While sitting alone under a shady tree during a windy afternoon and as the birds are flying and chirping around, she takes pleasure in the cool breeze that embraces her as she still longs for someone who will be with her on the last days of her life.

Not only young ladies can fantasize like this but also an eighty five year old woman does. That is why Lola Ernesta Daus, a widow, still feels so youthful, alive, and kicking as manifested by her sweet smiles and crunchy giggles.

From Imaginations to Reality

The urge of Lola Ernesta to have a lifetime partner who will unselfishly cherish her despite of her grey hair and wrinkles somehow came true since she is now one of the Senior Citizens in Brgy. Bitalag, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur who is enjoying social pension from the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1).

She further said, “Numanpay balo nakun ken awan pagsapulak, ammuk nga adda ti pagbiagko babaen ti maaw-awatko a pension.” (Though I am widowed already and not able to work anymore, I know that I can still sustain my life through my pension.) Lola Ernesta strongly believes that the Social Pension Program of the DSWD leads to the realization of her dream to have a little comfort despite of being a widow.

Dominador Lardizabal, 63, one of Lola Ernesta’s six children chose not to build his own family house in a distant place in order not to forsake her aging mother. According to him, “Saan ko a mabalin a panawan isuna ta kasapulan nak a mangtaripato kankuana ta agkapsut met isunan.” (I can not leave her because she needs me to take care of her especially that she is getting weaker.) Lola Ernesta easily gets dizzy and might fall while walking moreso that her right eyesight was lost already because it was accidentally injured by a rice grain.

A Piggy Bank to Break


She plans to save what is left from buying viands, coffee, milk, and other needs after her pension lands to her hands. Centavos when being saved become hundreds, that is the principle of Lola Ernesta so she keeps every single cents from her pension.

Because she earned some amount, she confidently said, “Adda bukodkon a de kuryente a paglutwan iti inapoy.” (I now own an electric rice cooker). She decided to buy such appliance because their house almost turned into ashes after she unintentionally left their claystove unattended.

By Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, NHTS-PR