Tag Archive | "Narra"

An opportunity is what it takes

Hard work and determination can go a long way. But if given an opportunity, opens a lot of doors in making things happen as the case of one simple girl who is now working towards achieving her dreams.

Cherry Vergara, 20, lives with her parents and five siblings in their humble abode in Palawan. A true-born and raised gal from Narra, Cherry studied elementary and high school in the said municipality with honors. She even graduated as Salutatorian in high school.

The closest university to them is in the neighboring municipality of Aborlan. She has to travel for an hour to get to Western Philippines University – Aborlan. With the goal to uplift their family, Cherry graduated as a cum laude this April 2016 who took up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education.

Cherry is never discouraged despite poverty seeming to pull them down. With faith and hope, “Pinapasa-Diyos ko na lang po kapag may mga pangangailangan ako lalo na sa pinansyal at ayon nga po nagugulat na lang po ako nandiyan na po ang solusyon,” recalls Cherry.

The family does not have much. Her father, Noli, is a farmer and works as part-time electrician while her mother, Charity, sells rice cakes. They are thankful that they have the Pantawid Pamilya program that aides them especially for the children’s needs in school.

As for Cherry, she is grateful to have become one of the beneficiaries of the Expanded Students’ Grants-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA). “Malaking-malaki po talaga ang pasasalamat ko po sa DSWD kasi kumbaga imbes na maghahanap pa ako ng pambayad sa school ay mag-aaral na lang po ako,” says Cherry.

ESGPPA is a program of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) that provides scholarships to beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya. Beneficiaries will receive a maximum of Php60,000 for tuition fee, textbooks/learning materials and allowance (transportation, board and lodging and other school supplies). Cherry is thankful for the opportunity that paved way towards achieving her dreams. “Nagpapasalamat ako kasi naging daan ang DSWD na makapagtapos po ako ng pag-aaral,” utters Cherry.

She is currently reviewing in Puerto Princesa City for the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET) on September this year. Now that Cherry has graduated, she wishes that the chance given to her will be given to other poor families and children as well. They just have to never lose hope, believe that they can and work hard as to not waste the opportunity given to them. ###



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Of family and Kalahi-CIDSS: A tale of a man’s struggles

As told by Ernesto F. Bacay, BSPMC Chairperson

Brgy.Calategas, Narra, Palawan


Tears slowly welled up in my eyes as I recount my experience with Kalahi-CIDSS for the past months. Although not yet considered as tears of joy, I hope it can be soon. Nonetheless, it is a manifestation that what I have gone through, as well as my team, is far from easy.

I am glad that I have been part of something big such as Kalahi-CIDSS. Being voted as the Barangay Sub-project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairperson added more to my confidence, as well as built up my character. Engaging in the community-driven development process of Kalahi-CIDSS brought about unity in the barangay. People became more participative and active as they engaged in the same endeavor of addressing our need for clean water.

Our barangay proposed a Level II water system as a sub-project. We do not have access to clean potable water where almost all households have to fetch water from a murky source. This has also brought illnesses especially to children. Hence, this is the sub-project we came up with, which incurred a total amount of Php 3,210,000.00.

We undertook various trainings where we acquired knowledge in procurement and finance and applied what we learned in making the project. We sought help from our community facilitator every time we needed assistance, and she never failed to encourage and push us to do our best. We thought we could do just about anything, as long as the team remains intact and well-coordinated.

But the difficulty is yet to begin. When we thought that everything was going smoothly, it turned out otherwise. Our barangay failed four times in water testing. And three times in the bidding of sub-project materials. We could not be so unfortunate.

Failing in these incidents only meant frequent meetings to facilitate and prepare the necessary documents with the BSPMC and the barangay. We were eager to accomplish what is needed to start the sub-project immediately. I witnessed how everyone worked hard, day and night, just to go over through the documents and check what went wrong. The perseverance of the team inspired me to deliver just as well.

The frequency of meetings, however, did not sit well with my wife. She said that my time for the family has lessened ever since Kalahi-CIDSS came to the barangay. Little did I know that she took count of the times I am doing something for the said project.I argued that what I was doing was for the benefit of the whole community, and specifically for them. All these fell on deaf ears. She even made me choose between Kalahi-CIDSS and our family!

I almost gave up that time. I do not need to choose between the two. I knew right from the start that holding a responsibility in the project would require dedication and time to serve. I had no doubt that I can be a competent BSPMC Chairperson. What my wife did not know was that it was our family that served as my inspiration to go through all the challenges hurled on us by the project. I want my children to grow up with no worries as they will always have clean water. I would like to spare them from the difficulty of accessing clean water, which we had experienced.

I explained all this to my wife and she understood. The same is going smoothly with the sub-project, and we will be able to start it soon. I really couldn’t help but tear up, but this time, of joyous tears. ###

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