Sometimes I asked God why I have this kind of family. Yes, we are complete. I have a hardworking father, a loving mother and supportive siblings. But life is so difficult for us. Why Lord? Why? (Tear drops falling in the eyes of a young girl).

I must say that our life is not as blessed as the others. I don’t like to believe that we are destined this way. Most of the time, I envied my friends and playmates because they are not deprived of the things that the world offers. And above all, they have healthy moms who take care of them and wake up early to prepare their delicious food for them to bring in school.

I am Sheeralyn Blorecia. My friends fondly call me Inday. I am 15 years old. I am a third child in the family. Papa Amelito and Mama Virgie are my parents. We are six in all. I finished my elementary years at Piglawigan Elementary School in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur as class valedictorian.

I was born in year 1999 where technology is in demand already. But in our case, it seemed that we still lived in the old days. We lived in a shanty. No lights in our abode but a lamp (moron), our source of light at night only. No water pump. No comfort room to call our own.

Growing up with my 3 sisters, we never experienced watching cartoons, listening to radio, and singing songs together. This is because we don’t own anything. We hardly had food to eat. We cannot even complete three meals in a day. We used to sleep without eating our dinner. Water! Water! Water!  The best remedy for our starving stomach. We drank water to fill-in our empty tummies. And we fetched our water from our neighbor’s deep well. For us, it’s a big day every time there is fiesta, birthday in our neighbors, or even weddings, and other celebrations. For that is the only time we can have a bountiful meal.

I know it was not my parents’ fault why we are poor. But the most painful of all is having a mother who is mentally-challenged. Living with this situation really broke my heart especially when our neighbors and my playmates called her ‘buang.’ She is not insane.She is my mom, my loving mom then. She is suffering this after she gave birth to my younger sibling.

My Tatay Amelito only earned Php 170.00 a day as helper in the rice farm, sometimes no earnings at all. His income cannot suffice our basic needs much more with the medical assistance of my mom. Our education cannot be sustained in Tatay’s meager income. But despite all these, our family never gave up. We cling on even to the thinnest hairline structure of hope beset upon us.  

It was in 2009, I was playing then. I saw a man carrying with him a back pack and folders on his arms. I wonder who he was. He knocked on our wall and peeped on the window covered with sack, as its curtain. Upon seeing him I called Tatay. My Tatay hurriedly ran towards the house and entertained the man. I listened to them talking. On his red jacket I read the initial D S W D. Whatever that is I don’t know. The man in red jacket asked many questions to Tatay. He even asked Tatay if he could enter in our shack. Without any second thoughts, Tatay allowed him to get in. The man’s eyes wandered. They sat on our stool and started their conversation. He asked many things. I heard Tatay enumerated our names, our ages, our birthdays, his occupation and many others. Tatay  disclosed everything to that man.

From then on, we received assistance, the educational assistance under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. If not with that man with red jacket having initials of DSWD who conducted interview five years ago, my family wouldn’t have benefited this educational support that we availed through the program of the government.

Now, I am a Grade seven student in Esperanza National High School here in Agusan del Sur. My other siblings are also in school. I dream of becoming a teacher and I know one day I will be one. Much as I would like to ask why, as I once asked HIM of the difficulties we went through, I am grateful for this life’s journey I’m trudging. Thanks to those initials I once read. Blorecia Family of Brgy. Piglawigan, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur is one of those 232,301 identified poor families in Caraga assessed by Listahanan. Their household number is 160303044-0001-e0230.

Through Listahanan, I availed the educational assistance under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. “Because of this also Kaya ko ang Pagbabago dahil ako ay may pangarap sa aking sarili at sa aking pamilya.”### Social Marketing Unit