Philippine Self-Help Foundation

Renelyn  (21) grew up without a mother but her father Rolando managed to fill in the gaps that an absentee mother had caused. Rolando took up both roles of parents covering the tender nurturing aspect a mother is expected to provide; this, on top of providing financially for her along with her two younger siblings. Renelyn was only six years old and her two younger brothers were four and three when their mother left them and eloped with another man. Her father was a vendor of various items as his way to earn a living and was the sole provider in raising all his three children. When they were all attending school, accompanying their father to the market to sell during weekends became their bonding time as a family. At the age of 10, Renelyn had to be her father’s assistant in looking after her younger siblings which is why the three of them are very close. It was from peddling and selling during market days that Renelyn’s father was able to save up to buy a small area of land and over the years he managed to build a roughly made concrete house for his family.

The quiet life of the Yanoc family was disrupted when in 2016 her father got ill resulting from complications of diabetes which required the amputation of one of his legs. Good thing that her father’s siblings were there to always lend a hand for the three of them. Sadly, in 2017 her father did not survive another medical emergency when he developed sepsis from an infected wound. What made it worse was when Renelyn’s mother showed up demanding to claim her share of their house but luckily their house and lot had already been transferred to the names of Renelyn and her siblings.

It was Renelyn who continued the family business and while selling at the town’s market, Renelyn met Sherwin (now 21) in 2019, also a vendor from the neighboring barangay of Manjuyod. The two of them became constant companions not just on market days and became a couple in April 2021 when Sherwin moved in with Renelyn when she became pregnant with their first child whom they would name Kurt. Their son is now 9 months old. Sadly, when Renelyn gave birth, most of the couple’s savings, as well as their working capital, was diverted to paying for the hospital bills. It was costly as unfortunately baby Kurt had to stay longer in the hospital as he had incurred an infection in his mother’s womb.

Presently Sherwin is selling household items but on a consignment basis. In a week’s peddling, he gets a commission of 1,200 pesos ($22) after deducting gasoline expenses. When Renelyn heard about our livelihood program, the couple applied for a loan. Now that restrictions have eased up following the two-year pandemic and business is almost back to normal, Sherwin and Renelyn are keen on buying stocks of their own instead of having items on consignment. The couple is keen to sell household items i.e, casseroles, plates, pails, RTW’s, sound boxes, flashlights, ropes, as well as curtains and some other stocks that are always of use at home or in the offices.

With a working capital, Sherwin and Renelyn will be able to buy stocks at a wholesale prices thus enabling them to sell at 30 percent mark up. Both are excited that business is getting back to normal thus market days will now be full of people buying RTW or household items. Sherwin has a second hand motorcycle and his goods will be placed hanging at the back of the motorcycle (arranged in such a way that 2 sacks are each dangling on the side) Both Renelyn and Sherwin are expecting to more than double their income. This significant increase in income will enable the couple to start saving money to build a house. The couple is looking forward to the approval of this loan so they can start peddling their items in most towns of Negros Oriental province.

Winelin De La Cruz and Ireen O. Ingles

PSHF Negros Oriental

October 2022