The Philippines is such a family-oriented country that many of us go to great lengths just to make sure our family is comfortable. It’s common to see fresh graduates put their future on hold just to support his or her parents and their younger siblings, or parents fit for retirement still work to meet their family’s needs. This woman is an example of the latter.
This story was shared on Facebook by Marianne Ballesteros. According to her, she noticed a woman selling rags along Commerce Avenue across Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa. According to her:
This is Lola Porfiria Ramos. For those of you living in the South like Alabang, Las Piñas or Cavite, you’ve probably driven past her numerous times already. She’s the old woman selling rags along Commerce ave. in front of Ayala Alabang (just before the Acacia-Commerce stoplight and intersection). I think this is the only stoplight intersection where I never wanted to hurry and chase the green light since traffic would allow me to pause and give her any extra amount I have. Saw her once and I can’t seem to stop thinking about her condition. Decided then to chat with her for a bit and know the story behind this hardworking lola.
Based on Marianne’s frequent conversations with Lola Porfiria, she found out that:
- She’s up by early morning to sell her rags and takes her breaks once in a while but for the whole day, she’s just standing there at the traffic island with no chair or shade whatsoever, just herself and her rags on her shoulder. She won’t even be able to chase those cars that zoomed past her if they wanted to buy the rags as she’s already weak and too slow to walk, let alone run. It’s just her luck if the car that stopped beside her wanted to buy from her or give her alms.
- She just turned 85 last Feb. 26, 2015 and has been selling rags for around 5 years now.
- She lives in T.S. Cruz and has 2 blind sons (caused by their past work as welders), a daughter, and a lot of grandsons and granddaughters (she can’t even count them when I asked).
- She gets her rags from her neighbor and resells them at Php100 per pack. She says she doesn’t earn that much in a day but for some weekends, it helps to sustain her and her family’s needs.
- Asked her why she still works at age 85 (imagine that, 85!!), and she had this reaction from her face where I already know the answer even without her saying it. She said her family needs the help. How sad is that. Imagine if it’s your mother in her position.
- She doesn’t have SSS retirement fund though she has Philhealth. With God’s grace, she doesn’t have any serious illnesses (previously has highblood but is now normal) although I noticed her eyes were quite turning into a lighter color. I’m not sure if it’s cataract but she said it’s affecting her vision. Asked her about her lungs since she’s always exposed to pollution, she mentioned she haven’t had the chance of having them checked yet but she actually wanted to. I didn’t ask but I know it has to do with money matters.
- Her shirt size is medium and shoe size is 5.5.
Marianne urged her Facebook friends to make donations for Lola Porfiria, like buying meals for her family or buying the rags she sells. Marianne is also using her cookie business to raise funds. According to her, 100% of her cookies’ sales will be used for Lola Porfiria’s checkup. Readers may send her a Facebook message for orders.
What do you think? Share your thoughts below!