Now both in their 60s, Gilda and Manuel started a rice porridge shop (lugawan) and a small dry goods store at their home two years ago to help with the family’s finances.
Every morning, Manuel gets up early to prepare “lugaw” for the neighbors who need a quick bite before rushing to work or to school. In the afternoon, there will be a fresh batch of rice gruel for students’ merienda (afternoon snack) before they head home. They also sell rice, eggs, seasoning and other household staples in their “sari-sari” store to augment their earnings.
When ECQ was imposed in Metro Manila, their small business was among those heavily impacted. Belonging to the high risk age group prevented them from leaving home even after easing of the quarantine. Though they barely have anything to sell in their mini store these days, their “lugawan” somehow managed to help them make both ends meet.
In spite of the setback caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Gilda bravely presses on to slowly but surely fulfill her financial obligation with Grameen Pilipinas. She is planning on a third loan cycle to fund her membership in a supermarket chain and avail of its free delivery service. With a highly satisfactory credit rating, it’s looking like Gilda is not very far from coveting that dream.