Category Archives: Stories

Story of a Philippine Childhood

My name is Myrna and I am 49 years old. I am married, with 3 children and 2 grandchildren. I am a simple person who is a dreamer and who has a positive attitude in every aspect of life. This is the story of my childhood in the Philippines.

I grew up in a small village in Sison, in the province of Pangasinan. My father was a farmer and my mother was a housewife. My father was a very hard-working man. He worked every day on our farm to provide for his children. Even though the work was very tiring, my father was a very responsible husband and a good man.

My father planted a lot of things on our farm: corn, sweet potato, peas, spinach, eggplants and tomatoes. He also planted rice and tobacco. Sometimes I would help him on the farm, along with my brothers and sisters. Every morning, my mother would cook breakfast, prepare coffee for my father, and pack food for all of us before we went to school.

We had all kinds of animals on the farm, like goats, pigs and carabao (a type of water buffalo). We even had a fishpond, where you could see tilapia and milkfish swimming. But my favorite thing was to play with our lovely cats and dogs. People were always surprised when they saw our farm, because it looked like a supermarket! My father loved growing lots of fruits: banana, star fruit, guava, papayas, pomelo, and mangoes.

Every morning was busy in our village, with people either going farming or fishing. But the busiest day was every Saturday, because of the village market. On market days it was so noisy, with people laughing, shouting and selling their pan de sal. I used to go with my mother so we could buy clothes for my brothers and sisters. I remember the strong smell of garbage in the air on market days, and I was always happy when we got back home. Our house always smelled nice because of all the flowers in our backyard: orchids, roses, sunflowers, and many more. My family was very happy and contented, and we lived a peaceful life. Now that I am in Singapore, I miss those peaceful days, and my family, so much…

Cherry’s Fairy Tale

During a writing workshop at HOME shelter, one of our shelter residents Cherry (not her real name) wrote the fairy tale of her life. In the workshop the participants were encouraged to write their own happy ending. Cherry has now left HOME shelter, and we hope her happy end came true, and she and her family are living happily ever after.

Once upon a time two beautiful ladies and one handsome boy were born in the province of Iloilo, in the Philippines. Their mother’s name was Cherry and their father’s name was Wilbert.

One day at dinnertime Cherry and her husband talked about their financial problems. Cherry decided to work abroad again. At first Wilbert did not want Cherry to go, because of their three children. But even though Wilbert had work it wasn’t enough to support their family. Cherry chose to go to Singapore, and her husband supported her. The children cried, saying: “mama, we love you and will miss you every single day”. Cherry was strong walking into departure. Her husband told her “whatever happens, I support your decision because I know you do this for our family… I will take care of our children.” Cherry cried as she got on the airplane.

When Cherry started working in Singapore, the communications with her family were good, and she felt happy and not too tired. But after a couple of weeks she felt uncomfortable because of Grandpa, so she changed employers. Cherry found a new employer in two days, and they were also good and kind. But she was only working one month before they accused her of being a ‘thief’. The case of Cherry is not finished. She has chosen to stay in the shelter of HOME. She hopes that soon her case will be finished and she can continue to work here in Singapore for her children.

Cherry’s favourite happy ending: Cherry chose to work in Singapore to have a good life for her family. She worked so hard to earn money. Finally she finished her two year contract in Singapore and went home to her family. She was very excited and happy to go home. Cherry’s husband and family were waiting at the airport, happy to see her. Finally she left the airplane and walked into the lobby and when she saw her husband and children she ran and hugged them and kissed them… after two years they were back together again and happy to live united as a family.