2 months ago


While continuing the

While continuing the project, we constantly interact with Manong Floro because he personally visits the Kalahi-CIDSS Office in Poblacion, Kabugao to discuss his concerns and reports on the status of the project whenever he gets a chance. Our team easily got along well with him and his family during the many days and nights we had to stay in his barangay. We usually stay at his house during our monitoring and technical advice sessions with the community and that’s where we got to know him well. were not able to take the blow. He suffered bruising, his young skin went black and blue. Being in the barrio where the only available doctor is a “Hilot” who tried but had never corrected the broken or twisted bones even after a lot of sessions. Since then, he had to drag his left foot every time he walks. He has to grow up with the challenges of mobility and the discrimination he receives from all kinds of people. Despite all the rocky roads in his life, he kept a positive spirit and lived through life. KALAHISerye 2016|| 51 Manong Floro suffered an accident when he was five or six years old. His brother Tony narrated that they had rough childhood games because they were a fan of Bruce Lee. One day, after watching a Bruce Lee movie, they agreed to do kickboxing with a tree branch as a target. The rule was the higher the kick, the better. He aimed, concentrated just like what he saw in the movies and kicked with all his might. He was merely a young child acting out like a tough action star. His delicate muscles and bones Now, he is 54 years old and is happily married with Manang Maritess with their 3 kids. His wife married him despite the protest of her parents who told her that Manong Floro will not be able to build a happy family with her because of his deformity. Staying with them in their home convinced me more that having disability is not a hindrance to happiness. It’s just a matter of perspective. I witnessed how Manang Maritess always goes with Manong Floro and takes care of his physical

limitations by carrying their basic needs during their hikes to Barangay Poblacion. Having finished a two-year vocational course, he had the guts to apply for construction works in Manila but as he was starting his own family he decided to settle at his hometown. He now makes ends meet by working as a carpenter in his municipality and other neighboring municipalities. The slap he received when he was rejected in his application for a work abroad just bring him smiles now. be the start of bringing out the great carpenter in him. I do not claim to be great in judging carpentry works but I know what is excellent when I saw the walls, the corners, the chairs and everything about the classroom he led to build. I hope that the children who will use the building will take care of it and be inspired by the story of Manong Floro whose family even donated the lot for the construction of the building. He embraced the reality of having a physical disability in this discriminatory world and lived an earnest life up to now. That time when he was rejected for the job he applied, he kissed his passport goodbye, put it aside and thought he could just master a skill and then make a living out of it. True to his plans, he mastered carpentry. He never imagined that his horrible experience will KALAHISerye 2016|| 52

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