Stronger together: The story of Mary Ann and her family #Bahayanihan

Stronger together: The story of Mary Ann and her family #Bahayanihan

Togetherness is often invaluable to the Filipino family. We prefer sticking together through the highs and lows, even if it entails sacrificing a little more than what we’re used to. There seems to be nothing more rewarding than seeing our loved ones’ faces after a long day.

Mary Ann Sunga, our #Bahayanihan recipient from Masantol, Pampanga, promises that she will do all that she can to keep her family together and their strong bond a constant in their lives.

Mary Ann and her sibling lost contact with their father at a young age. As their Mom would constantly travel overseas for work, they were left in the care of their grandparents whom they considered their own parents.

“Marami na siyang napuntahan kaya di namin siya masyado nakakasama,” she recalls of her experience with their mother. “Syempre, sino ba naman yung batang ayaw nilang makasama yung nanay nila, ‘di ba?” she mournfully adds. But despite their circumstances, Mary Ann rarely questioned her parents’ decisions.

Now with a family she calls her own, Mary Ann wants her children to experience what she had not: “Ayoko maramdaman ng anak ko na di kami buo,” she expresses. So when facing their own financial difficulties, Mary Ann and her husband have never considered working abroad. She explains: “Hangga’t maari, basta’t nagkakasya kami, kumakain ng tatlong beses isang araw, napapag-aral yung mga bata, okay na yun sa akin basta’t magkakasama kami.”

When she discovers OLX, she finds a way to increase her earnings from working as a regular cashier in a nearby hospital, and her husband’s as a pharmacy aide. “Yung mga bagay na di na ginagamit o kaya yung mga bago na binigay sa amin tapos di magkasya, binebenta namin,” she explains. She adds that apart from selling, she has turned to OLX to look for cheap deals as a daily habit, especially when their children have materials that they need for school. This has saved them a lot of money for other necessities, and in helping fund their dream home.

By not seeing financial difficulties as a hindrance to being together as a family, OLX believes that Mary Ann has embodied the great qualities of a true ma-diskarte person. This has made her truly deserving of our #Bahayanihan campaign, especially where we make one of her biggest dreams come true: “Yung sana makapagpa-renovate…[yung] simpleng bahay lang.. basta magkaroon lang ng sariling kwarto yung mga anak ko, kahit isang kwarto lang,” says Mary Ann.

We also held life coaching sessions for Mary Ann and her husband, through the help of life coach Jerht Santos. Jerht reflects on the sessions:

God reminds us that “Love is patient, love is kind…It bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…”

Love is something that we all need. Coaching the Sunga Family was such an incredible experience as they were able to show more love to each other during our Life Coaching sessions. Terry and Mary Ann learned parentings tips that can help them in raising up Myer and Elfie. We found out their primary Love Language and how they can improve as a family. In one session, Myer’s face brightened up as he heard the words “You are handsome; for you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” We discovered that he needed to hear encouraging words and he feels loved every time this happens. Elfie expressed her desire to spend more time with the family and have weekly family dates. Overall, the Sunga family felt motivated because their dreams are now within arm’s reach. Through our stewardship modules, we realized that their plans of purchasing a car for the family was possible. “Kayang-kaya pala, Coach,” as Mary Ann exclaims.

Terry, Mary Ann, Myer and Elfie came back not only to a new house, but a new home filled with love, thanksgiving, encouragement and appreciation. Ultimately, “love remains.”

Enjoyed this article? See the rest of the #Bahayanihan episodes here.

Bahayanihan aims to reward and help improve the lives of ma-diskarte OLXers by enabling a series of bahay-, buhay– and kabuhayan-improvement programs.