Twenty nine year old Jovelyn Castro is a native of Ubay, a town in northeastern Bohol island. She comes from a farming family of eleven children and she was the ﬁfth. For ﬁnancial reasons, Jovelyn left Bohol before ﬁnishing high school and went to Manila, where she worked as a house helper for two years. She returned to Bohol, completed high school at age 19, and then looked for jobs so that she could help her younger siblings. She worked as a house helper on Panglao island and then as a saleslady in one of the department stores in Tagbilaran City, Bohol’s capital.
In Tagbilaran, Jovelyn met Neil Jr., the store’s security guard. He courted Jovelyn and they became close, and before long, she became pregnant. Neil then disappeared, and Jovelyn went back to Ubay, her home town, where she was welcomed back by her parents and siblings. Her son, Neil Justin, was born four months later.
In May 2002, Jovelyn was introduced to Rogelio, a carpenter by a visiting relative. Rogelio was attracted by Jovelyn’s bubbly personality, and it did not matter that she was a single mother. The couple became close and in 2004, they were married. They now have three children; Neil Justin (8) who is a Grade III pupil, Trexy (6) and Troy (3). Rogelio is a skilled carpenter, dedicated to his work, and he has no vices.
Rogelio is the main provider, and his average monthly income of 5,000 pesos ($125) is enough to meet the basic needs of the family. Jovelyn is keen to have an income of her own to enable her to contribute to the family’s expenses. She was one of the attendees at the PSHF January orientation, and she subsequently applied for a loan to enable her to start a small barbecue business. She will use the loan to buy equipment such as a grilling stand and grill, a table and containers, as well as ingredients and seasonings. Her grilled products will be priced from 3 to 24 pesos per stick. She hopes to have weekly sales of 2,400 pesos ($60), of which 1,200 pesos ($30) will be net income. Her sales location will be in front of her house, where she can look after Troy at the same time. Jovelyn is excited about having a small business of her own and is most grateful for the loan.
Analyn T. Gallibot
Jovelyn with her daughter Trexy.