The PSHF opened a field office in my seaside town of Santa Catalina in 1992, four years after starting in Bacolod city. I was only six years old then and my mother, Levy, was the first person to avail of a loan which she used to open a sari-sari shop.
I can clearly remember that whenever Richard (PSHF director) and Ate Bernie (Oriental co-ordinator) were around, I would hide under a chair or at the back of a door. I was so shy to face them or talk with them, especially with Richard as I could not understand his language. It was only when I was in high school when I started to gain confidence in talking with Richard on his visits.
In 1997, my mother became the field worker for the PSHF in Guba, Santa Catalina. She was tasked to monitor projects in the field, collect payments and send reports to the PSHF every month. Sometimes, I would accompany her to the field and I realized that it was an interesting job.
I came to know different kinds of people with different circumstances and I was inspired to see their hard work and spirit of determination in life. This early exposure would be a good reference when I took over the role from the my mother.
I graduated from a Hotel and Restaurant Management course on March 2007. The PSHF management staff from Bacolod and Bohol were present because there would be a conference in Dumaguete the following day. They brought me a gift, a brown sling bag, and Richard treated us to lunch. A few months later, I worked in the municipal hall of Santa Catalina as a casual employee. At this time, my mother expressed her wish to stop working for the PSHF, as she was getting older to work as a field worker. In May 2008, the municipality had to cut costs and I was one of those who got retrenched.
When Ate Bernie found out about my circumstances she gave me a role to work as a field worker together with my mother. It practically served as my formal training because seven months later, my mother officially resigned and left everything to me.
Initially, things were going smoothly and I thought that I was really familiar with the nature of my work and the mechanics in the field. But I was wrong. There were many times when I did not know what to say to people. Gradually, I was able to adjust and gave advices and encouragement.
Recently, I am being trained in doing the administration of the Oriental office. I am also tasked to oversee the clean-up drive of the PSHF in Guba.
I am very thankful to God, for the opportunity of knowing and growing with the PSHF, especially to Richard and Ate Bernie for their kindness and for always being there to guide and encourage me.