“Kahit matanda na ako, susubukan ko lahat para sa mga anak ko (Even if I’m already old, I will do everything for my children),” said Anabelle L. Nacino, a 54-year-old member of Caoayan Pantawid Catering Services Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) and a mother whose son is currently suffering from a bone condition.
In 2019, her son John Paul had a minor accident which led to his current condition. Their family since then has worked various jobs to support her son’s medication. Aside from catering services, she ventured into fish and vegetables vending with the help of her tricycle driver husband. At present, her daughter stopped from schooling and started selling clothes online.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Nacino shared how SLPA supports the needs of her family.
“Mahina ang kinikita ngayon ng asawa ko dahil sa pandemic kaya naiiyak ako pag naiisip ko sitwasyon namin. Buti meron itong catering kasi ito ang talagang inaasahan namin sa ngayon (The pandemic caused the low income of my husband so I cry every time I think of this. Good thing we have this catering as this is where we depend on right now),” Nacino said.
“Pag andito ako sa canteen, kahit papano nakakalimutan ko problema ko. Nakakagaan rin ng loob kasi may napagsasabihan ako ng problema (Whenever I am here at the canteen, somehow I forget my problems. It is also comforting since there are people I can share my problems with),” she added.
A Mother Figure to the SLPA
Caoayan Pantawid Catering Services SLPA President Gina C. Barrientos describes Nacino as hardworking and a mother figure in the group.
“Siya ang laging nauunang pumasok sa amin. Nanay na nanay talaga, pagdating namin, na-prepare na ni Ate Belle mga rekadong kailangan. Siya rin madalas magalit sa amin pero alam mong may point siya at ikabubuti namin iyon (She arrives first at work. She is like a mother. When we arrive, she is done preparing the needed ingredients. She is also the one who easily gets mad in the group but she has a point and is for our own good),” described Barrientos.
Janette Raciles, one of the parent leaders in the said SLPA, shared that she is the one who encouraged Nacino to join the association. She recalls Nacino having a kidney problem that time and was in need of extra income.
Before joining the SLPA, Nacino was just like most of the other members who were housewives.
“Dati nakadepende lang kami sa kita ng asawa namin. Nakakaproud kasi ngayon nakakapag provide na rin kami para sa mga pamilya namin (Before joining SLPA, we depend on the income of our husbands. It makes us proud that we can now provide also for our families),” said Nacino.
“Sa lahat ng pagsubok namin, ang laking tulong ng SLP kaya lahat kami pinagbubutihan itong nabuong asosasyon. ‘Yun na rin siguro ang masasabi naming secret ingredient kaya binabalik-balikan ang Caoayan catering (In all the challenges we are facing, SLP is really a big help that is why we work hard for our association. I guess it is also our secret ingredient why people keep coming back to Caoayan catering),” she concluded.
Caoayan Pantawid Catering Services SLPA was established in January 2016 and is composed of 42 all-female members from the municipality of Caoayan in Ilocos Sur. (by: Radz Bismonte, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)