No. of :

No. of Shares:

Currently viewed by: Marcus Rosit

Pause, play

Why are we drawn to survivor stories? As a culture, we are fond of revenge stories or rags-to-riches, or whatever else there is that is grounded on the basis where one unfortunate event becomes a pivotal point in one’s life - that a dramatic change of scenery, lifestyle, or anything is a prerequisite to moving forward. But let’s face it, real life isn’t like that. Sometimes the best thing you can do to start your healing process is to just… move on.

Norhayna Abraham has no sob story. No tear-jerking tale about lost ones, no fire-inspiring stories of unfathomable suffering, not even an “aww” inducing softness. When she lost her food cart to the siege, she struggled to find another source of income to feed her four kids. As a single mother, she had limited options but luckily for her, her own mother was there to lend her a helping hand. 

Before the siege, she already owned a small food cart where she sold street food by the elementary school near their home but much like everyone else, she was forced to leave it behind when her family evacuated to Balo-i when the fighting started to get out of hand. Thankfully, she was qualified for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Korean International Cooperation Agency’s (KoICA) livelihood program. 

Wanting to establish some permanence in her life, she signed up for the cookery program which she used to revive her small street food business. They trained for one month in partnership with TESDA and it wasn’t long before she graduated and received almost everything she needed to restart her old business; from the stove to a deep fryer, even the ingredients.

It didn’t take long before she started her life again, but instead of pressing “start over” she pressed “continue” and carried on as if nothing happened. Of course, there are old scars that will take some time to heal, but she continues for her children. 

It would be a lie to say that her life went on to be exactly the same. Because of IOM-KoICA’s starter pack and the return to face-to-face classes, Norhayna was given an opportunity to capitalize on the increasing number of students and establish a stable source of income through her Snack Inn without sacrificing too much of her time. Now she does not have to worry about missing time with her children while providing for her family.

In some cases, a dramatic hero’s story isn’t always the best answer. When you really look at it, during a time when people are so desperately searching for a semblance of normalcy after their lives were so heavily shaken, it seems only logical to want to continue from where you left off without much adjustment. Maybe Norhayna was on to something after all. (PJF/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

Feedback / Comment

Get in touch