We see her daily. She carries two plastic boxes along with an ice chest. The two boxes she balances one on each hand, while the ice chest hangs over her shoulder.
She sells assorted kakanin regularly–on weekends, holidays and even on days when she’s not feeling well. She walks miles daily, visiting office after office in the city to make a living.
She needs to earn to ensure that her children have food to eat and a little money to pay for their baon in school.
Her name is Glenda Indoso; she is the mother of four, and wife to a construction worker.
She and her husband came to Palawan from Negros Occidental in 2013 because life in their original province, she said, was difficult.
Her husband earns a meager income as a laborer because his skill level falls below the standard requirement to qualify for a daily pay higher than P300—the minimum wage for unskilled construction workers in the city. At P1,800, her husband’s pay, says Glenda, is not sufficient for their daily household needs. This pushed her to peddle food items she gets on consignment from a friend. She earns P300-400 per day but she needs to make sure that all her goods get sold so she will meet the target income for the day.
“Kung hindi ko po ito gagawin, napakahirap po ng buhay,” Glenda said.
After she gets the kakanin from her friend, she sells what she can to every person, every business establishment from Tian Suy Road in Barangay San Jose to wherever her feet bring her.
“Minsan nawala po ako. Gabi na ako nakapaubos ng paninda. Mabuti lang mababait ang mga taong natanungan ko kaya nakauwi rin ako,” she narrated.
Her tears fell when I asked her if there was a time that she felt she wanted to quit. “Yes Ma’am, pero iniisip ko paano na ang mga anak ko kung hindi magtinda?” she said.
Again, her tears fell when I asked her if her merchandise is heavy on her back and shouldrers. “Yes Ma’am. Mabigat po,” she answered.
Last Christmas, her family almost had nothing to serve for Noche Buena, despite her tireless peddling even on holidays. Fortunately, someone gifted her with Php300 and she was able to buy food for the family.
“Do you have a house?” I pressed on. “Yes Ma’am. Mabuti na lang may mga retasong dingding at sa construction na binigay sa mister ko kapag tapos na ang project kaya kahit paano may natitirhan kami,” she said.
When I asked her about her dreams, she answered like the mother she is: “Gusto ko ng maayos na kinabukasan para sa mga anak ko.”
Glenda is the kind of woman who is willing to sacrifice for her children and family. Despite the load she carries every day, she continues to walk miles and miles for her family.
And so she goes, peddling by foot,carrying her load, hoping that someday she will reach the end, where she meets her dreams for her family.