Nestor and Milagros Nario, beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from Brgy. Mahipon in Cavinti, Laguna Province, are proud of their youngest daughter Maralyn’s achievement when she graduated third in her high school class last March. Although Maralyn’s graduation from high school also means their family’s graduation from the Pantawid Pamilya program, the three of them commit to work harder for Maralyn’s college education. According to them, they’ll be bringing with them the lessons of the program, especially on continuously working hard and supporting each other to achieve their dreams of a better life for their family.***
More inspired to move forward after Pantawid Pamilya
As the youngest in the family, Maralyn Nario, 16, looks up to her six siblings for almost about everything. For her, they are her role models and have ever since helped her in making decisions about life.
After graduating from high school last March, she made the best decision she learned from her siblings so far—that is to continue going to college and achieve her dreams.
Five of her siblings finished only high school; one has finished college. Comparing their life situations, Maralyn is smart enough to know which route to take.
“Base po sa nakikita ko, malaki ang kaibahan kapag nakatapos kang college kumpara sa high school. ‘Yung ate ko po, teacher na ngayon, professional na s’ya at may regular natrabaho. ‘Yung iba ay nagtatrabaho sa factory o nagbubukid at alam namin na kahit kelan, p’wede silang mawalan ng trabaho. Walang kasiguruhan ‘yung trabaho nila,” shared Maralyn, a resident of Brgy.Mahipon in Cavinti, Laguna Province.
This inspired her to pursue going to college. After finishing third in her class, she is certain that going to college will develop her potentials better and help her succeed in life. She is hopefulthat she’ll pass in any of the scholarship programs she applied for to help ease the financial burden of a college education.
In the coming school year, she plans to take Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in Laguna State Polytechnic University in the province’s capital.
All throughout her childhood, Maralyn has experienced life’s difficulty being raised from a big family. She experienced going to school without much of the support of her parents.
“Busy lagi sila sa paghahanap buhay kaya wala na silang oras para sa amin. Kahit mga meetings sa school, hindi na nila napupuntahan,” shared Maralyn.
Milagros, 53, Maralyn’s mother, admits to her daughter’s confession.
“Napakahirap talaga ng magpalaki ng pitong anak. Nagpapaupa kaming mag-asawa sa bukid at minsan ay tumatanggap din ako ng labada para pantustos sa mga pangangailangan nila,” shared Milagros.
Despite their financial struggles, Milagros and husband Nestor, 55, both understand that sending their children to school is important. According to them, sending them at least until high school will enable their children to be better employed and have better lives.
“Wala kaming tigil sa kakahanapbuhay para maitaguyod sila. Hindi na kami makaipon kahit ng maliit na pang-puhunan man lang para sa aking pananahi dahil lahat talaga ng kinikita namin, nagagastos para sa pangangailangan nila,” shared Nestor.
Life became easier for the couple when the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program came in 2013. Although Maralyn is the only child qualified to be a beneficiary of the program, the family is thankful that it opened a lot of opportunities for them, especially for their youngest.
“Noon, talagang ramdam ko na nahihirapan kaming maghanap kung saan kukuha ng pera para sa mga gastusin sa school. Pero dahil sa Pantawid, nasalihan ko na lahat ng activities na gusto ko. Nakakapunta na ako sa iba’t ibang lugar para lumaban sa mga contests at doon ay mas natututo ako lalo nasa pakikisalamuha sa kapwa ko bata,” shared Maralyn.
This change in her life only fueled Maralyn’s desire to study harder. She gives credit to the Pantawid Pamilya program for inspiring her to dream bigger and eventually graduate on top of her class.
A new challenge in the family
As she is rewarded by her high school diploma and her recognitions, Maralyn is now ready to face college. However, her graduation from high school meant their family’s graduation from the Pantawid Pamilya program as well.
In the Pantawid Pamilya program, family-beneficiaries are supported until all child-beneficiaries reach 18 years old or finish high school, whichever comes first.
Though Maralyn and both her parents acknowledge how the lack of support from the program will affect their family in the years to come, they do not worry.
“Hindi ako kinakabahan na wala na kami sa Pantawid. Patuloy pa rin kaming magsisikap para suportahan si Maralyn sa kanyang pag-aaral. Nagpapasalamat kami sa oportunidad na binigay ng programa lalong lalo na sa pagtuturo nito sa amin na patuloy na magsumikap para sa ikabubuti ng aming pamilya,” shared Milagros.
Maralyn agrees with her mother. According to her, she can deal with the financial struggles during college. What matters to her is to have her parents’ support every step of the way to her dreams.
“Napansin ko na dahil sa Pantawid, naging mas suportado sa aking pag-aaral ang aking mga magulang. Nagkaroon sila ng oras para sa akin at ‘yun ang gagamitin kong inspirasyon para magtagumpay,” said Maralyn.
As the youngest in the family, Maralyn has seen how her parents worked hard to support all of them. At this point in her life, she does not doubt a bit that they’ll do everything they can to help her achieve her dreams. And to pay them back, she knows getting a college diploma, a good job and a better life would be more than enough for their sacrifices.***