I am Marinel. My father is Baltazar, he is a farmer but works for others in harvesting rice crops to provide us food. My mother is Patricia. I am the seventh among the eleven children of my parents. My experiences outside are a mix of happiness and sadness.
I was seven years old when my mother left us. She told us that she is going to work in the other country to sustain and provide our needs. She gave us word that once she is already there, she would call us everyday and send us money every week. We also believed my mother. When the time came that she went to the other country, we have not heard any news about her since then. She hasn’t even called us nor sent us money. Until we have heard from a relative that my mother is now living with another man and have already 2 children. When my father learned about that, he became a drunkard and drinks every day and when he gets home, he beats us with no reason at all and doesn’t stop until he breaks the wood that he used to beat us. All we can do is to cry.
One time, my father came home at noon. I was folding our clothes when he suddenly aimed the knife on my neck. All I did was to cry because I was so afraid. After that, he went out and we saw him again drinking together with his friends. He came home late that night. The next day, we have nothing to eat for breakfast until lunch. My younger siblings keep on crying because of hunger. We were only able to eat in the evening, but we only ate banana with salt because we don’t have money, and no one wants to lend us money. Life is very difficult for us especially when there is no one to hire my father in harvesting crops. Sometimes, we cannot eat in one day, all we can do is to bear the hunger. It is only when my father finds a job, that he immediately buys rice for us.
My family became separated after my mother left us; my older siblings went to Manila and have their own family. One of the things that I can never forget is how my father struggle to provide our needs because he is the only one who works for our family now. He works in the farm; planting anything. Sometimes he sells pineapples if there are.
When my aunt knew about the free education that the Sisters of Mary provides, she let me take the exam. Fortunately, I was able to pass the exam. When I knew about it, I was very happy because my father told me that I am the only hope in uplifting the family. I can never forget about not having food to eat to the point that we already faint, borrowing each other’s clothes even our toothbrushes. We seldom eat delicious foods because we lack money. Our house is also destroyed but my father cannot repair it because we do not have enough budget. When my father looked for work, he was also accepted as a construction worker. He only goes home once every week and only earns a meager amount; he then divides the money he earned for expenses for our food and education. I feel sympathetic with my father because he works very hard.
Now that I am here studying, I wish to finish my education and be of help to my father and to my younger siblings. I will study hard and become successful and have a job someday.
I am grateful for all the things I am receiving here and for all the benefactors who are supporting us. I am so happy here especially last August 15 where we all celebrate our birthday with cakes, and we have our fun playing games. I also received gifts. I will never forget how we smile and remember my siblings who do not received these things. I am almost crying because it is the first time I received gifts and how I was treated well by the sisters here. Thank you so much.