When he was younger, Dioscoro Igcalinas was not aware of his physical condition, instead he focused his attention on his studies until he reached grade six. Growing up his age, he eventually realized that he has a disability.

“Kahit na meron akong kapansanan ay patuloy kong ipinaglaban ang aking sarili upang makamit ko ang aking pangarap sa buhay na makatulong sa aking mga magulang”, he said.

He was made to understand that what he lacks is not something he has to be ashamed of. He continued his studies, he learned how to read and write using his feet at first, later he learned writing with his arms until he finished high school, related by his brother Liberato Igcalinas.

Dioscoro, now 29 years old recalled how he was back then. He used to be so quiet and shy because of the thought that he is different and he felt that people was unsure about his capabilities and that he could not be able to contribute much in terms of the activities in their barangay.

Which is why when Kalahi-CIDSS was introduced in Barangay Canaan, Liloy in 2014 he didn’t take part of the program yet. He was merely a spectator, he was observing how the program was implemented and while doing so he got interested.

Sa aking pag-oobserve noong may mga dumating sa aming barangay na nag-orientation kabahin sa Kalahi, nindot og maayo ang tumong sa kalahi kay kining makatabang sa komunidad sa among barangay, sa 2nd cycle, doon na ako nag-isip na hindi mag-alinlangang na sumali as Kalahi volunteer”, he furthered.

Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP is one of the poverty-alleviation programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development which uses community-driven development (CDD) approach, a globally recognized strategy for achieving service delivery, poverty reduction, and good governance outcomes.

Despite his condition, he really wanted to help their barangay and to make sense in the community. He wanted the people to realize what they can do for the community because there is so much that Canaan needs in terms of the services from the government.

Just like their old day care center, the foundation wasn’t as solid as they’ve expected and they also lacked health station. With this, they had a hard time accessing health services from the local government. Barangay Canaan is quiet far, atleast 7 kilometers from Poblacion Liloy, which would take them awhile before they could avail of the medical services in town.

Driven with all these in mind, Dioscoro put aside his shyness and earned the trust of his fellow volunteers by putting him in charge as the Project Preparation Team Chair.

He couldn’t help it, said he was so nervous while campaigning for their proposed sub-project during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum.

What they went through wasn’t easy for anyone, from the beginning when they were attending Barangay Assembly, “kinailangan na 100% ang serbisyo namin sa Kalahi dahil sa napakaraming proseso na kailangan naming tugunan”, shared by Dioscoro.

“Tinuruan kaming mag-analyze sa problema sa komunidad tuwing PSA at hindi naman po nagkalisod dahil suportado naman kami ng barangay officials, at nang lahat ng mga volunteers dito”, he added.

 The people did not disappoint them when they got their sub-project prioritized. The construction of Day Care Center was completed on May 29, 2016 under cycle 2, while the Barangay Health Station was completed on November 8, 2015 under cycle 1 KC-NCDDP implementation.

With the efforts poured by Dioscoro together with his fellow volunteers in Canaan, their barangay was hailed as the Bayani Ka! Awardee for the category “Person with Disability”, for ensuring  a  reasonable accommodation, which encourages resident PWDs to not only surpass his/her disability and people’s expectations but also to participate in compassionate, collective action in the community during the 4th Regional Bayani Ka! Awards.

This award seeks to recognize exemplary communities that are engaged in DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

Diocoro credits his fellow volunteers for helping him out because he knew that he could not do this on his own, saying “tayo po ay may tagsa-tagsang talento na maipakita o magawa sa komunidad, hindi tayo dapat mag-alinlangan sa pagtulong”.

He is grateful to the program as well for acknowledging him and the community and more importantly he is grateful to the positive changes it has brought him and to the Barangay Canaan as a whole.

Although the program may come to an end in the Municipality of Liloy, but he vows to continue to be an inspiration to other PWDs just like what he did with the program and also his service to the community as a matter of fact he is a Youth Leader in their barangay. They actively conduct seminars on religious teachings and sports activities to ensure values-formation and direction among their youth. ### JGA