The struggles that their family had experienced prompted Albert and Louzel Grengia to work together to support the needs of their family.
“Bisag unsa kalisod among kahimtang, paningkamotan namong magtiayon kutob sa among makaya nga makalampos sa pag eskwela ang among mga anak ug aron nga dili nila masunod ang kalisod nga sama sa among naagian (No matter how difficult our situation may be, I and my husband will strive as hard as we can in order for our children to finish their studies so that they will not experience the same hardships that we have encountered),” said Louzel.
In 1997, Louzel, 45, finished her midwifery course at Misamis University in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental. She had once failed the midwifery licensure examination in 1998 and had no plan at all to continue in that line of work. The husband, Albert, 45, had not finished his studies due to some reasons but gave his best to provide for their family’s needs.
The couple were blessed with three children and have lived happily together in Moalboal, a south-west town in Cebu, for over 22 years now. They have done a great job raising their three (3) grown-up boys.
Louzel is a hands-on and caring mother. She always makes sure to get to know her son’s circle of friends, and she does everything to provide them with emotional as well as material support.
Louzel recalled how blessed they were to have their three sons. “Kaluoy sa Ginoo, mga buotan ug wala gyud koy problema sa among mga anak. Wala gyud nagsakit akong ulo sa ilang tulo (By God’s grace, they are all good children and gracious. They never give me headaches),” she said.
Albert and Louzel work hard to meet their daily needs, particularly their children’s education. Louzel raised livestock like cows, goats, hogs, and chickens, which she would eventually sell in the market. Albert works as an on-call construction worker. He also helps his wife, Louzel, take care of their livestock, as this is the family’s primary source of income.
The three sons also helped their parents by prudently using their meager resources. They even use their savings to buy things that make their mother’s life easier, like a washing machine and a cabinet.
4Ps beneficiary, parent leader
Others may find raising three sons challenging, but Louzel has instilled in her children the importance of honoring and respecting people, especially women.
In December 2011, Louzel was so grateful that their family was one of the thousands of beneficiaries registered in the program in Moalboal. The program, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), gave them the opportunity to fulfill their family’s goal. Louzel carefully managed the education and health cash grants for their children.
“Nakatabang kaayo og dako ang 4Ps sa edukasyon sa mga bata. Kung unsa gyud ang intended sa cash grants nga madawat, igasto gyud og sakto nga para sa mga bata (The program had really helped in terms of children’s education. Whatever is intended to be done with the cash grants, it must be used in a proper manner for the welfare of the children),” underscored Louzel.
Since becoming a program beneficiary, their family has been compliant with the program’s conditionalities. Her three sons have benefited from the program. They have been doing well in school and continuously achieve high grades.
Louzel actively participates in every Family Development Session (FDS) and has been able to apply to her family all the learning and knowledge that she has gained.
She also serves as a 4Ps Parent Leader, which is the main link between the DSWD and the program beneficiaries in the community. She assists in conducting meetings, updating beneficiaries’ profiles, and other voluntary efforts in relation to program implementation.
She always makes sure to assist her group members in various ways and act as a reliable parent leader in their community.
During the 4Ps law anniversary celebration in 2021, Louzel was honored and awarded as one of the best 4Ps parent leaders in the Central Visayas region, which made her family, relatives, and co-beneficiaries proud.
Future Police Officer
Allien Louie, 19, a third-class cadet in his second year at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), is doing his best to fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer.
“Natingala ko nganong perting ambak (I was curious as to why he was jumping),” recalled Louzel.
Louzel supposedly wanted Allien Louie to take up a much safer course like civil engineering, but she later accepted the path that Allien Louie had chosen, especially when she saw how glad her son was when he learned that he passed the PNPA examination. He was among the 19,000 students who took the examination in 2021.
Allien Louie can only communicate with his parents and siblings twice a month using the phone at the PNPA premises. Allien Louie misses her family dearly, but he fights through everything to achieve his goal and support his parents, who strived really hard for his future.
Allien Louie admitted that he is inspired by his uncles, who are now working as policemen under the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Self-sufficient level of well-being
The family had succeeded in fulfilling the program’s objective of reaching the self-sufficiency level of well-being.
Albert and Louzel were able to support their children’s education needs because of their perseverance and determination in life. They are now slowly reaping the rewards of their efforts in providing support for their children’s dreams in life.
Aldwin, 22, their eldest child, has already graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Cebu Sacred Heart College, Inc. in Carcar City, and this has made the couple very proud.
The youngest child, Aljon, 17, is currently a senior high school student enrolled at Moalboal National High School in their hometown. Aljon also plans to follow the path of his brother, Allien Louie.
“Tungod sa abag sa programa, naka eskwela gyud akong mga anak ug puhon makatrabaho isip mga “civil servant” (With the assistance of the program, my children were able to pursue their studies, and hopefully they can work as civil servants),” happily said Louzel.
Now that her three boys are pursuing their aspirations, she advises her fellow 4Ps beneficiaries to value being part of the program and not to waste the assistance that the government has provided.
Louzel also mentioned that even though their family has already graduated from the program, she will still be willing to take on the role of a 4Ps parent leader. ###