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Shimmer of hope found in Shing-a-ling!

Parents do everything for their children. This includes the Lorena and Jacinto Castor of Brgy Balayhangin, Calauan, Laguna. They have 5 children whose ages ranges from 7 to 20 years. Their only desire is for all their children to be able complete their studies.

“Di po namin alam kung saan kukuha ng mga pangpa-aral kase halos magkakasunod po edad ng mga anak namin at ang asawa ko ay wala naman permanenteng trabaho,”Lorena said.

As their children are growing up, Nanay Lorena is worried that their income is not improving. In order to raise funds for their kids, she grabbed opportunities to sell any goods that she can sell.

“Nagtinda po ako ng tinapa, peanut butter, nag ukay-ukay din ako, nagbenta ng door-mat, basta po kung sino magbigay paninda kinukuha po namin,” Nanay Lorena said.

They are determined to fully support their children’s needs so they have also tried to make kakanin, ube halaya, sinukmani and puto.

With all their efforts, Nanay Lorena acknowledged that it has been hard for them to provide for their children’s education. They even resorted to borrowing money from friends and some relatives to support their children’s needs at school.

Helping Hand’

Nanay Lorena found hope to support her children’s schooling when she became a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in 2012.

Pantawid is a project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. It aims to improve the health, nutrition and education status of those who are identified poor by Listahanan (program that identifies who and where the poor are). It provides cash grants to beneficiaries who are compliant to the set of conditions of the program.

Nanay Lorena recalled that the program helped her support her children’s education and save some money to start up a small business.

“Sa perang natatanggap mula sa Pantawid nakakapagtabi po ako lalo na yung nakalaan sa health aspect ng mga bata kase di naman sila sakitin. At mula sa naitabi dun, nakapag-shing-a-ling business ako”

She started cooking shing-a-ling (snack made from dried thick egg noodles) year 2017. She dared to offer the snack in Los Baños Central Elementary School and Calauan Central Elementary School and the schools accepted her bid to deliver the snack in their canteens.

“Dati po halos lahat na yata binenta namin para kumita pero ngayon nakafocus na lang kami sa shing-a-ling” Nanay Lorena said as she happily stated that they also now deliver the snack at Bay Central, Masiit, Mabacan Elementary and High School, Paliparan, Perez and Imok School canteens.

She was also to buy equipment to properly seal the snack. She said that they are only using lighted candle before to seal the packaging of the snack.

With their diligence towards their small business and with Pantawid program as a helping hand, Nanay Lorena’s children continues with their studies at present. Two of her children are studying in college, the other two are in high school and the youngest is in elementary.

She is now confident that she can support her children’s education with the help of Pantawid and because they will continue to do everything they can for their children.with reports from MVCaisp UPLB Intern

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