Anna (26) happily narrated to me (Analyn) during my interview with her that she grew up in a big farming family of 12. Though life was hard at home, she could remember they were a happy family. This thought pained Anna because when she got pregnant with her long time boyfriend Romel (30) in 2012, she wished for nothing but a happy family. Anna was just 20 when she gave birth to their daughter Angela and she and Romel lived together then. Angela was just six months old when Romel decided to leave for Manila, when a relative offered him a well-paid job compared to the job in a bakery that he had then. For the first two months, Romel sent money to Anna for their needs but things went wrong in the long run. Romel stopped sending money and he and Anna had no communication. Anna contacted Romel’s siblings, and later she learnt that he was living with another woman.
Raising Angela alone was a struggle for Anna, who was jobless when they were abandoned by Romel. However, Anna remained strong and did anything to feed her child. She cooked snacks that she peddled around the neighbourhood, leaving Angela in care of her parents. Anna even accepted laundry and cleaning jobs. She shed tears as she told me of her struggles but she is proud that she has raised a lovely daughter.
Angela (6) is now in grade one and Anna provides for her through her income from snack vending as well as from online selling. A year ago, a friend offered her the chance to sell various beauty products online, and she would get the stocks on consignment. Now she is earning a monthly average of 1,500 pesos ($30) from doing this.
Anna would like to get the beauty products directly from the supplier in Manila, paying the wholesale price, instead of from a reseller as she does now. Her markup per set would then increase from 15 pesos to 40 pesos. Anna believes that she could sell an average of 100 sets per month to her customers who include her friends who work as salesladies in a mall, her online regular buyers, and the parents of Angela’s classmates. She takes some of her products every time she picks Angela up from school.
I (Analyn) personally know Anna, as her daughter and my daughter are classmates. We mostly talk during the lunch break and it is through one of our conversations that I learnt that she really would like to have working capital for her online business. Anna is now applying for a loan which will allow her to buy 20 sets of beauty products directly from the supplier. The supplier does not charge a delivery fee for orders of 20 or more sets, so Anna would not pay additional expenses. Anna is excited to have working capital and is hopeful of increasing her income to an average of 4,000 pesos ($80) per month. We at the PSHF are happy to help such a dedicated mother like Anna.
Analyn T. Gallibot