Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Child sa buong rehiyon, and fortunately, I brought home the bacon. Ako po ang itinanghal na most exemplary Pantawid Pamilya child beneficiary sa buong Lambak ng Cagayan at naging kinatawan sa National Children’s Congress sa Manila.

Memorable po sa akin ang pagkakataong iyon dahil sa ako po ay nakasakay sa eroplano, na dati ay isang pangarap lang para sa akin. But because of the program, that dream turned into a reality.

For the five days that I was with my fellow Pantawid beneficiaries who are at the same time exemplary children representing the different regions, I had the chance to meet DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman and Senator Bam Aquino, and even some artists from GMA and ABS-CBN. I thought that’s the only experience I can have because of Pantawid Pamilya but just last week, I was sent once again to Manila to join the national celebration event for Pantawid Pamilya high school graduates in Araneta Coliseum.

I got the chance to talk to Senator Mar Roxas and hear the words of encouragement of no other than our dearest President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. We shook hands and took pictures at the same time. I also learned different stories of the top beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya in NCR, and heard the golden voices of Darlene and Lyka of The Voice Kids. I can say that I’m very lucky. That experience is truly a one in a million. Noon, pinangarap ko lang makatunton sa Maynila at dahil sa Pantawid Pamilya, lahat yung ay nabigyan ng katuparan. My dreams came true when Pantawid Pamilya stepped into the picture. Pantawid Pamilya changed my life, our lives, for the better.

Gawin nating hamon ang kahirapan and let us challenge ourselves to surpass all the tribulations that may come our way. Lahat ng bagay ay mahirap ngunit hindi ito imposible sa sikap, determinasyon, tiwala sa sarili at pananalig sa Diyos lahat ay magiging magaan lamang.

Tandaan natin na ang buhay ay parang rosas. Makikita molamang ang tunay na ganda at halimuyak nito kung handa kang masugatan sa mga tinik nito. Kakayanin ko ang lahat at papatunayan ko na kaya ko ang pagbabago.

Maraming salamat!

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VALEDICTORY ADDRESS: 4Ps- Pagtupad sa Pangarap ng Pamilyang Pilipino

(Delivered by Jayson Reperuga, a children beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, during the ‘Pagdiriwang sa mga Pantawid Pamilya High School Graduates’ of the province on April 29, 2015.)

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“Finally, I graduated as the class valedictorian of Aparri East National High School. I know that the achievement I have right now is the result of my parents love, care and sacrifices. Along with this humble success are different individuals who helped me and my family. I am thankful for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Propgram of the Department of Social Welfare and Development,” Jayson gratefully expressed in his speech.

Before anything else, let me express our wholehearted gratitude to the Lord Almighty who enlivened us to praise and glorify Him forever.

Respected guests, our parents, fellow graduates, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

Graduation from the second ladder of basic education is an accomplishment one can be proud of. This is the fruit of our continuing toil and determination coupled with the unending sacrifices of our loving parents and the untiring efforts, guidance and encouragement of our beloved mentors. And now, the long-awaited moment, the culmination of long and struggling days of survival and hardship has finally come at last.

Gentle and sweet breeze as those early summer evenings may have the loveliest time of a day in my life. Long, restless nights before I came to this. Hours and days passed by slowly, I kept my mind occupied. I played a game with myself in which I tried to recall the happenings of each year in life.

In the early years of my childhood, I didn’t quite understand what my role was all about. I always wondered of my existence and why is it that I have to go to school everyday. When I was growing up, I found out the answer by myself. I saw the reality. I knew the kind of life my family has. We are just poor people struggling in this society. Thus, I understood that it is my purpose to help uplift my family from the course of poverty.

That is why, when I entered high school, I set forth my mind the plan which I will be putting into reality with the goal of reaching the success that will become the key for the realization of my purpose in life.

One morning, I woke up early. I was struck with the light of our lamp. I saw my parents busy preparing kakanin,tinudu and kalasukus. My father was the one cooking and does the preparation while my mother is the one who sells. She sells at the market and streets of Aparri. My mother is very popular in our community because of the delicious kakanin she is known to be a hardworking parent. These are the daily activities of my parents and I love watching them because I am assured that they love us so much.

That was also the time that I figured out the hardships and sacrifices that my parents experience everyday just to support us. Sometimes I hear them talking about their aching hands, feet and body. I know making kakanin is not easy. I dreamt that one day, my parents will not do this again.

That was also the time I realized that I must also help them through my own simple ways, so I accepted some friendly jobs and worked as a gardener and an errand boy, so that I can have an allowance for the coming weeks. I also sell kakanin at schools during recess and vacant time.

These became my weekly activities until I became used to it. These experiences became my weapon against struggles in life.   I also devised some strategies to maximize my free time without neglecting my studies. I became more inspired when I became a consistent honor student.

Finally, I graduated as the class valedictorian of Aparri East National High School. This motivated me to do better in college. And nothing can make me happier than giving my college diploma to my parents. This is my ultimate ambition. I know that the achievement I have right now is the result of my parents love, care and sacrifices.

Along with this humble success are different individuals who helped me and my family. I am thankful for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Propgram of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

My family started with the Pantawid Pamilya program in 2012. For four years, the program has been very helpful to me especially in supporting my educational needs.

Yes, the Pantawid Pamilya program helps us financially. Because of this, I became more encouraged and concentrated in my school activities knowing that the government has chosen my family to be one of the fortunate recipients of the program. I’ve never get so much problems on my school fees, not only to me but also to my siblings as well. I can also say that the small business of my parents is already sustainable because their capital is in-tact and they don’t need to spend it for our daily allowance. In this way, I can say that my family is blessed.

The Pantawid Pamilya program also helped my parents in embracing their responsibilities. Part of this program is the conduct of Family Development Sessions which my parents attend regularly. They have learned a lot and our family benefits from their learnings. My parents developed productive socialization skills, enhanced spiritual life and became more responsible to our family.

One of the topics that has an impact to my parents is “Time Management.” Through this topic, my parents learned how to budget and manage their time wisely on things we do in a day, in a week or in a month. Time is one of the most important things in life; it can never be replaced nor stopped. Through FDS, my parents also learned about faith and spiritual education, health and others.

Though I haven’t attended any FDS, my mother makes sure that she shares her learnings to us, so we became more educated and aware on the things that the program wants us to learn and to have.

Truly, it was helpful to us in many ways. For me, the 4Ps does not just stand for “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” but it also means “Pagtupad sa Pangarap ng Pamilyang Pilipino.” Thank you to all the people behind this program.

To end, I will leave you a passage from Walt E. Disney that I believe summarizes our journey in life, “All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Let us be confident and continue to show the valor for which we will always be remembered.

Thank you and congratulations!

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