Performing one’s responsibilities in a family as father, mother, daughter/son inspired by a cherished dream to uplift one’s poor living conditions against all odds, usually begets the proverbial ‘golden duck’.
This is the story of a family-beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) who ventured into various sources of livelihood to support the family. For lack of education, the father landed into farming and dispatcher of passenger Bangka (small boat), that traversed across Lanao Lake from Marawi City to Bacolod-Kalawi.
A hard-working father, Mr. Diptawie Hadji Nook, 41 years old, is only an elementary graduate. He is a farmer. He harvests “coffee fruits” in August every year and earned Two Thousand Four Hundred Pesos (Php 2, 400.00). He also plants other seasonal crops like durian, and even “loya”(ginger) and most of the time he collects and makes firewoods “itagon” and displays them in their small sari-sari store and sell them at Sixty Pesos (Php 60.00) per bundle. He also engaged himself as dispatcher of a passenger “bangka” (small boar) near their house and earned Fifty Pesos (Php 50.00) every day.
The family resides in Barangay Maindig, Binidayan, Lanao Del Sur, one the municipalities along Lake Lana. Fishing and farming are the mainstay among community residents to earn a living.
Mr. Hadji Nook is married to an optimistic woman, Sittienor Elias, now a 45 year-old mother. She only finished secondary education. She started to manage a small sari-sari store when they got married on June 15, 1987 with only a starting capital of One Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (Php 1, 500.00) from where they derived their daily basic needs. The small store has also helped for the educational expenses of their children who are in college.
Mrs. Hadji Nook is an active beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya. She always attended Family Development Session. She said that she was so thankful for the program because the Cash Grant they receive from it helps a lot for the expenses of their three Children in high school and in elementary grade. She admits that without the program, they could hardly cope up with the educational needs of their children who are in high school and elementary grades as their resources are almost depleted due to the expenses they have incurred for their two daughters in college.
Their fourth child, Ayna Diptawie, who is a first year high school student, is enrolled at Sittie Aisha National High School in Brgy. Maindig, Binidayan. The fifth child, Mohammad Diptawie, who is a grade five pupil and Ahmad Diptawie, who is in grade two and are both studying at Maindig Elementary School also in Barangay Maindig, Binidayan.
Equipped with a very strong determination like their parents who have inched their way into college education, Farida Diptawie graduated college in March 2012 with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Major in Education (BSED) at Marawi Capitol College Foundation in Marawi City, followed by Faida Diptawie, who also finished college March 2013 with the same degree at the Philippine Muslim Teacher’s College, Marawi City. The couple’s third child, Maida Diptawie, is in third year high school at the Sittie Aisha National High School in Barangay Maindig, Binidayan.
The couple’s marriage was “arranged” (parental marriage) between two families as they are first cousins. Decisions were made by their parents. The sister-in-laws of Sittienor who are financially stable did not agree on pursuing the studies of their children, not even providing any financial support to them. That motivated the couple to work harder and determined to pursue their dreams for their children.
Their success is also attributed not only for their being industrious with strong determination in pursuit of good future for their children, but also their solemn and abiding faith in the Alimighty Allah. They are both religious performing regularly the teaching of Islam, particularly praying five times a day. Their children have also grown up religiously.