Everyone has their own fear, fear of failure, being left behind, or poverty. For Renelyn H. Toong, 34, she’s afraid of the word “debt”.


Renelyn lives with her family in barangay Bacong, in the so-called Magnificent View Capital of Zamboanga del Norte, the municipality of Salug. She and her husband were able to support their living through selling charcoal from the coconut trees in their little property. Their children live with their relatives while they are out working. However, the daily income they earn is just enough for their needs for the day. This situation forced the couple to work even harder, to the point where there are no idle moments every minute of every day.


But there was something not everybody knew, even the couple themselves where not very aware of the skills they already knew. This skill, if only they knew howto make the best out of it, could help them uplift their lives. All they needed too was capital, which at the time, they also did not have.


The Toong family are pantawid beneficiaries, when the blessing through the face of SEA-K opportunity came, their reaction was unusual. They had second thoughts because in the amount of ten thousand pesos they are afraid that they cannot pay back. Day passed as they were analysing on what to do, the pastor in their place advised them to grab the opportunity.


“Kuha na mo ana (SEA-K), kay naa gud moy mga gamit unya kulang nalang mo’g ipuhunan.” The pastor said.


Renelyn then decided to go and register for the help. Luckily it was also the day that photos will be taken of beneficiaries who are interested to avail SEA-K. She later became part of a group that consists of 15 members.


When Renelyn received the grant worth ten thousand pesos (10,000) she bought the needed materials for their dream bakery. She was also able to buy a motorcycle at an instalment basis, which they used to be able to make things easier when they bought materials for their business, as well as for deliveries.


Renelyn passionately did her work as part of the business. At first, they they were only able to buy ingredients by kilos, but eventually, as their income became consistent, and started to grow, they were able to get these by sacks.


Nag antos dyud mi hangtod nga medyo makapalit na mi’g sinako. Sauna kinilo ra’g asukal, unya karon by sack na.” Said Renelyn.


Slowly they were able to add materials in their business, especially when they were blessed with another capital. Renelyn became a PAMANA grantee. She received worth twenty thousand pesos (20,000) which she was very grateful of.



Today, Renelyn doesn’t need to worry much about the expenses at home.

In their everyday delivery through his husband’s effort, they earn 3,000-4,000pesos, while they earn 800-1,500 for the products they have on display in the bakery per day.


When Renelyn remembers their life in the past, she still cannot believe that she was able to manage the money properly. She was also amazed of herself because before she was afraid to take money from debt.


“Sa permero mura dyud ko naguol kay sukad sukad wala man ko nakahulam og ing-ani, makahulam ko 100 pesos lang, pero maguol na gale ko kay di kabayad. Pero sa dihang nakadawat ko og tabang sa SEA-K, ako ning gigamit, ginegosyo og gihandle uban sa akong bana: okay man kay nigawas ang maayong resulta. Kung unsay among kita, okay dyud.” Said Renelyn comicly.


“Sa panahon nga nakaapil mi sa SEA-K nakatabng dyud siya, dako kaayog katabang sa panginabuhi.”

“Kaning maong programa dako dyud kaayo ni siya’g ikatabang sa amoa, sa mga pobre, basta ayuhan ra pod ang pagdumala sa tabang nga ihatag sa atoa, mo okay dyud ang negosyo. Mas nindot dyud kung mokuha ta ani unya atong idapat sa maong negosyo, kay kung imong i-negosyo motubo man gyud na siya.”


“Sa DSWD og SLP, pasalamaton kaayo ko sa tanan sa nagadumala, nagdala ani, dako kaayo siyag ikatabang sa akong pamilya. Salamat kaayo nga niabot ning program nga nakatabang dyud sa akong pamilya.” – Renelyn