Food cart vendor reaps trophy as son graduates from college

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – “Agpagradwar akun iti maysa nga college ket pirmi ragsak ko kumbaga kala nga nakaala akun iti maysa nga trophy (Now that my child is graduating from college, I am very happy. It is as if I am earning a trophy.)”, boasts Maribel V. Arboleda, 41 years old, a mother of 6 and a wife of a barber.

Maribel’s family is a beneficiary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

In 2017, Maribel was provided with a food cart business through the SLP of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Idi umuna ket bassit lang ilaklakok. Kasla daytoy barbecue, maysa lang nga kilo iti gatangek inaldaw. Isu ti maituno ti malem. (When I was just starting with the food cart business, for instance the barbeque, I only purchased rone kilo of meat a day, which we sell in the afternoon)” she recalls.

Even though she had low income at first, Maribel saved and started to buy larger quantities of pork which she prepared and supplied to other street vendors in their neighborhood in Bulanao, Tabuk City, Kalinga which is what she does until now.

“Iti inaldaw, agatangakun iti 20 kilos ti pork nga tuduken mi. Ilakok iti 3 pesos per piece kadagiti kailyan mi nga mang-wholesale. Ada met ti 6,000 ko nga savings binulan nga usaren dagiti anak ko iti eskwela da, karkaru iti allowance ken tuition idyay ada iti college. (Now I purchase 20 kilos of pork which I prepare and sell at 3 pesos per stick to our fellow residents who are buying in wholesale. From a month’s income, I separate PhP 6,000 as our savings which my children use in school especially for the allowance and tuition of my college student),” said Maribel.

Maribel remembers how very hard it was for their family to survive each day since they only relied on her husband who was barber earning a daily wage if 300-500, an income that she budgetd for their needs and children’s tuition fees.

Maribel’s hard work and careful budgeting allowed her to send all of their six  children to school. “Madiskarte dapat, dagijay daduma iti savings mi ket pinag puonak iti sabali nga negosyo kasla iti wagwagan ken online buy and selling. (We should be innovative. From our savings, I ventured into second-hand clothes and online buy and selling business),” Maribel explained.

“Uray no marigatanak ipapatik ladta nga mangpadakkel iti pagbiyagan mi ta ammuk nga para kadagitoy anak ko. Kayat ko makita nga maka-eskwela da, maala da iti mayat nga trabaho ta madimi nga nu anyat kinarigat biyag me tadta ket isu paylaeng ituloy da. (Even though it is hard. I try my best to expand the livelihood that was provided because I want my children to finish their studies so that they could get good paying jobs and not experience poverty),” she added.

This year, Maribel’s 1st child will finish Bachelor of Secondary Education in Tuguegarao, Cagayan.

“Agyamanak launay iti naited nga livelihood iti SLP, adan iti pangkabuhayan me nga isu mangtultulong kanyami nga umangat bassit panagbiyag mi. Adan iti mai-save nga mainayun nga usaren dagiti annak mi nga makaturpos iti eskwela da. (I am grateful for the livelihood provided by SLP. We now have additional source of income to help us lift our economic status, in addition we can save more money for our children’s schooling),” Maribel said.

By Babble Mae Gorio

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