Lorena S. Besana, a native of Mindoro, is married to Jessie Besana, a fisherman of Barangay Agojo, Panay, Capiz and together, they were blessed with four children.
When they started building their lives as a family, the couple faced many sufferings before reaching where they are today. To mention, with fishing as the couple’s main source of income, they are very dependent on her husband’s hard work and the fishing season. The couple’s major issues are always about financial problems faced whenever one of their children is sick. Hospitalization and medication costs are always a big burden to the family. For an instance, their eldest who is now a public school teacher, experienced switching his school shoes with slippers when walking to and from school.
In 2010, Lorena and her family became a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program household beneficiary. The program has helped them financial especially with the schooling of their children. It was in 2016 when Lorena received Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) amounting to P10,000.00 which the couple utilized to repair their fish nets and fishing gears.
Due to natural wear-and-tear, their fishing boat became weak in structure causing the couple to stop their fishing activities last 2018 to 2019. DSWD-Sustainable Livelihood Program’s Livelihood Assistance Grant amounting to P15,000.00 received by Lorena last August 25, 2020 has paved the way for the couple to start rebuilding their fishing boat. With the financial support given by their eldest son, the couple has managed to rebuild their fishing boat, Darling, named after their youngest daughter.
Currently, Jessie continuously go fishing depending on the weather condition and Lorena sells the fishes her husband catches from the sea. Recently, during off-season for fishing, they earn an average monthly income of P7,300.00. With their income, they gradually construct their house, give regular wages to Jessie’s two helpers in their fishing boat operations, and Lorena is able to buy household items necessary in their home.
To save on operating expenses, they personally weave their own fish nets and Jessie always takes good care of their fishing boat. Lorena also cooks and sells home-made delicacies called “malido” to earn additional income.
According to Lorena, “Amligan kag alagaan ang pangitan-an. Sa aton pagpangabuhi, dapat kabalo ka mag-antos. I-respeto ang asawa kag amligan ang kabataan. (Do good and take care of livelihood. In life, you should know how to handle sufferings. Always respect your spouse and do well for your children.)”
To conclude, Lorena says, “Nagapasalamat gid ako sa SLP nga naghatag sa akon sang bag-o nga tsansa, nakabulig nga makapundar ako liwat sang “patuloy” nga nag-untat na kami isa ka tuig. Pero sa subong ara naman, nagbalik kay tungod isa ako sa mapalaron nga nakakuha sang Livelihood Assistance Grant sang SLP. Gani, nagapasalamat gid ako sa DSWD kag sa 4Ps nga nagbulig sa amon pagpangabuhi sa sulod sang pila na ka tuig. Madamo gid nga salamat! (I am very thankful for SLP for giving me a new chance to rebuild our fishing business which has stopped for a year but is now back. This happened because I was able to avail of the Livelihood Assistance Grant of SLP. That is why I am very grateful of DSWD and the 4Ps which has helped our family for many years now. Thank you very much!)”#