“Bakit kaya hikap nang hikap si Nanay?”
Prince seems to wonder where his nanay goes after she left him at the Daycare Center in Sitio Silangan. His nanay always pedals away, all day, everyday; almost from Monday to Sunday. Whatever keeps her nanay going, Prince just enjoys each ride.
Prince is the youngest of Sharine Bautista (27) and Jeric Alvarez (37). Sharine is a mother of four; biological mother of two and step mother of two. All of their children are studying. Like every family, the couple partnered in raising their family’s needs while overcoming daily struggles. Every day at work is a step closer to self-reliance.
Sharine is grateful that their household is included in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, a social welfare program which helps in keeping their kids go to school and health centers regularly. Though receiving paychecks from the government, Sharine did not laid her back, instead she continuously pedaled to earn a living.
Sharine and Jeric raise livestock at their backyard. They have free-range chickens and cattle for fattening. Lately, they were also granted with two breeder swines, from Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), which litters will be eventually shared by the community. Also, Jeric works as a part-time farm aide and produce charcoal from dead trees available in the area.
“‘yung mga hayop po namin, ‘yan na yung pinaka alkansya namin,” Sharine said. Swine in less than a year will have its litters. Cattle in just a year or two can already be sold in the local cattle auction market.
Pedals for Profits
Sharine also works as a Baranggay Health Worker. When she heard about the Hilot Wellness Massage services training of Sustainable Livelihood Program during their Ugnayang Panlipunan; she expressed her interest to join. She undergone a 15-day training program of Hilot Wellness massage skills with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
From her home to the training venue, she will spend at least Php 300 for travel expenses, the training allowance wouldn’t suffice. She looked for a cheaper route. Early in the morning, she still prepare her children’s baon before she pedaled her way to Rosario, and ride a jeep from there. She would just entrust her bike to a nearby store which she will claim in the afternoon. She pedaled around 10 km everyday. She also came to borrow money for her allowance. To learn faster, she would offer free massage to her elder kabaranggays.
After the training, they received a starter kit consisted of oils, ventosa cups, and other Hilot essentials to start their services as freelancers. Sharine easily magnetized nearby clients and earn at least P 300-400 per hour of service. The group of mostly mothers from Pantawid families were called as Hapos ni Nanay.
Sharine also do housekeeping and laundry jobs. She also sells cosmetic products and longganisa. Now, she drives their newly acquired tricycle for their children school service and for private rentals. She plans to customize their tricycle with Hello Kitty stickers sooner.
A Promise of More Pedals
Sharine together with the Haplos ni Nanay have participated in the series of Ugnayang Panlipunan and offered free massage in the baranggays of Padre Garcia and helped in creating awareness for our Pantawid beneficiaries to look for ways in bringing development in their homes.
“Sabi ko sa sarili ko noon, kapag nagkapamilya ako, hinding-hindi ko sasaktan” Sharine shared as she pertains to her dark past as a displaced child from a broken family. From pedaling a bicycle, she now drives a tricycle looking for ways to raise a good family.
It seems that little Prince shall wonder more now. At least, he can enjoy the ride with his nanay Sharine.