“Ayaw ko na mag-aral ulit, matanda na ako. Ibigay mo nalang yan sa iba yung bata ang edad.” Said Marty.
In a simple Barangay Anastacio, Polanco, Zamboanga Del Norte lives a farmer with his wife and four (4) children. Marty A. Celicious, 45, is striving to live and support his family. He plants vegetables for a living, as well as for their own consumption.
Apparently, farming is the main source of income in their place, and Marty narrates that life was very difficult for them since rice is harvested every trimester. They also rely on the income they get from selling his vegetables. He sells it not only in their neighbourhood but he travels to other municipalities just to sell it. Her wife Rose also helps to provide through doing home services like manicure and hairdressing, while their 2 children are in school. Marty also works part-time as a construction worker whenever he is needed; he gets paid 150-200pesos per day.
Rose, on the other hand, is a parent leader; their family are pantawid members since 2009. One day, when Rose was in the municipality to meet her co-beneficiaries, a DSWD worker from Sustainable Livelihood Program approached her. She was asked if she knows someone who is interested to undergo skills training in Electrical Installation and Maintenance. Rose was very eager to share the information to her group and also to her husband Marty. Sadly, Marty was not interested because for him he’s too old to be trained.
“Nakakahiya kung sasali pa ako sa training baka pagtawanan lang ako ng mga kasamahan ko doon.” Said Marty
Rose pushed her husband to register as a participant in the training; Marty granted her wife’s request and went to register. The SLP worker, Ms. Ione Reasonable, who approached Rose told Marty to give his self a chance, and be serious with the opportunity that was given to them, but Marty just smiled.
Days turned to months and Marty received a call that the seminar for the training will start in an hour. Marty was helping his father that time in their farm harvesting rice. He was carrying a sack of rice while talking over the phone. He was asked to go to the municipal office right away, but Marty declined because he was busy helping his father so he could be able to get his share of rice for his family’s consumption. However, his father allowed him since it was important.
The following day, the training started.
“Huwag kayong a-absent kase sayang. Kapag isang araw kayong um-absent marami kayong maiiwanang lesson na hindi niyo na malalaman sa installation.” Said a TESDA trainor.
Marty never missed a day of opportunity. He became comfortable with his classmates because the participants were mixed; there were teenagers, adults and even people older than him.
After 51 days of training under Electrical Installation and Maintenance capacitated by SLP partner Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Marty and his co-participants were assessed and were able to attain National Certificate II. With their head held high, they marched their way to receive their certificate on their graduation day. They also received their starter kits which are included in their training package.
“Maganda talaga ang pograma ng SLP. Sana ito ay magpatuloy dahil marami talaga ang nangangailangan nito.” Marty emotionally said.
The journey just begun for Marty, he further enhanced his capabilities through studying Trainers Methodology. The outcome of his hard work, effort and determination, he passed the course. He is now a competent Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Trainer. However, he cannot apply for a job just yet, since his papers needed to be processed for 6 months for the certification. While waiting, he had a part-time work in installing electricity in neighbouring barangays of Polanco, he works with a group, installing two (2) lights and one (1) outlet. They are paid worth 500pesos per household. Marty with his co-electricians are paid per package in one barangay, depending on how many household would want installation. Payment ranges from 15,000-20,000pesos.
“Itong programang ito, hindi lang ako ang nangailanagan, marami pa. Hindi talaga magsisisi ang mag-aaral nito.”
Marty cannot contain his happiness on how he achieved his accomplishments in life. With wide smiles and flashy happy laughter as he shared the changes in is life.
“Dati sumasahod lang ako ng 200 pesos, hindi naman yun araw-araw. Pero ngayon kapag binigyan ako ng isang item, malaki-laki talaga ang kita. Forty thousand pesos sa fifty one (51) day na pagtuturo. Kung sa isang taon maka tatlong training ako, malaki na talaga.”
Marty’s sole dream is to be able to make his four children finish their studies and have their own good life in the future.
“Proud nga ako na natulungan ako ng SLP kase nakatulong din ako ngayon sa iba. Mahirap talaga paniwalaan na narrating ko ito ngayon. Nagpapasalamat ako sa SLP, akala ko hindi na aangat ang buhay ko. ” Marty dreamily states.
“Sa DSWD, SLP at 4Ps, maganda po talaga ang mga programang ito. Sana ito ay magpatuloy kase marami pa ang nangangailangan hindi lang po ako. Sa kin lang alaki ang pasalamat ko kase natulungan ang aking pamilya lalo na sa aking hanapbuhay na binigyang diin na umunlad po kame dahil sa programang ito, itatagyod sa inabukasan, ito po ay magpatuloy.”
“Sa mga kapwa benepisyaryo, itong skills trainng ay maganda, maganda kaysa tumanggap ka ng pera, dahil ang skills training sa lahat hindi yan mababawi ng iba ang kaalaman mo. Napakahalaga nito, dahil ung kaalaman mo, pagkatao mo, hindi makukuha ng ibang tao. Magagamit mo talaga hindi lang sa dito pilipinas pero pati s ibang bansa.”
Marty is devotedly teaching in the Dipolog Medical Center-College Foundation. He was also given a number of offers by different schools to train outside his birthplace, but he respectfully declined because he wants to share first his knowledge to his hometown, in the municipality of Polanco.