“Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.” Brene Brown

 

Dárlán Páléncìá Bárcélón       

 

 www.philexaminer.com

 

San Juan, Prieto-Diaz, Sorsogon, [12.18.18] – The spiritual color of green which stand for posperity and healing was seen in the pastoral village of San Juan, Prieto-Diaz in the unassuming personae of a lady public school teacher and their village chief.

The zealous display of love for others and compassion to Destajo family was compelling and inspiring – San Juan Punong Barangay Baltazar Domdom Dia and Mrs. Airyn Nicolas Flestado, 35 years old, Teacher 3 of San Juan Elementary School had shown their exemplary humanitarian spirits in reaching out their underprivileged neighbor.

The beneficiaries of San Juan Punong Barangay Dia and Mrs. Flestado act of altruism were Mrs. Ana Conchado Destajo, 35 years old widow and her two daughters – Joanna Marie and Jolina Althea.

The poignant sufferings of Mrs. Ana Conchado Destajo and her two daughters came last November 7, 2018 – when Ana lost her right foot due to a third-degree burn.

Suffering from a third-degree burn is tragic, but without financial means to seek medical treatment is even more heart-breaking for a jobless widow.

Accident

The Unemployed Widow. The recipient of Mrs. Ana Conchado Destajo, 35 years old widow of Barangay San Juan, Prieto-Diaz, Sorsogon will receive a lot donation from their village chief Baltazar Domdom Dia. Photo by www.philexaminer.com

The Unemployed Widow. The recipient of Mrs. Ana Conchado Destajo, 35 years old widow of Barangay San Juan, Prieto-Diaz, Sorsogon will receive a lot donation from their village chief Baltazar Domdom Dia. Photo by www.philexaminer.com

The unfortunate incident occurred last November 7, 2018, when Ana suddenly and unexpectedly fainted while cooking inside their hut.

“I was cooking when I lost consciousness when I regained consciousness I saw my right foot was already severely burned”, she narrated.

Though the injury was severe they overlooked to go to the local hospital and seek medical treatment and apply unorthodox medication to the wound despite of its severity, one of the neighbor said.

Ana was brought to a local public hospital on November 9, 2018, almost three days after the accident transpired, Mrs. Flestado narrated.

Poverty Gap  

The decrepit abode of the Destajos in San Juan, Prieto-Diaz, Sorsogon. Photo file www.philexaminer.com

House of the Poor. The decrepit abode of the Destajos in San Juan, Prieto-Diaz, Sorsogon. Photo file www.philexaminer.com

The depth of poverty on the lives of the Destajos is cheerless.

The poverty line they tread every day is so depressing as they could barely have their decent meals. Sometimes they are feeling lucky through the benevolence and help of their neighbors in San Juan who provide them with extra foods to eat.

Ana admitted that there are times they endure two days of hunger whenever they don’t have food to eat.

[“Minsan namumurot sana kami sin mga hinog na mga pili na nahuhulog, in  papabakal namon para ipambakal bugas.”]

“There are time we use to forage fallen ripe pili fruits and we sell it to buy rice.”

Widow’s and Daughters Supplications

During the interview, Ana and her two daughters were tearfully requesting in their humble and straightforward requests that they should be provided of heir own house and a food to eat, while, Joanna Marie and Jolina Althea with a tears in their eyes fervently wishing to finish their education.

Not a 4Ps member

Even though living in abject poverty the Destajos are not listed in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) program in San Juan, Prieto-Diaz.

Punong Barangay Dia told the www.philexaminer.com that the local Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office of Prieto-Diaz did not include them [the Destajo] for lack of birth certificates.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a human development measure of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition, and the education of children aged 0-18.

Lucky Break

The heartrending ordeal of Mrs. Ana Conchado Destajo, 35 years old widow and her two daughters became an exigency for Mrs. Flestado to embark on a contingency plan to seek help from outside to help.

A photo of the suffering 35 years old Ana was sent to Mr.Luces through a Facebook messenger, Mrs. Flestado told the www.philexainer.com

From a sheer planned contingency, fortuity came after the storyline has landed on Facebook when the scenario was posted by a media man, Mr. Niño N. Luces –  free providential medical assistance from Sorsogon Governor Robert Rodrigueza Lee who shouldered Ana’s operation including medicines arrived.

According to Mrs. Flestado she used the social media platform [Facebook] to enlist help and to save the poor widow from possible deadly infection – after she learned that the widow had a third-degree burn on her right foot.

[Bago ako mag send san mga pictures kay Sir Niño, pigpangadyian ko muna an cell phone ko na sana matabangan ako pra kay Ana. Naiisip ko ang worst na puwdeng mangyari kung dae tulos mabulong si Ana, puwede nyang ikagadan an infection sa buto – ang mag sasakit talaga ang duwang batit, kaya nag kusog boot ako na mag hagad tabang sa iba”], Flestado said in Bikolano.

[Before I send the pictures to Sir Niño I recited a prayer on my cell phone and I hope a help can be extended to Ana. I am thinking that a worst case might happen to Ana, if she is not treated she might die of infection, and her two daughters will suffer, that is why I decided to seek help from others.]

Big-hearted Punong Barangay of San Juan. Philantrophic Village Chief Baltazar Domdom Dia [extreme left] poses with pupils of San Juan Elementary School together with Mrs. Airyn Nicolas Flestado on extreme right with her co-teachers. Photo by www.philexaminer.com

Big-hearted Punong Barangay of San Juan, Prieto-Diaz, Sorsogon. Philanthropic Village Chief Baltazar Domdom Dia [extreme left] poses with pupils of San Juan Elementary School together with Mrs. Airyn Nicolas Flestado on the extreme right with her co-teachers. Photo by www.philexaminer.com

In the same vein, Punong Barangay Dia, has signified to donate a 10 meters by 10 meters private lot for the family where they can build their permanent house – as they are facing a possible eviction as they are only squatting on the lot they are presently occupying.

The 53 years old village chief promised that it will be a free titled lot donation in the names Joanna Marie and Jolina Althea.

Teacher’s Advocacy

Among my advocacy is to uplift the less privileged pupils. In my nine years in the teaching profession as a teacher, every year I am always looking for a pupil who needs upliftment. It is only now that I was so deeply challenged [Ana’s case] because a parent is involved and it needs to be assisted, she said.

Although impoverished Joana Marie and Jolina Althea are consistent class performers in their respective class and they always represent our school in school district scholastic competitions, Flestado admitted.

I am planning to enlist Joanna Marie in Saint Louise De Marillac College of Sorsogon as scholarship grantee when she enters her secondary education, Flestado ended.