LA CASTILLANA, Negros Occidental – Most of the people working on a daily basis salary had lost their jobs due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19.
However, it seems that everyone is so ‘madiskarte’ o resourceful during this time as they find ways how to easily cope-up. This might not directly happen to Liquez family of Brgy. Nato, La Castellana, Negros Occidental but their struggle is real when their father Rizaldy lost his job as a truck driver after he was physically paralyzed months before the pandemic.
His wife Rosemarie is a plain housewife and what happened to her husband is a big loss to the whole family since seven of their children are still schooling. Rosemarie became an instant breadwinner. In her solitude moment, Rosemarie sees a little hope on how to survive, whom to run with, and where to start. Tears flow in her eyes while looking into infinity. Later on, a spark in her eyes as she remembers that their household is a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
They still have cash grants to be used for the school needs of their children and some necessities although this is not enough for a big family like them. Added to this, her little hope has been changed into a bigger picture when she saw the courage of her eldest daughter Rejoy. Instead of being stagnant, Rejoy learned to make “yema candy” and she then sold it to their neighborhood and classmates. Her income provides her enough money for her load for wifi allowance and school requirements. Rejoy takes positively their poor family status as her motivation.
She was not ashamed to sell anything in order to pay for all the projects she needs in school. From then on, she was not able to ask for an allowance from her parents, and sometimes with enough money to buy her needs, she gave some of her hard-earned income to her siblings as well.
It was very difficult for the family to survive on their daily needs but they never failed to lose their faith in God. Being a graduate of a Bible School, Rosemarie has taught her children to have faith no matter what circumstances life may bring.
They never failed to be grateful each day even when facing emotional and financial struggles. “If I do not have a strong faith in God, then I would be the first one to surrender because of the problems. But then my eldest daughter showed courage and by no means I have no choice but to be strong for the sake of my children,” said Rosemarie.
Being one of the beneficiaries of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Skills Training on Massage NC II, Rosemarie was able to apply all her learnings with the help of fellow-beneficiaries and friends who believed in her capacity. Later, she was able to have an income between P250 to P750 pesos per day as a masseuse. However, during the time of the pandemic, she temporarily stopped due to health protocols.
“I am so grateful to the 4Ps for it is a big help to my children. I was able to pay their school fees, their vitamins, and food,” she said. Their family is one of those who promote organic farming in their village. Their humble home is surrounded by fruit-bearing trees, vegetables, ornamental plants, and herbal ornaments. With limited resources and income, the family is being ‘madiskarte’ by planting vegetables on their “palayan” as they acquired a two-hectare of land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
They planted different vegetables such as string beans, malunggay, cassava, camote, lemon, and some herbs in their surroundings. The garbage is being kept in a compost pit at the back of their home and being used as an organic fertilizer for their plants and flowers.
Their produce products helped them a lot during this pandemic. Through the pandemic, the bond of the family makes them stronger and continue to fight. It is the support and love of each other that give them hope for the future.
“And during this time when no one knows when this pandemic will end, our family is the first front-line and our last stronghold to do the battle,” added Rosemarie.
On his part, Rizaldy is still helping the family in decision making. Despite his present situation, he makes sure that every problem will have a solution convened by every family member. Every parent dreamed of their children to be successful someday.
If the good Lord will grant our prayers then we wanted to have a business enterprise with all of our children having a promising career in the future,” ended Rizaldy. (Prepared by John Aldrin Mana-ay, ML, La Castillana, Negros Occidental POO2).