Feature: Making it through fire and rain
By Recthie B. Tolinero
Cagayan de Oro City (11 June) -- Could there be any worst than losing a home twice in a row after it is burned and washed out by flood? This has been the case of Gloria B. Ramonal, 42, who at the present is staying at Barangay Hall Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City. According to Gloria, it is very hard to evacuate bringing her four children and having no place to stay at.
Before the family had gone to different shelters, Gloria said that they were staying at Matilde Oak Street, Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City. When their house was caught by fire in 2006, they moved to a corner near the creek in the same barangay.
Life became tougher for the family when their house was among the many houses in the city which were washed out by flood in 2009. In these tragedies, Gloria shared that it is difficult for them to rebuild their home and sometimes it is very frustrating to start over again.
According to Gloria, she was filled with shock, disappointment and desperation at that time. Aside from the fact that they have not received any relocation, they are now asked to rebuild their home since the barangay hall needs the space for some activities. When she was informed about this, she was very upset because the only means of living that she has is through collecting boxes, plastics and newspapers. She hardly earns P100.00 a day that is why it is very impossible for her to buy the materials for their house.
Gloria also shared that in every night that they spend in the barangay hall she often shed tears for their situation. Moreover, all of her four children have different fathers and they are not providing any financial support. Two of her children aged 16 and 8 are under her care. Her eldest is already 26 years old and has a family on her own. The second child is at 21 and is currently making his own way to pursue college. Her 16-year-old child already has a baby whom Gloria also has to support since her child’s boyfriend is only a trisikad driver. She is also supporting her 8-year-old son who will be entering grade one.
In the midst of collecting trash in the market and assisting in arranging boxes in a certain certain marketing company, Gloria received good news from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. She was told that she will be receiving P1, 600.00 per month and that she is officially a member of the program last November 2008. In a wide smile Gloria said, "Nalipay baya ko kay wala ko nagdahum nga makadawat mi ug ing-ani nga kantidad sa 4Ps (I was very happy because I was not really expecting that I can receive this much from 4Ps)."
For the first payment she received P600.00 and for the second payment, she received P1, 600.00. From all the blessings that she received from the program Gloria expressed that the money they received may be small for some but for them, it is really a big help. She shared that when they have received their first grant, she immediately paid for the daycare center where she enrolled her son.
When asked on the kind of food that she gives to her son Gloria said that she can now prepare nutritious food for him. However, she added that her son is not used in drinking milk since he is used to coffee. Gloria expressed though that she will slowly make her son comfortable with milk so that he will be well nourished.
They may have no shelter as of the moment but with the aid that Gloria receives from 4Ps and with the support of the local government, she is very positive that she can make it through the fire or even heavy rains. (PIA) [top]