Juliet Macaorao moved to BNJ Southville 7 three years ago when her shanty along estero de Paco was among the informal structures that were identified to be demolished as part of the rehabilitation efforts for the Pasig River. During the day of the relocation, Juliet and her two young sons Joel and Jeric packed their belongings, boarded the lipat bahay truck and never looked back.
She never regretted the move. For one, her son Joel had severe asthma and the living conditions along the esteros was not ideal. Joel would frequently have attacks, so severe that he would at times almost pass out. “ Ang dumi dumi kasi duon sa paligid namin, tapos delikado pa sa mga bata kasi ang daming loko” (“ The surroundings were filthy and unsafe for children because there were many troublemakers around”.) “Dito malinis ang hangin, tahimik at safe kami. Magmula nang lumipat kami dito, hindi na inaatake yung anak ko” (Here, the air is clean and we feel safe. Since we moved, my son has not had an attack”).
Since settling in Calauan, Juliet’s family has grown. Her youngest, Princess is 2 ½ years old. Her husband, an aircon technician who works in Manila gets to visit the family when his schedule permits. In the coming months, she will be alone with her children since he has found new work in Leyte. To keep Juliet busy while her children are in school, she decided to volunteer as a helper in the feeding program. She serves close to 300 children everyday during her shift. It was her way of thanking Programa Genio for including her undernourished son Jeric in the feeding program. “Tama ang naging desisyong lumipat sa BNJ. Malapit ang eskwelahan at nawala ang hika ni Joel. Hindi kami aalis dito kahit anong mangyari”. “Relocating here was a good decision. My sons’ school is just nearby and Joel’s asthma was cured. We will never leave this place no matter what happens.”
Nanay Juliet helps run Programa Genio’s Pagkaing Genio Feeding Program
as a nanay volunteer. She serves close to 300 students during her shift