Garden of Hope…

          Maribel Abrera-Grezo, Sitio Kiwit, Busuanga, Palawan

Haiyan survivor Laurencia Gallardo of Bogo City in Cebu has proven that perhaps there is a rainbow after the rain.

Gallardo has long been dreaming of owning a sari-sari (convenience) store especially that her husband’s income as a farmer is not enough to support their family’s daily needs.

Before Typhoon Haiyan hit their province, she would only earn a meager amount of P70 a day from working as a labourer in a sugarcane farm. Since she has no college degree to get a much higher paying job, she thought a retail business of her own could be her way out of poverty.

And alas! God must have heard her prayers. Because in the most unforeseen circumstance such as Haiyan, she was chosen by the Relief and Rehabilitation Unit of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cebu to receive P10, 000 worth of livelihood assistance to start up her own sari-sari store business.

“I really could not believe that I finally have my own sari-sari store business. I thought when Typhoon Haiyan came, I already lost everything. I was wrong because God has better plans,” Gallardo said, tears flowing happily.

Now, Gallardo is already living the dream with her family. She said their life has improved with her new source of income allowing her to earn between P400 and P600 every week. She added that they could now also eat three times a day with the help of the sari-sari store.

Soon, Gallardo is set to live another dream. That is to finally see her eldest son, who is a scholar, graduate from college next year. Yes, the farmer will be having a teacher for a son!