Livelihood development for middle-aged individuals is important, but Ms. Enriquita P. Ytang, a senior citizen, deems it necessary for the old ones too.
Born and raised in Cebu City, Enriquita P. Ytang had a tough childhood; hustling and bustling to help her parents feed their family. Her father was a farmer while her mother was a housewife. As Enriquita started to step into adulthood, she realized much more that establishing herself with a good job that will sustain the needs of her family is her life’s goal. But things in Cebu City were not doing very well, even for a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, it was difficult for her to acquire a decent job since she experienced seizures constantly which required her to get admitted to the hospital until the seizure subsided.
After a few years of trying to find a job that considers her situation, Ytang failed. She then decided to visit her grandmother in Basilan and tried her luck. She thought: “Basilan is rich in agriculture, maybe I could prosper there” But as soon as she arrived in Basilan, few months with her grandmother, she met a lad who expressed his love to her, he was sincere and loving, but little that Enriquita knew that he was a con.
Enriquita and her partner had two (2) children together, but when the most critical questions wer brought up, her partner would brush it off and ignore her. As a couple of years went by, Ytang finally discovered that her partner lied about being single. Enriquita did not hesitate and left him. She returned to her grandmother and was determined to fight until her children were all grown up and had finished their college degrees.
Since she has aged a bit and is already too tired from tending her children, Ytang never got the chance to look for a job as an agriculturist. She then looked for many ways to sell native food like suman, biko (glutinous rice cake), saging prito (banana fritters) within her neighborhood and then eventually from one barangay to another.
After months of selling from one block to the next, her kids have grown and started college. Being a part-time tindera and mang-lalako of native delicacies, she was able to send her kids to school. Unfortunately, one child was not able to reach college due to teenage pregnancy while thankfully, the other one graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Criminology. Ytang remained positive despite how her children’s paths turned out.
The 60-year old still continued to sell native foods in the streets. One day, she chanced upon the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Isabela City and inquired about a Kabuhayan Starter Kit (KSK) for her livelihood.
Enriquita received a Kabuhayan Starter Kit – Food Processing Kit which she has been using to cook her own native food. She distributes and sells them in different barangays in Isabela City. She expressed that she felt elated when she received the KSK because it felt like a fresh start and could open new possibilities for her.
Ms. Ytang, a senior citizen, is determined with a grateful heart to make more native delicacies for the enjoyment of her fellow Isabeleños. She is inspired to prosper for her grandchildren who will eventually go to college and she would be there to help them. She grasped that making native food herself made her income greater, and it used up less of her energy giving her time to take care and have fun with her grandchildren.