Macanas Family: Inspiring and Touching Lives

Published by Glorei Lindio on

Living near the riverside of Barangay Panan-awan, Cawayan in the island Province of Masbate resides the Family of Macanas. This family is among the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who proves that poverty is not a hindrance to attain success. For them having wealth is not how much money you put in a bank, it is the value of having respect to others, helping their neighbors in times of need, teaching your children the value of education and health, and putting God as the center of your life.

Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Macanas, has four kids who were Edwin, 17, Erwin, 15, Emerson, 12, and Erlene Mae, 10.  Despite providing meals to their children is a struggle but their children are their inspiration to continue earn for a living.

Lahat ng trabaho ay pinapasukan ko, sa konstraksyon, sa pagsasaka, at pag-aalaga ng mga hayop, para maabot ang pangarap ng aking mga anak,” said Edgar or “Tatay Edgar as he fondly called off by his children.

In addition to their earnings, Nanay Rowena, 37, plants crops, beans and vegetables in their backyard. She is also working as a volunteer Day Care Worker in her community.

The Secret of Strong Family Ties

The couple put high regard on praying as their daily activity.  Nanay Rowena said she made sure that they pray before meals and before going to bed. All of the members of the family also allot time to read the bible and reflect.

“Ang tanging sekreto lang namin upang maging maganda ang samahan ng aming pamilya ay ituro sa aming mga anak ang halaga ng may takot sa Diyos, pagmamahal sa isa’t isa at tumulong sa kapwa,” Rowena said.

She is also proud that her eldest son is now in college preparing to become a priest someday. Two of her sons, Erwin who is in High, and Emerson, in elementary, are also active in the church. “Si Erwin ay lecturer sa simbahan at sakristan naman si Emerson. Masaya ako dahil sila mismo ay kusang tumutulong sa aming simbahan. Proud ako sa aking mga anak,” she added.

Instilling Education

The importance of education is one of the wealth that Mr. and Mrs. Macanas wanted to instill to their children. “High school lang po ang natapos ko, kaya gusto ko na makapagtapos sila ng kanilang pag-aaral, yun lamang po ang tanging maipapamana naming yaman sa kanila,” Tatay Edgar shared.

At night, Nanay Rowena made sure to check her children’s assignment.

In monitoring the performance of their kids in school, the couple visits the school weekly, and talk to their advisers. “Kaya malaki po ang pasasalamat namin sa Programa dahil sa limang taon namin na pagiging benepisyaryo ay nakatulong ito ng lubos sa mga gastusin sa eskwelahan ng aming mga anak,” Rowena said.

Also, Erwin and Emerson worked hard to be consistent honor students as a return to their parents struggle in sending them to school. Erwin belongs to the top in class. He is also fond of joining school competitions like slogan making and essay writing contest while Emerson is more inclined into sports.

Erlene Mae, the youngest, is also inclined in joining badminton competition and other extra-curricular activities in school.

Masaya po kami dahil sinusuportahan po kami ng aming mga magulang, kaya naman po, bukod sa gusto naming suklian ang kanilang pagmamahal ay tinutulungan din namin ang aming kapwa estudyante na mag-aral ng mabuti at maging aktibo sa activities sa eskwelahan,” Erwin said.

 The Value of Health

Having fresh vegetables in their backyard, Nanay Rowena often served vegetables in their meals. “Gustong-gusto ng mga anak ko ang lahat ng klase ng gulay. Minsan sila na mismo ang namimitas sa bakuran namin,” Rowena shared.

Children are also given vitamins as their protection to any kinds of diseases. “Si Erwin may asthma kaya iniingatan rin namin ang kalusugan nila,” she added.

Giving and Sharing

Aside from valuing health and education, the family is active in the community. They offer what they have for their neighbors.

According to Barangay Captain Antonio Rosell, Rowena is very prompt in giving help to her co-pantawid beneficiaries. She helps even beyond being a parent leader. “Kahit yung mga senior citizen dito sa amin ay nag-patulong sa pag-process ng kanilang I.D kay Rowena. Pati sa mga problema sa pamilya ng kapwa niya benepisyaryo ay handing tumulong ang mag-asawa hangat kaya nila,” Barangay Captain Antonio said.

It was also Rowena who lobbied to the local government to provide Christmas bonus to Day Care Workers. The couple is also a volunteer of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services—another anti-poverty reduction program of the local government that provides infrastructure and facilities to poor communities.

More than that, the children were also active community activities. “Handa po kaming tumulong at maging modelo sa kapwa namin na mga bata na tumulong sa aming barangay. Maglinis ng bakuran, at sumali sa mga clean-up drive,” Erwin said.

Helping, Saving and Recycling

In order to help their parents in their finances, the children learn to save money from their “baon”. Each of them has a piggy bank where they can put their extra money.

Nagiipon po kami pambili ng aming gamit sa pasukan. Nakabili na rin ng aalagaang hayop si Kuya Emerson para may pang-tuition po siya sa susunod na pasukan,” Rowena proudly stated.

Sometimes the children are willing to give what they saved when their neighbors needed financial help. “Itinuro po sa amin iyon ng aming mga magulang,” Rowena added.

The children were also taught by their parents to recycle and care for the environment. “Yung mga pwedeng magamit namin na notebook ay nirerecycle namin para sa susunod na pasukan,” she shared.

They also help each other in doing household choirs. “Tulong-tulong po kami nila Kuya sa gawaing bahay at ako naman po ay nag-eenjoy na magluto at magsaing ng kanin,” Rowena added.

It is also not a big thing to Tatay Edwin to do the laundry and cook food for his children when Rowena was busy in doing community works. “Naiinitindihan ko ang aking asawa. Kesa sa mag-away kami, tinutulungan ko siya. Mas masarap sa aking pakiramdam na nakakatulong ka,” Edgar said.

Moving Forward

Even if they have no luxurious things in life, but Macanas family regarded every member as a precious gift. Their wealth are the things that money cannot buy. They instill to their children good values and character that they can able to bring with them when they grew up.

Despite hardship, the Macanas family moves forward to improve their living. What Mr. and Mrs. Macanas dreamed of is to see their children successful in the path they wanted to take. ***Glorei Allelu N. Lindio, Information Officer- Pantawid Pamilya

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