They say happiness can be described in many ways. It can be the love and support from your family, a catch-up from your long distance friend, or just a one-scoop ice cream on a cone, but for the Pasil Family, it is the trust, dedication and hard work for the betterment of every member of their family.

Mrs. Salome B. Pasil, 53, a resident of Brgy. La libertad, Gutalac was married to Mr. Edgardo Pasil Sr. of Labason. After being married, she and her husband decided to settle for good in Canuto Enerio, Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte. They tried their luck in their humble community living together with their relatives. Through the years of being together, the couple was blessed with nine children.

Having ample knowledge on farming that they have acquired through experience, they were able to start to make a living by raising their neighbors’ pigs and cattle. The couple also planted vegetables and root crops for their daily consumption. In that way, they would also spend less.

At the time when the couple had only (three) 3 children yet, their daily income was only php 130.00 a day which is barely enough to support their daily needs. The increasing needs of their young children made Mr. Edgardo Sr. worked as a Bus Conductor but the income generated from this job could still hardly feed his family.

Luck went in their favor when Salome inherited a portion of land from her grandparents. This made them invest in live stocks, they bought their own pigs, cows, chickens and carabaos. These have slowly improved their lives and they were delighted by the changes it brought them.

Their family became a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary in 2008. They received a cash grant from the program which served as additional aid to support their children’s education and other needs. They took a small portion from the grants to augment their existing livelihood.

Salome was elected as the president of Canuto Enerio Sustainable Livelihood Program Association. An association that was formed with forty three members in (YEAR) under the Sustainable Livelihood Program.

It was challenging for her to handle her members she said, however she bravely accepted the responsibility. The said association went into the business of buy and sell of rice, corn and farm inputs.

Salome shared that the association was a big help in her gardening. They were able to provide help and assists their members who are also in pressing need. Even Salome was able to get support from the association as she was also able to borrow fertilizer for her vegetable farm which resulted to good production.

Salome together with her husband plant various kinds of seedlings like okra, string beans, squash, eggplant, and more. Her vegetables were harvested in different times of the year. There were monthly, every after two months or quarterly harvests.

Just like any other starting businesses, they too had a share of struggles. Salome’s heart was torn when her vegetable harvest came in less than expected, and therefore less profit for the family. However, she used her loss as their inspiration to do better next time. She made sure to check on her vegetables from time to time, making sure they are growing properly with quality. She sacrificed her time by doing this, but this paid off when harvest comes.

During harvest season, Salome admitted that she and her husband cannot reap everything on their own. They needed help and decided to hire neighbors who are interested to help them and get paid in an amount of P200/day.

The vegetables from their farm were picked up by their regular buyers; some were also sold in the market. However, they also sell some in her sari-sari store. Teachers, workers and people nearby became her regular customers because she sold the vegetables cheaper compared to the ones sold in the market.

Salome earns php300-400 a day when harvest time begins, while php200-300 from her sari-sari store wherein she sells basic daily needs. There is no time to waste for Salome because they have children who are going to school.

Salome continuously engages in planting vegetables, she and her husband grab opportunities when there are free trainings and seminar workshops given by different agencies. Through these, it enable them to widen their farming knowledge. As time goes by, their vegetable production became better.

“Musuroy sa amoa ang Barangay official para magpahibalo nga naay ihatag nga seminar. Amo pod adtuon para madongagan among nahibaw an. Basta bahin sa ika angat sa among kinabuhi, moapil dyud mi. Para molambo dyud mi.” Said Salome.

The Pasil Family was also active in various Religious organization, barangay activities and school activities of their children. The family was also a member of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development or CARD, a non-government organization that aims in promoting household food, security and microfinance development.

The family became a role model in their community because of how they treated the people around them. Mr. and Mrs. Pasil received a prodigious award of “Parents of the Year” recognized by the Canuto Enerio National High School. They also placed second in the recently concluded Provincial Search of Huwarang Pamilya 2018 held in Dipolog City last June 20, 2018.

The family now manages their own Sari-Sari store and owns a vast land area for their farm and coconut trees. They also invested in live stocks and are currently earning a minimum of 500.00 pesos per day. Salome and Edgardo’s hard work and effort paid-off which made way for their children to eventually become a Registered Nurse and a Mechanic.

“Kayod ng kayod lang, naa ra dyud maginansya kadugayan”, Salome said.

The Pasil family showed that everything could be done through hard work. This is what the family wants everyone to adopt, because they believe that their hard work is their savings; Savings that can be useful and withdrawn anytime when needed.

“Nagpasalamat ko kay dakong tabang dyud ang DSWD sa amoa. Ang ilang tabang paningkamuton dyud namo og palambo sa maskin unsang pamaagi.” She added.

###Bernely Sheilaine Nemil (SMO)/Ranny Dahili (Monitoring PDO)