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Getting back to dreaming

It has been four years since tuberculosis took Dionisio away from his family. Susan even thought that it was the end of the world for her. Few days after her husband’s funeral, all she did was cry and ask herself “Paano na kami ng mga anak ko? Paano ko kakayaning mag-isa ang lahat?

Susan used to be a full-time mother to Ma. Soledad, Maria Sandra and Ma. Suzette while her late husband worked as a farmer earning just enough to get their family through the day. Everything seemed to be perfect until Dionisio was diagnosed with stage four tuberculosis.

Susan juggled her responsibilities of taking good care of her husband and working for their family. Ma. Soledad and Ma. Sandra both had to stop going to school to help their mother in supporting Dionisio’s medication.

When it rains, it really pours. It became even more difficult for Susan when her second child, Ma. Sandra, got pregnant. She had to keep the dilemma from Dionisio for she worried that it would just worsen the latter’s condition.

Napakahirap po talaga ng buhay namin noon lalo na nang magkasakit na si Dionisio. Napakalaking tulong ng cash grant na tinatanggap namin mula sa Pantawid Pamilya para maipagpatuloy pa rin ni Ma. Suzette ang pag-aaral niya”, Susan Mendoza, 51, shared.

Lost one but gained more

After eight months of battling with his ailment, Dionisio passed away in 2013. Susan had a hard time coping with Dionisio’s loss but she managed to pull herself together again with the help of her Pantawid Pamilya co-beneficiaries. In 2015, she was even given a chance to lead their parent group.

Ang mga kasamahan ko po sa Pantawid Pamilya ang naging kaagapay ko noong nawala si Dionisio. Sila ang tumulong sa akin upang hindi ako masiyadong malungkot”, Susan recalled.

Susan also managed to enroll herself to free trainings in basic soap-making and food processing. She is even confident that her learnings will help her with the livelihood that she and her cobeneficiaries are planning to establish in the future.

Better and stronger Susan

Susan is now busy working as a secretary at Brgy. Dilao’s Barangay Hall in Balayan, Batangas. On her free time, she sells beauty products. She is left with Ma. Suzette who is now in Grade 9 at Balayan National High School while Ma. Soledad works in a hotel in Makati. On the other hand, Ma. Sandra is in Cavite living with her own family.

Though Susan knows that she has to go on with her life, she admits that her success could have been even sweeter if it is celebrated with Dionisio.

Mahirap pong mawalan ng kabiyak kaya nagpapasalamat ako na mayroong ganitong programa. Ang mga natutunan ko mula rito ang tumulong sa aking managarap muli para sa aking mga anak”, Susan proudly said.

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