CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–With P2,000 in her pocket and the aspiration of giving her children the better future they deserve, Ayana Verallo, 40, started her own sari-sari store business in 2010.
Ideally, a family home should be composed of a father, mother, and their children; however, with the prevalence of marital incompatibility and unresolvable issues, solo parenthood can do more good than harm.
Solo parent Ayana had her fair share of misfortune in her marriage.
Residing in Sto. Niño, Cogon, here, she shares a home with her two children, an 18-year-old who is about to enter college and a 5-year-old who is currently in kindergarten, whom she had been raising alone.
Verallo recounted that there were low moments in her married life where she experienced abuse, as her then-husband did not show any love or respect for her, which resulted in low self-esteem. Patient woman that she was, she chose to live with the situation until she no longer held back, realized her own potential and worth, and decided to leave her husband.
A portion of Department of Labor and Employment Integrated Livelihood Program Solo Parent Beneficiary Ayana Verallo’s sari-sari store, which she acquired through DOLE-10. (DOLE-CDO)
She persevered to make do with whatever she had for herself and her children by being frugal, prudent, and practical, which were also her strongest suits.
Her good fortune came when she was introduced to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP), which helped kick-start her business and gave her better sales.
Through DILP in 2020, she was granted grocery goods and supplies worth P20,000 for her sari-sari store. Her income got better. Despite being a solo parent, she was able to send her children to a private school, purchase gadgets such as laptops for their online learning, and own a motorcycle, a passenger multicab, and a house. The best part – these were all paid in cash.
As an entrepreneur, she avoided making debts that she could not sustain to pay, a financial principle that she proudly lives by until now.
Ayana considered herself successful as she managed her own business and harvested the fruits of her endeavor, which she deserved.
In January 2022, she applied for livelihood enhancement under the DILP for expansion.
Should she be awarded enhanced financial support, she would acquire a stall at a local market where she could sell her wares. Just as she did with the sari-sari store starter kit that the DOLE gave her three years ago, she is determined to start small and eventually let it grow.
Bitter circumstances may have led Verallo to where she is now, but she remains optimistic that with the help of the Almighty and with the support of DOLE-10, better and brighter things are coming for her and her family.
The DOLE-10 Cagayan de Oro City Field Office (CDO FO) is honored to have been part of Verallo’s journey as an entrepreneur.
DOLE-10 CDO FO Chief Emmanuel Toledo said that in this modern world where solo parenthood poses a lot of challenges and burdens, DOLE stands firm in its promise to sustain its services in ensuring that women are treated with dignity and integrity and in empowering them further as they envision a better quality of life. (DOLE-10/PIA-10)