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Feature: For a bowl of good health

by Recthie B. Toliner

Cagayan de Oro City (14 January) -- SHE smiles the troubles away.

This is Ebiang B. Banaan to her neighbors and friends. According to them, despite the problems that Ebiang’s family faces, she can still afford to be cheerful most of the time.

Ebiang lives at Purok 1, Taguima, Tudela, Misamis Occidental where their house is situated just along the creek.

Currently, Ebiang is five (5) months pregnant with her fourth child. Her other children are already 8, 3 and 2 years old. Ebiang’s eldest child is in first grade.

According to her, technically, she already has five (5) children where she had two (2) children from her first husband.

Though she is a Maranao, Ebiang never wanted her first husband to have several wives that is why she decided to separate from him in 1999. They have been living together for more than five (5) years.

In 2001, she found love with her current husband who is a laborer in a lumber shop. He is earning around P100-120 per day which the family depends on with everything. Ebiang’s current husband is also separated from his first wife and had one (1) child with the latter. The child, who is already 13 and is in second year high school, is presently living with them.

Ebiang never found it difficult to raise the children because she believes that every suffering has a corresponding good opportunity but not until her three-year-old son got sick.

"Nikalit ra man nga naa’y niburot sa iyang liog. Ingon sa among mga silingan, basig hangin-hangin lang daw pero tulo ka bulan naman lang wala pa gyapon nawala ang burot nga nidaku nuon. Busa nahadluk na pud ko (There just grew a bulge in his neck. My neighbors said that it might just be a compressed air but it stayed there and grew bigger for three (3) months now. This is the reason why I’m now very worried)," Ebiang stated on her son’s condition.

The worried mother expressed that she is very thankful that since August 2008 she has been receiving P1,100 from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). It is a poverty reduction strategy of the government that gives out cash grants to the poorest households to improve the health, nutrition and education of the family’s children aged 0-14.

"Nagpasalamat kami nga natagaan mi ug kwarta sa 4Ps labi na karon nga kailangan na gyud mapatan-aw namu sa doktor kung naunsa na ang liog sa bata. Ug mapakaon pud nako ning mga gagmay ug masustansiya nga pagkaon para dili na magsakit-sakit pareha ani (We are very glad that we were given a grant from 4Ps especially now when my child really needs to see a doctor for consultation regarding this bulge on his neck. And also it enables me to provide nutritious food to the little kids to prevent them from getting sick like my three-year-old child)," she happily mentioned.

Ebiang also proudly expressed that she now goes to the health center for pre-natal check-ups and is looking forward to a safe delivery next year.

"Maayo man pud ang mga kondisyon sa 4Ps. Makatabang kaayo sa amo busa dili ko gatapulan mag-apil sa mga miting (The conditions of 4Ps are really good. It can really help us that’s why I never get tired in joining meetings)," she added.

Ebiang's case just proved again that 4Ps is slowly achieving its goals—a healthy Filipino family and rearing more responsible parents. (DSWD 10) [top]

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