Distance and Efforts

To provide better lives for their families, millions of Filipinos brave the long distance to find greener pastures so they could send more money to their families back home.

Such is the story of the Bautista family from Dulag, Leyte. It was in 1990 when Nathaniel, then 38 years old, left his wife Andrea to work as an electrical engineer in a construction firm based in Saudi Arabia.

Left with three children, Andrea singlehandedly raised them. “Having my husband far from our family is very hard because we have 3 kids to take care of and I’m the only one in the house. I was the father and mother of my children and I’m doing all the chores at home including school matters,” she recalled.

Although her OFW husband regularly sends money back home, Andrea admitted that sometimes this wasn’t enough to meet their needs. As a result, from her friend’s recommendation, she joined CARD, Inc., a microfinance institution, in 2007 to avail of P5,000 loan which she used as capital for a sari-sari store.

Eventually, her small business grew to become a general merchandise store and later expanded to selling dressed chicken. With proper management, hard work, and help from her children, she was able to make her business grow. It had supported her children’s education.

“I am very thankful that CARD helped me in funding my small sari-sari store, because during that time the money from my husband was not enough for the needs of my kids, but with CARD I was able to have a store which became our source of income,” she said.

“At present, all my kids are graduates and we have our computer shop which is run by my eldest, a graduate of Information Technology,” she added.

Last year, they decided to let her husband retired from being an OFW. “I felt happy then because at last we have our husband back. I told him that it is the time to come home since all of our children have already graduated,” she said.

For 10 years with CARD, Andrea has been an active member with an outstanding loan of P20,000. In the future, the family plans to venture into piggery, hatchery, and farming.

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