“Kapikas”, that’s how Melodie of General Luna in the Islands of Siargao, Surigao del Norte describes Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Melodie D. Olivan is married to Junjie G. Olivan. The couple is blessed with four children namely, Lea Jane, James, Mia Jade and Jirah.  Melodie’s family is one of the self-sufficient families in the locality. Having blessed with broods, the couple meets both ends to sustain the needs of their children.

Junjie is a full time fisherman, but occasionally works as a driver during storms and rainy seasons. Melodie on the other hand does the household chores and is managing their sari-sari store. She also manages and heads their group SEA-K financed bigasan termed as Rose SKA Cooperative.

Mr. Junjie Olivan with his pump-boats

“Dako kaayo ang tabang nga taghatag sa ako sa Pantawid Pamilya. Mao gyud ni ang nagsugud sa tanan. Kaniadto, usahay dili kami makakaon ug tulo ka beses sa isa kaadlaw. Kaisa lang gyud, pag ting-panihapon bag-o kami mangatulog. Lugaw pa gyud. Basta lang naay masulud sa tiyan, okie na,” Melodie relayed while she sheds in tears.

(Pantawid Pamilya has helped us a lot. It is Pantawid that has started everything. Before, we barely eat three times in a day. Just “lugaw” {local way of cooking rice in a sugar} for a dinner in a day before we sleep. As long as we have something to eat at night, it’s okay, Melodie relayed.

Melodie’s life as she shared it to the [Pantawid Pamilya] has lightened up when their family was included in the first cycle of assessment of the Listahanan (a project of the DSWD, an information system that identifies who and where the poor are.

“Mura gyud to ug blessing in disguise. Gi interview lang mi ug isa ka grupo ug enyumereytors. Nangutana sila ug daghan kaayo nga mga butang nga nag hisgut mahitungud sa among kinabuhi, stadu sa smong kinabuhi, ug biskan man sa among pamilya. Abli kaayo ang among pagpanaghisgot. Ang among pag-inistoryahanay naghatag sa amo ug unsa man gani ang naa sa amo karon. Salamat kaayo sa inyo, salamat kaayo sa paghatag sa amo ug paglaum. Salamat sa paghatag sa amo ug kinabuhi. Salamat sa pagpakita sa amo nga kami pud pwedi mulambo. Karon, biskan sa kapit-us, ang tanan nay kabilinggan. Tungud kay kining tanan nag andam man kanamo sa pag-atubang sa mga kalisud sa kinabuhi. Mga kalisud nga akong gituohan, nga kung kami mulihok isip usa ka pamilya, kaya namo tanan,” Melodie shared.

(It was like a blessing in disguise. We were just interviewed by a group of enumerators. They asked us with so many things concerning our life, social status and even about our family affairs. The conversation was open. Indeed, that talk gave us what we have now. Thank you [Pantawid Pamilya] , thank you for giving us hope. Thank you for giving us life. Thank you for showing us that we too can shine. Now, though life is so dramatic, everything is worth it, because these things have thought us to prepare ourselves to the coming struggles. Struggles that I am sure, if we work as a family, we can do everything), Melodie shared.


When asked about dedication, inspiration?

Olivan’s sari-sari store and their group SEA-K financed bigasan termed as Rose SKA Cooperative

“Ginooo jud. Kung wala siya, wala gyud ning tanan. Ikaduha, ang akong pamilya. Sila ang akong kusog. Sila pud ang akong inspirasyon”, Melodie happily relayed.

(It is God. Without him, we can’t achieve what we have now. Secondly, my family. They are my strengths. Also, they are my inspiration), Melodie happily relayed.

Melodie is active in all community activities. When she started attending their discussions on Family Development Session (FDS), Melodie convinced her husband Junjie to get himself involve to all barangay related affairs. She realized that getting involved is her family’s contribution to the improvements of their barangay. Now, because of the Olivan’s leadership and dedication to public service, their family was chosen by their fellows [beneficiaries] to head their bigasan sa bayan [loaned amount from SLP].


Did they respond well to the conditionalities of the Program?  

Olivan family has learned the principle of commitment. They considered every condition set by the program as written scriptures. They commit themselves to become a model to others when it comes to sending their children to school, attending FDS, sending their children to health centers and etc..

Mr. and Mrs. Olivan with the Municipal Link for General Luna, a picture with their motorcycle

“Mahadlok gyud siya mu-absent [Pantawid Pamilya]. Dako gyud ang iyang kadasig sa pag apil-apil sa mga FDS. Maayo siya mu-atiman sa among mga anak, ug sa ako pud isip iyang kapikas. Karon, taas na ang iyang panglantaw para sa among pamilya, ug labaw na gyud para sa among mga anak. Siguro, tungud na sa iyang nakat-unan sa FDS” Junjie happily shared.

(She is afraid to skip FDS meeting. Melodie has showed great interest in joining FDS. She takes good care of our children. She also takes good care of me as his husband. Now, Melodie has high hopes to our family; much more to our children), Junjie happily relayed.

Life is indeed full of dramatic pause. Sometimes we fall, and sometimes we rise. To rise amidst the difficulties in life is what matters most. Like the Olivan’s, other Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries especially those at the survival level are encourage to do something for good. They [Survival beneficiaries] are encouraged to strive harder and meet both ends to reach self-sufficiency. Before, the Olivan’s own nothing. Now, because of the many interventions they received from other programs [SLP,KALAHI-CIDDS,FDS,Supplemental Feeding,PhilHealth and etc.], their family has owned a sari-sari store, has bought two pump-boats; bought 1 single motor, and has started building their house. Life is so dramatic indeed, all you have to do is to learn how to tango when it is ballad, and learn how to cha-cha when it’s contemporary. They are the Olivan’s. Everyone is encourage to learn from them #KayaKoangPagbabago.

Olivan family is one of the 61 self-sufficient household beneficiaries in the Municipality of General Luna, Surigao del Norte. SWI Data as of November 30, 2013.

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