The Life Story of Michael: A Beneficiary of HAPI Homes

Posted by Alvin John Ballares | Posted on May 10, 2019

Title: The Life Story of Michael: A Beneficiary of HAPI Homes

By Edmar Toisa Traje

April 28, 2019

Valladolid, Negros Occidental

 

Michael Magallanes is one of  beneficiaries of Build a Climate Change Resilient Decent Shelter Project or HAPI HOMES. He goes by the name of Mike.

Mike’s crib for four years

Mike was born in the Island of Molocaboc, some three hours away North of Bacolod. A son of a fisherman and his mother is a plain housewife. He was not able to finish primary education and was forced to go to Manila to work as a construction worker at the tender age of 18 years old. He got married at the age of 19 years old and got 2 children, which tells us right away of his sorry state- poor family planning- which is quite common here in the Philippines. To make both ends meet, he also worked as a helper in a junk shop because his work as construction worker was not that stable. He has mouths top feed, one big family at that, but then no stable job. He can’t go anywhere away from his family to find for a greener pasture. Sometime in 2012, his former boss in a construction firm where he used to work offered him to work as a timekeeper in Boracay Island. Sounds promising, so without second thoughts he immediately accepted the offer and went to Boracay leaving his family in Bulacan.

Their project was finally finished after seven months of working in Boracay. He then decided to go back to Manila to reunite with his family. Now here’s the sad part. He called his boss to inform him about his plan, and asked money for his fare, as it was initially agreed that everything will be reimbursed, including his fare going back to Manila. No response. So he waited for the money, and little did he know that the supposed fare allowance was already sent it to the foreman. His boss gave it all to the foreman to be distributed among the other workers, but the foreman ran away with the money. So that left him penniless in Boracay, and on his own to find means to go home.

To his rescue, one co-worker contacted him for a construction job opportunity in Negros Island. This gave him hope somehow, to get himself out of that mess. His co-worker left for Negros on the very next day, he was tagged along.

Then came another bad news,  when they arrived at Brgy. La Granja , La Carlota City: no available work waiting for them. The contractor had already hired people for the project. This left Mike with no other option but to work as a sacada or sugarcane farmworker. The role of a sacada is no joke, you have to toil for more than 8 hours, from sunrise to sundown and only get paid for over 1 USD per day. Too much workload for Mike that after a month of working under the heat of the sun, his weakend body gave up on him. He got sick so bad to the point that he almost died.

A good hearted fellow, Mr. Felino Hermano, took care of him until he recuperated and healthy again. Mr. and Mrs. Hermano stood as his foster parents for six years. Everything went well, made himself ready for the comeback. What seemed like he’s back on the track was short-lived. He learned that his wife had already been living with another man. Devastating news that was, so he aborted his plan in going back to Manila and he chose to remain in Brgy. Antipolo, Pontevedra, hopeless.

He joined EEGCI as a member and work as a sugarcane helper earning 160PHP a day, that’s 3 USD- at least there’s a salary raise. During off season, he plants vegetables, but still, his earnings cannot suffice to repair his broken home nor build a new one.

Building him a decent shelter will definitely boost his self esteem and somehow bring back his long lost dignity. HAPI donated money and the EEGCI volunteer carpenters rolled-up their sleeves to build Mike his new house .

The Bayanihan Spirit lives on
Now Mike can sleep comfortably

 

Mike wants to extend his big thanks to HAPI http://www.hapihumanist.org and EEGCI volunteers for making this possible. More HAPI homes to come!

 

 

Other good reads...

HAPI launches quarterly Manila Bayside Clean-Up

In partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) and the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), officers and members of Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) Metro Manila Chapter organized its first Manila Bayside Clean-Up on January 28, 2018. Humanists, agnostics and religious alike gathered and labored […]

HAPI’s Danielle Hill speaks at the 2016 Asian Humanism conference

  During the 2016 Asian Humanism Conference themed “Old and New: Timeless Solutions to Modern Challenges” held last August 6 and 7, Humanists from across Asia convened at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan to discuss Humanism and humanistic values. By Christopher Michael Barredo The event was composed of a multi-national list of speakers and […]

How Humanism Gave Birth To Me

Vitruvian Man X Humanism

Humanism begins with a question I was 8 when I first pondered over the question, “Do cavemen go to hell?” This triggered me to question humans’ knowledge of the beyond, of what lies after we die. My thirst for knowledge led me to go on a philosophical adventure in search for “the truth”. Religion was […]

HAPI Summer Class Program to launch this April at Brgy. North Fairview

The HAPI Summer Class Program (HSCP) is an Early Childhood Development Program for children of ages three (3) to five (5) years old with Separation Anxiety Disorder with the theme: “ISUMMER SI BABY PARA SA K-12 READY!” Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD), is an anxiety disorder in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from […]

HAPI’s Executive Director interviewed by Conatus News

Written by: Christopher M.V. Barredo Last December 12th, 2016, Ms. Jennifer Gutierrez, Executive Director of the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) was interviewed by Scott Douglas Jacobsen of Conatus News, an online blogging platform started by grassroots activists giving progressive voices centre stage on issues ranging from current affairs, science, politics, education to philosophy and religion. Scott is the founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing The interview spreads awareness […]

HAPI Kids – First year with HAPI -2

HAPI ‘s second anniversary celebration was with the HAPI kids in Alabang whom we have been providing services to since early 2015, dubbed as HAPI Bimonthly Nutritional Campaign. What better way to celebrate their first anniversary than be with the top HAPI Officers? Our HAPI Executive Director, Jennifer Gutierrez came as Supergirl, and Lex de […]

HAPI takes part in rally for LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Act

On March 17, 2018, the LGBTQ community congregated at the People Power Monument on the famous Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) to encourage national senators to finally vote in favor of Senate Bill No. 1271 also known as the Anti-Discrimination Act — “an act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or […]

About The Author

Edmar Toisa Traje

Edmar is a volunteer and overseer of EEGCI

Scroll to Top