Zosima Antela, 82 year-old social pensioner in Magsingal, Ilocos Sur.

A contagious smile painted in the fine-lined face of 82- year- old Zosima Antela makes one who sees her also wishes for longevity. Her meek laughters that depict contentment in life could hide her pains of recurring sickness and frustrations in life.

Despite often attack of ulcer and anemia, Zosima displays a happy disposition where she gets much of her strength and good vibes.

As narrated during a home visit, she just recovered from several days of severe dizziness because of her low blood pressure.

Regardless of these physical hindrances, she attends the release of her quarterly stipend from the Social Pension Program. In one instance, while patiently waiting for her turn, she collapsed because of intense heat and weakened body.

Stipend as Source of Medical Support

After receiving her stipend, Zosima directly goes to a drugstore to buy her maintenance drugs for ulcer, anemia and Vitamin B complex.

Accordingly, she also buys several kilos of rice upon receipt of the stipend.

When asked about the stipend she uttered ‘Diyos ti agngina ta adda tumulong iti panagrigrigat ko’ “(Thank you for there is help to my distressful situation). Her five children very seldom give a hand because they are not also well-off in life.

Hoping for More
‘Manayunan koma pay (the stipend should increase), Zosima wished’. This, according to her, sustains her life and she still wants for a longer life to see all her grandchildren grow well. Like how she took care of her grandchild Rochelle Gay Antela who stayed with her since she was a baby, now 18 years of age.

Rochelle in return mentioned to take care of Zosima and help in the household chores.

Together with Rochelle, they live in bamboo house that is nearly going down (bent at 30 degrees),because of this she also wished for an assistance for house repair. Upon learning of the situation DSWD Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo sent Crisis Intervention Unit staff to assess the situation of Zosima and prepare necessary documents for her availment of said assistance. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Regional Information Officer)