Clenia Castro (now 56) is a native of Baclayon, six kilometers from Tagbilaran City, Bohol’s capital. Her
parents were not married, her father left her mother before Clenia was born, and she never felt she was
loved by her mother. It still hurts her to remember being locked up by her mother inside a big wooden
cabinet when she was four years old. She was already turning blue when she was found by her grandparents. After this, Clenia stayed in her grandparents’ care and her mother completely left her and went on to have another family.
When she was eight years old, Clenia was taken in by her elementary school teacher so that she could
continue her schooling and she went as far as her junior year in high school. Clenia returned to her
grandparents at this time and helped them on their coconut farm. When she was 16, she found a job as a
house helper in Tagbilaran; her employer allowed her to attend night classes and she could thus ﬁnish
high school three years later.
Soon after her graduation, Clenia married Federico, a tricycle driver, and they have been married 38
years. They have three grown-up children, two of whom are married and living separately. The youngest, Pamela Claire (28), is a single parent and she and her eight year old son live with the couple. She recently quit her job as a restaurant worker and is looking for another job.
Clenia earns a living from cooking and selling cassava rolls and fried “turron” (thinly sliced sugar coated bananas rolled in spring roll wrapper and deep fried). She currently leaves her products in a local school canteen in the early morning and then collects her proceeds after the children’s lunch break. Usually, Clenia will end the day with a net proﬁt of 80 pesos ($1.60).
Clenia has been approached by two vendors who are keen to sell her products. She would like to accept their orders but to do so, she will need new equipment. She has applied for a loan to enable her to buy a bigger frying pan, an electric grater and a sack of cassava. She needs an electric grater as it is time consuming to manually grate the cassava and a bigger frying pan to replace her old and smaller pan. Clenia expects to double her production as a result of having the new equipment. She hopes to sell 150 cassava rolls and 75 “turron” each day and earn an average net income of 1,000 pesos ($30) for ﬁve days of sales per week. Clenia is excited about expanding her business and is most grateful for the loan.
Analyn T. Gallibot
Clenia and her daughter Pamela.