In Bolinao, Pangasinan, the famous ‘binungey’ (available only here)  sold at 3 pieces for Php 100.00, played a big part in sustaining the family of  Miramar Orlanda, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary.

 Made of ‘malagkit’ and coconut milk placed inside cut bamboo poles and  steamed for an hour, the ‘binungey’  helped her family survive in the  last 30 years. They tried to live the simplest ways with her 8 children  and now 3 grand children. It also enabled them  to  improve their partially concreted house.

 In 2008, the coming of the Pantawid Pamilya Program was a great relief, the  Php 2,800.00 cash grant  in 2  months, helped provide vitamins and nutritious  food to the family particularly the children.

 Two years ago, with DSWD’s capital assistance amounting to Php 5,000.00, the ‘binungey’ products was enhanced as to taste and shelf-life in order to entice more customers.

 With her husband, the 3-hour processing of ‘binungey’ is not at all very tasking. They usually cook at night and starts with  the ‘malagkit’, cleaning of cut bamboo poles, and steaming  the combined coconut milk and ‘malagkit’.

 Services Extended

 An average income of Php 2,000.00  a month is earned by the family during peak months of ‘binungey’ starting on the months of November to April. They sell at most 4 times a week in front of the Roman Catholic Church for the tourists visiting in the area.

 As mentioned, Miramar’s love and concern for other is felt by neighbours who talk about her being selfless.  At all times she encourages her neighbour to sell ‘binungey’ products which help augment school allowance of their children.

 Accordingly, enough school allowance is very important to shield children from being bullied and experience low self esteem.

 Poor’s access to basic rights

 Miramar is belittled by well-off neighbours  in many ways because of being poor and not being  educated, but through the Family Development Sessions, she was taught of her basic rights. ‘Diak  kayat iti mauy-uyaw, adda karapata’k a marigrigat,” (I don’t want to be vilified, I have my rights although I am poor) she exclaimed in vernacular. With series of sessions, she learned the importance of education  and keeping the family together. ### (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, IO II)