“Walang may kagustuhang maging mahirap dahil mahirap maging mahirap (No one wants to be poor because it is hard to be poor).” This is how Lourdes Valencia of Brgy. Golden, Mapandan, Pangasinan reacts everytime her family is teased to be lucky of being 4Ps household beneficiary.

According to Lourdes, they endured living in a dilapidated house with perforated roof covered with cardboard to prevent from drifting due to continuous heavy rainfalls. “Kasabay ng pagpatak ng tulo ng ulan mula sa aming bubungan ay ang pagtingala ko sa taas habang nananalangin habang tumutulo ang aking mga luha (As I look up in prayer, my tears roll down to my cheeks that goes with the raindrops from our roof),” Lourdes relayed.

“Lahat tayo ay may pagpipilian sa buhay. Kaya kailangan nating piliing umunlad (All of us have choices in life. Thus, we must choose to prosper),” Lourdes shared to her fellow beneficiaries during their Pantawid Pamilya Graduation Ceremony. To support the education of their six children, Lourdes ventured into selling of snacks at the market riding on a bicycle.  While Manuel was assigned to transport wines and wash bottles in a bottling company.

When the household graduated from 4Ps on 29 April 2021, Lourdes felt blissful because to her, it is a great achievement. “Kaya na naming suportahan ang aming pamilya. Babaunin namin ang lahat ng mga natutuhan sa 4Ps sa patuloy na pag-unlad ng pamumuhay ng aming pamilya (We can now support our own family. We will carry with us the learnings from 4Ps for the continuous improvement of our family’s life),” Lourdes confidently shared. For her, graduating from the Program leaves an impression of satisfaction because taking the path leading out of poverty is every 4Ps household beneficiary’s dream.

Lourdes’ prayers were heard as blessings were poured. Holes from their rooftop served as ray of hope that gave her family strength to persevere. With the sacrifices and inculcating the mind of her children the value of education, Mary Grace, her eldest child, chose to pursue Master of Arts in Education at Lyceum Northwestern University. Her graduation in 2020 was the most celebrated day for Lourdes. At present, Mary Grace is one of the teaching forces at Calegu Integrated School, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan as Teacher III.

Never in the wildest dream of Lourdes to have a daughter who is now soaring high in her teaching profession. Also, next to Mary Grace are Mark Francis and Manolo who graduated BS Marine Transportation (Batch 2015) and Auto Mechanic (Batch 2013), respectively. Marvin is currently taking up Bachelor of Science in Criminology while Precious also sees herself to be an educator someday by pursing Bachelor of Elementary Education. 4Ps instilled in them the value of education. True enough, education was their greatest weapon in fighting poverty.

Prayers, perseverance, patience, and profession. These are the 4Ps Lourdes’s family applied in order to uplift their level of well-being.

Valencia Family demonstrated that achievement is not estimated by abundance and wealth but with versatility in confronting any trial throughout their daily life. (by: Shaira A. Nonesa, Administrative Aide IV / Pantawid Pamilya)