MAKATO, AKLAN – The family is the basic unit of society. It is usually composed of a father, who serves as the backbone of the family, a mother who acts as the light of the family, and their children who mirror their parents’ characteristics. Together, they complement each other, building their own dream and putting this into a reality. But what will happen when the family lost its backbone?
Here’s the story of 4Ps beneficiary Marivic Solana, 49, of Brgy. Dumga, Makato, Aklan who serves as the mother and father of her nine children when her husband died.
Marivic was married to Felix Solano. The couple was blessed with nine children, but they opted for their two children to be adopted because of poverty. It was not easy for both of them, but they rested their hearts because their children will have a better future in the hands of their foster parents, who happened to be their relatives.
The couple worked hard raising their children and did everything to give them the best life that they deserve. Marivic works as a labandera and as a viand vendor while her husband was a rice mill operator. Despite the struggles, they keep their faith and continue providing for their family.
The couple felt a little relief when their family became a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary. Somehow they felt that the government is extending its helping hand to reach less fortunate families like them. Their hearts were filled with joy and gratitude, hoping that through the program, they’ll be able to send all their children to school, have better lives and not experience the hardships they have been going through.
But like fairytales, happiness was temporary. In 2017, Marivic’s husband was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia and eventually the cause of his death. Marivic felt helpless and hopeless because she was not used to doing things without her husband.
After the burial, Marivic was still in the denial stage and could not accept that she needs to strive alone for her family. She started to imagine doing things that her husband used to do, such as patching the holes in their roof to prevent rain from dripping inside their house, repairing their tricycle that her husband used to drive whenever he fetches their children from school. It was not easy. It was way too hard that she would sit and cry.
At the onset of her loneliness, Marivic started to compose herself. She diverted her attention by looking for extra income–generating activities. She continued working as a labandera and roaming around their community selling viands.
One day, Marivic reached the point when she felt that her income was not enough to support her family, especially her schooling children. At that very moment, their tricycle, which her husband prohibited her from operating when he was still alive, caught her attention. She instantly decided to try learning how to operate it. With the help of her relatives, she eventually learned how to drive the said vehicle.
Right then and there, Marivic found a new best friend, a new income–generating friend in the face of a three-wheeled machine. Her children were not in favor of her decision for safety reasons, but she insisted, thinking that it was a good diversion activity to mend her broken heart.
At present, Marivic is already a part of the Dumga– Tina Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (DUTITODA) and Makato Women’s Association. At night, she still accepts laundries and still sells viands whenever she has time. When asked how she could do those things without any signs of exhaustion, she would usually say that if men are capable of doing these things, then women can do the same, and she is the living testament.
She also added that if we allow loneliness and helplessness devour us, we will become trashes– useless. But if we consider every problem a challenge and use it as motivation to go on, we will successfully get through it. She also added that one should never think a loss to be equivalent or is tantamount to less because we always have the choice on how to fill in the gaps in our lives, all we need to do is be patient in searching for those missing pieces, have a strong faith to God and self-determination.//Makato MOO, Aklan POO