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Bibingka maker, vendor grateful with 4Ps program for education of 3 children

Nothing beats the love of a mother for her children. She will do anything just to provide for their needs.

Ludivina Arinquin, 53, a resident of Barangay Molopolo, Macrohon in Southern Leyte and a ‘bibingka’ vendor, expressed profound gratitude to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). She acknowledged that the program had been of tremendous assistance to her family, particularly in ensuring that her three children received education and helping them overcome poverty.

Being among the initial beneficiaries in Macrohon, she eventually completed her nine (9) years as a Pantawid member and officially graduated from the program in 2022.

Freshly baked bibingka air-dried on a table at the house of Ludivina Arinquin, which doubles as her shop. (Photo by Macrohon 4Ps Office)

She reminisced about the hardships she faced in the past, where, at one point, she earned a living by collecting and selling bottles. Later on, she turned to making and selling bibingka as her main livelihood, as she discovered it to be a more productive and sustainable option.

Arinquin shared her experience as a housewife who was blessed with the financial assistance provided by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the DSWD.  Her testimony was heard during the Information Caravan spearheaded by the regional DSWD office on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, at Kuting Reef Resort in Macrohon town.  (Photo by Ivo Geraldo, Visayas State University OJT at PIA-So. Leyte)

Even though Nanay Ludivina became a Pantawid member, she never solely relied on the financial assistance provided by the program. She continued making and selling bibingka as her source of income. Bibingka, also known as ‘bingka,’ is a traditional baked rice cake prepared by cooking the ingredients with fire from both above and below the cooking container, typically a ‘kaldero.’ This native delicacy is often enjoyed as a snack during special occasions or can be savored anytime to satisfy one's cravings.

Variations of ‘bingka’ are distinguished mainly by the number of cracks visible on the finished output. Some versions have two cracks, while others have just one, which is called ‘bingkang pinaliki’ in Bisaya. Additionally, certain variations may have no cracks at all.

The finished bibingka product in slightly colored and pure white variety being packaged prior to selling.  (Photo by Macrohon 4Ps Office)

Over the years, two out of her three children have already graduated. One of them is now working abroad as a seaman, while the other has completed a teaching course. Her third son is on track to graduate in a criminology course. Nanay Ludivina humbly acknowledges that this journey would not have been possible without the consistent support of the Pantawid Program.

“Life was really hard, especially since both of my children were attending school at the same time. It’s a good thing that the 4Ps provided cash assistance, which was what I gave my children for their allowances,” Ludivina said.

She expresses her hope that other beneficiaries will also utilize the cash grants they receive from the Pantawid Program effectively, and that, like her, they will successfully graduate from the program.

The entire province of Southern Leyte has 22,219 household Pantawid beneficiaries according to Atty. Jonalyndie Chua, head of DSWD’s regional legal office and the concurrent OIC Information Officer.

Out of this number, some 3,298 households have already graduated since 2021 through the “Pugay Tagumpay.”  (MMP, with reports from Ivo Geraldo, VSU Intern/PIA Southern Leyte)

About the Author

Marcelo Pedalino

Regional Editor

Region 8

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