Sto. Tomas, Davao Del Norte (DSWD XI) – Persistence begets triumph. Community faciltator Bobit O. Dalatag, 33, believes in this.
“From dawn to dusk, I witnessed my father day in day out tilling the land. That never-ending grind pushed me to persevere and now I am the person I never imagined I could become,” Bobit related.
Bobit graduated Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Liceo de Davao in Tagum City with flying colors. For over a year now he has served his community in Sto. Tomas as Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Community Facilitator under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Indigenous Peoples (MCCT-IP).
An Ata Manobo, Bobit is a single parent and was a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary before he got hired at DSWD.
He has nine siblings and both his parents are farmers.
My family life was never easy. We lived in a very remote village sans neighbors and far from community structures. Government services could not even make it to our community. My six siblings died of illness due to poverty, Bobit sadly recounted.
“I did not want to end up a farmer hence I decided and was determined to pursue schooling.”
“From grade school through high school, I endured hiking eight kilometers forth and back every day to attend my classes. This and all the sacrifices we have mustered in the family inspired me to continue my studies notwithstanding the imminent hardships.”
“I started college when I was already 26. I was very much unsure then if I could survive without any financial help from my parents.”
However, Bobit’s dream to survive the tertiary level started to become a reality through a scholarship from a national government organization. He received Php 5,000.00 every semester to augment his school needs.
When life in college was getting harder, Bobit knew he could not pull through if he could not make an extra income to cover for his additional school expenses.
“One day, I was informed that our school was looking for a part time janitor. I immediately applied so that my 18 units every semester will be paid off,” Bobit animatedly shared.
Realizing that his extra effort was not enough especially in his course, Bobit decided to work in a bar as a singer and guitarist which paid Php 300.00 for five hours.
“I was a janitor in the morning, student in the afternoon until evening, and acoustic singer and guitarist from late night until dawn,” Bobit proudly narrated.
“There were times when I almost gave up but I knew I will be just like everyone else in our community -tilling the land until the end of time just to survive. I badly wanted to finish college so that I could offer a better life to my family.”
After graduation, Bobit decided to apply in DSWD with the goal of helping his fellow Ata Manobos, especially the children in his community. He wanted them to value education and to inspire them to pursue their own dreams.
Since then, Bobit has influenced many children in his area of responsibility. He also supports his relatives who are in school so that they would also succeed in their different endeavours.
MCCT-IP caters to families belonging to the Indigenous Peoples living in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA).
“I hope this MCCT-IP program will continue so that indigenous peoples in the Philippines would still have a chance to change and improve their lives through giving importance to education and health,” Bobit urged.
Poverty will always be, yet people who persist will always triumph. Bobit lives by this by heart.
Pantawid Pamilya has been helping 233,864 families in Davao Region attain their dreams and gain better opportunities. The program is also assisting 29,884 IP beneficiaries thru MCCT-IP. (DSWD)