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Feature: A new lullaby

by Recthie B. Tolinero

Cagayan de Oro City (8 February) -- Nothing can compare a mother's lullaby. This has been Lilia S. Belano's living principle since she was still a kid. At 37, she already has five (5) children aged 16, 11, nine (9), five (5) and one (1), and from her eldest child to the youngest, the loving mother never failed to sing a lullaby to her kids to get them to sleep.

Lilia's eldest child is in First Year High School while the others are in Grades 3 and 1. Upon sharing the life of her children at school, Lilia, who lives at Purok 1, Barra, Tudela, Misamis Occidental, emotionally mentioned that like her children, she had longed to hold a diploma during her early years but due to poverty, she only reached the sixth grade.

According to her, they were seven (7) in the family and her father worked as a fisherman while her mother stayed at home to take care of them.

"Wala ma'y problema nga naa ra among mama sa balay. Ang problema lang gyud kay gamay ra kaayo ang kita sa akong papa busa maski uban ming tanan, dili gihapon mi malipayon tungod sa kalisud," (Having our mother at home is never a problem. What we were worried about is the fact that our father's earning is not sufficient to provide for our needs. Though we were always together as one family, we were never that happy due to extreme poverty), Lilia added.

When Lilia got married to a fisherman also, she said to herself that no matter what happens, she will do everything to make a difference from what she experienced with her family. She helped her husband to make a living and together, they are earning P100 per day. "Dili ra man gihapon ni igo sa amo nga kantidad busa usahay maluyahan ko ug makahinuktok kung unsa ang gahulat para sa among pamilya," (This amount can never suffice our needs that is why I get down sometimes and I often catch myself thinking about the fate that awaits for our family), the striving mother emotionally said.

On August 2008, Lilia learned that there exists a program which will help them provide for the health and educational needs of their children.

"Giingnan ko sa among silingan nga naapil daw mi sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program nga gahatag ug kwarta sa mga kabus. Nalipay ko kaayo kay kung sauna siguro nga naa'y ing-ani nga programa sa gobyerno, basig nakahuman pa ko," (I was told by our neighbor that we were included in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program that provides cash grants to extremely poor households. I was very happy because if only this program existed before, I might be able to get a degree), Lilia excitedly shared.

Lilia receives P1,100 per month from 4Ps and she is one of the 1,898 beneficiaries in Tudela who believed that with the help of the program and with their cooperation to abide with its conditions, they can now sing a lovelier lullaby to their children. (DSWD X) [top]

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