- Posted July 19, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Work and motherhood
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The Story of a Responsible Single Mom
Catherine has a 3-year old daughter- Ricci. She dreams of putting up her own beauty salon someday. She works at a beauty salon in Alabang, Muntinlupa. She’s been there since January, 2010. She says her “humility towards her superiors and customers is the main factor why she is still in the said salon.” She works there from 1 to 9 pm. Her 21-year old female cousin babysits for her 3-year old daughter. Catherine has only one day-off every week—Sunday. Sunday is the only day when she can make “special bonding moments” with her young daughter Ricci.
Cathy (Catherine’s nickname) became a beautician by working as an apprentice to a friend who trained as a cosmetologist in a certain technical center. That female friend of hers taught her how to do hairstyling. She was also taught how to do facial-and-body massage and make-up for the salon’s customers. Catherine later decided to train at a TESDA institute in Muntinlupa. “TESDA” is the acronym for Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. TESDA is the government agency that handles and provides policies, direction, standards and programs towards quality technical education and skills development in the Philippines. Every city and town in the Philippines has a TESDA Institute or Training Center that accepts students who want to learn about technical skills that they can use for work. The technical training there lasts for about 3 to 4 months after which the trainee would be given a certificate for finishing a technical course. Cathy has already finished about 5 technical courses from TESDA since she enrolled there in the latter part of 2010.
Catherine started working as a hairstylist in 2009. She later trained at TESDA to learn other technical skills. She took up Facial and Body Massage, Reflexology, Basic Computer Course, Food Technology, and Basic Culinary Arts at TESDA. She started working in a new salon in January, 2010 because such ‘new workplace’ is quite near from her place of residence. She is currently taking up Cosmetology at TESDA. Though she’s already working in a salon, she decided this year to take up Cosmetology to enhance her skills as a hairstylist and beautician.
When I saw the i-Report assignment about working mothers yesterday morning, I called up Cathy to ask for her permission to feature her in the said i-Report assignment. She agreed! I also requested her to be interviewed by me in a video. She also agreed to do the interview and decided to do it at the TESDA Training Center. She is currently training in the said technical institute to learn more skills and better techniques as a cosmetologist. Her training in the said technical learning center lasts for about 4-and-a-half hours. She trains there from 7 to 11:30 in the morning. The training is held from Monday to Thursday. Catherine’s work in a salon is from 1 to 9 pm- Monday to Saturday.
I interviewed Cathy yesterday morning, at around 10 a.m., during her 20-minute break-time in the said training center. She said in the interview that “it’s a little bit hard to be a single mom since she has to depend on her own to support and raise her child.” She also said that, “I am training right now here in TESDA to learn more expertise in the art and science of cosmetology.” She confessed to me that “she also dreams of getting married someday to have a partner that would help her in her duties and responsibilities as a mother.” I learned from the interview that she got pregnant at age 20. Her then boyfriend ran away from her upon learning about the pregnancy and, since then, she never saw him again.
Catherine is right now very active in our church and she helps in educating the youths there about being responsible with their studies and “romantic partners”. She said in the interview that “her brother and two sisters sometimes help her with her finances.” Cathy makes a sideline by selling beauty products to her acquaintances and friends. She also holds reflexology sessions for her friends and neighbors every Friday morning. She has no choice but to work really hard because she’s a single mother and must raise her child decently. Catherine is currently living in a rented house with her 3-year old daughter and a female cousin. She said, “Training here in TESDA would enhance my skills as a cosmetologist and give me more confidence in serving my customers. I can use the additional knowledge that I’ve acquired here in putting up my own beauty salon in some future time. I have this dream of establishing my own beauty salon! I also want to become a well-respected cosmetologist here in the Philippines. My relatives and friends now all want to be my customers because they found out that I’m training here in TESDA.”