- Posted January 13, 2014 by
Pantawid Pamilya: A Cradle for the Miserable and Weary
Flordeliz was only 11 years old when she went to Cebu City to work as a housemaid and babysitter since her family would not support her studies. Being one of the sixteen children that her parents would have to raise and feed, she felt that she needed to do things on her own if she wants to achieve her dreams. Earning merely P 500 a month while working in Cebu, Flordeliz knew that she needed to risk more and dream bigger. After her 5 years of working and studying in Cebu, she decided to work in Manila as a housemaid. Manila was too harsh for a girl with a tender age of only 16. After a year, she left Manila.
“Bata pa ko nakakat-on nako nga maningkamot para sa akoang kaugalingon. Gusto gyud ko nga moeskwela, buhaton nako tanan para makahuman ug kolehiyo (I learned to strive and do things on my own as a child. I want to go school and I will do anything to study and graduate from college),” Flordeliz recalls with a glint of tears in her eyes.
Fate took her to Tagum City, Davao del Norte where she found a family who took her under their wing and sent her to school. She studied and worked part-time to sustain her other school needs. When Flordeliz finished high school, she enrolled at Colegio de Capitolio and took and finished a 2-year course in Computer Programming.
In 1998, she met Noel in Davao City. They got married and their union was blessed with 4 children: Johndel, now 12 years old and is in Grade 6; Jasper Kent, 10 years old and in Grade 5; Queenie Jane, 8 and a Grade 3 student; and Janica Lyn, who is 6 year-old Kindergarten student.
She was not able to practice her degree in Computer Programming since she was now busy taking care of their children. Her husband, works as a laborer at a cigarette factory and earns P 265 per day, still not enough to cover all their needs. Flordeliz helps her husband by working as a part-time janitress at Lapu-lapu Elementary School where her children are also attending their primary studies. She earns P 500 a month. She also works as a catechist every Saturday where she earns an additional income of P 100 per month and 5 kilos of rice.
“Naa toy kas-a na naundang sa trabaho ug is aka bulan ang akoang bana kay nag-ilis sila ug agency, lisod kaayo to nga panahon kay usahay mosud-an na lang mi ug asin. Okay ra sa akoa kay nakatesting na man ko ug grabe nga kalisod sauna apan kung ang imong mga anak na ang makit-an nimo na naglisod, doble ang sakit isip ginikanan (There was one time when my husband did not have a job for a month because he changed agencies. That was a very difficult time for us because sometimes our viand was salt. If it was just me, I would be okay but seeing my children suffer brings extreme pain as a parent),” narrates Flordeliz.
She was convinced that her life will forever be a story of pain, hardships and sacrifices until Pantawid Pamilya brought her things she thought elusive. It brought her contentment and happiness. It helped erased the pain and miseries of the past. It helped her dream bigger for her children.
Flordeliz regards Pantawid Pamilya as an attribute to her children’s achievements in school. Johndel, Jasper Kent and Queenie Jane are all in the first section. Queenie was a consistent first honor in her kindergarten. Janica Lyn, on the other hand, finished as second honor in her class when she graduated Daycare.
Aside from the monetary help, the program has provided them with hope and aspiration to do great and strive more in life.
Pantawid Pamilya helps poor families in the country by providing conditional cash assistance to these families to help sustain their basic needs in health, nutrition and education especially of children age 0 to 14 years old.