With a goal in mind, a mother from Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro has been preparing for the rain. She has proved that no disability nor poverty shall be an excuse for saving money for the future. Thus when the pandemic came, her family was prepared and confident that they will surpass whatever challenge may come along their way.
Crisales Blando, 41 years old, of Brgy. Payompon, Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro is known in their community for being frugal. “‘Hindi po pwede lumagpas sa budget, kundi wala sa pag-unlad. Bagsak ang aabutin. Kailangan handa po tayo para sa hinaharap.” She always ensures that no peso will be spent on unnecessary purchases and saving money is a priority.
Before becoming a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), only Ruben, her partner, provides for their family. Crisales cannot work because of her disability. She got sick when she was one year old and later on figured out that she has polio. Ruben works as a truck porter (pahinante). He was paid based on how many truckloads and trips his group can make in a day. If they get lucky, he was able to get a Php1,000.00 cut as a payment for a week of work. This must suffice for their food and the education of their son Vic Francis, as well for the medication of Crisales who happened to have diabetes.
Preparing for the rain
“Naranasan po namin ‘yung ayaw ako pautangin. Dahil iniisip po siguro nila na kung na saan naman ako kukuha ng pambayad e wala naman po akong trabaho.” Instead of losing hope and thinking about her disability, Crisales has tried different ways so they can earn more and become financially stable. “Maliban po doon sa 4Ps, nabigyan po ako ng kapital ng SLP na Php15,000.00 na siyang pinampatayo ko po nitong maliit kong tindahan”. Through the financial assistance given by one of the DSWD’s programs in 2019, she was able to put up a small sari-sari (grocery) store.
Crisales has ensured that the assistance from the government will not come to waste. Instead of worrying about the things she cannot do because of her polio and diabetes, she focused on her goal — to grow their business and double their capital. “Kung hindi po importante ang bibilhin, ipunin nalang. Para pagdating ng araw na kailangan, may madudukot kami”, said Crisales when asked about how she manages their income. On the other hand, she also mentioned that the support from her family made it easier for her. Though she cannot walk because of her polio, she got the feet of her partner and son who help her in managing their sari-sari store especially when she buys goods for the store.
Several months after, the 4Ps beneficiary was able to buy farm animals which she considers as an investment. “Pagkatapos po ng ilang buwan, maliban po doon sa refrigerator namin, bumili din po kami ng 1 inahin na kambing at 3 baboy. May napuntahan po ‘yung pa-piso-piso kong tubo sa tindahan”. In addition, Crisales also acknowledges how her attendance to Family Development Sessions (FDS) has helped her in managing their family finances. “‘Yung mga natutunan ko po sa FDS, kung paano i-guide ang pamilya lalo na sa pagtitipid at kung paano kontrolin sa mga bagay na hindi naman dapat pag-aksayahan ng pera. Nai-apply ko po talaga”.
From then on, Crisales realized that saving money does not require a huge income. Instead, being frugal and a goal in mind will make everything work. “Hindi po maaari na lagi nalang magmumukmok sa hirap na nararanasan. Kailangan may pagkilos din po. Hindi naman po aalwa (magiging maginhawa) sa buhay kung walang pagkilos”. She has also taught her son to give value to money. Crisales showed them how to set priorities and give importance to what you have while you have it.
Saving for the future
When the pandemic came, Crisales has opened her door to her fellow beneficiaries. Without second thoughts, she offered them a hand and helped them cope up with the effects of the pandemic. “Noong nagkaroon po ng pandemya, puro utang po talaga sa akin sa tindahan. Pero inuunawa ko po. Hangga’t kaya, pinagbibigyan ko po. Sa akin po, walang problema. Tulungan po kami dahil dumaan din po ako sa ganyang sitwasyon.”
Looking back from how hard it was for them in the past, Crisales continuously inspires her community, especially her fellow 4Ps beneficiaries. “Sabi ko nga po sa kanila, kami noon talagang mahirap. Maski ilang kahid e walang matutuka. Kaya tiyaga lamang po. Hangga’t nabubuhay tayo may pag-asa. Tiyaga-tiyaga lang talaga.” She told them that saving money and her frugality, has supported their family during the pandemic.
For Crisales, having a goal in mind is important. If you want to reach it, you have to work hard for it. She said that saving is like dreaming – it is for all. No disability, gender, status in life, age, and most of all no poverty must be an excuse in preparing for the rain and saving for the future.
As of this moment, Crisales has several investments that include farm animals and rice fields. She also funds fishing (pagpapalaot) of her fellow 4Ps beneficiaries. On the other hand, she never forgets to help other people. She keeps her sari-sari store open to those who need help, especially now that there is a pandemic. ###
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