With only PHP500 monthly income, this midwife successfully raised 3 degree holders

by Justine Punzalan
Jul 17, 2020
Now all professionals, Maria Buncalan's children (L-R, right photo) Argie, Aiza, and Ace couldn't thank their mother (left photo) enough for being their hero.
PHOTO/S: Maria Mayang Dizon Buncalan / Aiza Dizon Buncalan on Facebook

Maria Dizon-Buncalan is a hero in the eyes of her three children.

Maria, or "Mayang" to her colleagues, has spent half of her life working as an unregistered midwife at the Dr. Arturo P. Pingoy Medical Center (DAPPMC) in Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

Because she does not have a medical license, the 60-year-old mom earns much less compared to the salaries of her licensed colleagues.

Nevertheless, her children Aiza, 31, Argie, 27, and Ace, 24 are all very proud of her.

So much so that Aiza submitted her mom's name to the Nominate Your Lodi online campaign of PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal). The campaign started early this year.

Aiza wrote in her entry, "She’s my mom. Napagtapos niya kaming tatlong magkakapatid on her own

"She’s working in a hospital and hindi siya registered, meaning mas mababa sa regular na sahod iyong sahod niya...

"Iyong tuition namin is salary deduction. Every sahod ng mom namin, may mga bawas pa iyon from PAG-IBIG, PhilHealth, SSS.

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"So bale naiiwan sa sahod ng mom ko is PHP500 Pesos.

"Imagine tatlo kaming nag-aaral."


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Mayang recounted how she overcame all the challenges in an interview with PEP.ph on July 1, 2020, via Facebook Messenger.

MAYANG IS THE PROVIDER OF THE FAMILY

Mayang began working right after learning the results of her board exam.

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Although she didn't get her long-desired certification in midwifery, the mother of three did not hesitate to venture into the same field.

"Siyempre nalungkot ako pero nagtrabaho ako kaagad pagbalik ko ng Koronadal," she said.

Mayang decided to work in DAPPMC because her father had already built a relationship with its owners, the Pingoys.

"Ang may-ari, parang family na rin namin. Tatay ko noon ang nag-asikaso sa mga farm nila," she explained.

Aside from the hospital and farms, the Pingoys own St. Alexius College in Koronadal.

Thanks to their long-established bond with the family, Mayang was granted the opportunity to enroll her kids in St. Alexius College and have their tuition fee deducted from her salary.

"Sa tuition nila Aiza noon, binabawasan ako ng PHP1,500 every 15th and katapusan ng buwan," she said.

The deduction left her with only PHP500 of her monthly salary.

To make ends meet, Mayang took multiple side jobs and made the most out of the money given to her by kind-hearted doctors at the hospital.

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"Sa maiwan kong sahod na PHP500, kadalasan masyado akong nahihirapan kasi kulang talaga," Mayang related.

"Nabuhay ko ang mg aanak ko sa mga mabubuting kalooban ng mga doktor namin sa hospital.

"Wala naman kami bayad sa lupa kasi sa lupa kami ng may-ari ng hospital nakatira.

"Nakapagpatayo din ako ng sarili naming bahay dahil nag-loan ako at may dalawa kaming doktor na tumulong sa akin sa pambili ng materyales.

"Kapag nag-a-assist ako sa kanila, binibigyan nila ako ng kahit magkano lang kasi alam nila wala akong sapat na makukuha sa sahod ko.

"At minsan kapag off ko sa duty, sumasama ako sa mga kaibigan ko mag-harvest ng palay or ng mais para may maibigay ako sa kanila kahit kaunting allowance lang."

MAYANG IN THE EYES OF HER CHILDREN

Aiza saw how hard her mom worked to give them a good life.

She revealed in a Facebook chat with PEP.ph on July 2, 2020, "Aware ako sa financial status namin since bata pa ako.

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"Kaya din ako nagsikap kasi nakikita ko po ang hirap ng mom ko—iyong uuwi siya minsan wala kaming ulam.

"May kape lang kami okey na kasi iyon iyong tinitimpla namin at nilalagay sa kanin.

"Nanghihiram lang ang mom ko ng pambaon namin dati sa school and from night duty niya—uwi niya is 7 p.m.—pagdating niya ng bahay, bihis lang 'tapos alis ulit para maghanap na naman ng pang-allowance namin.

"Always siya nagsasabi na, 'Magtipid kayo kasi ako lang mag-isa kumakayod. Hindi ko pinupulot ang pera sa pang araw-araw niyo at mag-aral kayo nang mabuti.'"


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MAYANG IS THE PROTECTOR OF HER CHILDREN

While Mayang labored day and night to produce funds for their family of five, she also had to work twice as hard to keep their family together.

To say their life was like a teleserye would be an understatement.

Aiza recounted some "very traumatic" details from the past that eventually led to her parents'separation.

When Mayang had the chance to literally run away, Mayang decided to start anew as a single mom.

The unica hija continued, "Kahit saan man kami makarating, ang importante, magkasama kaming dalawa.

"Doon din nagstart magdesisyon ang mommy ko na ayaw na niya."

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MAYANG IS A HERO FOR HER CHILDREN

Mayang and her children are now looking forward to a brighter future, as she said, "Sa ngayon, hiwalay na po ako sa aking asawa ng limang taon na.

"Silang tatlo ay nakapagtapos na rin dito sa St. Alexius College kasi ang may-ari nito ang mga Pingoy din at salary deduction lang silang tatlo.

"Si Aiza, nagtrabaho na siya ngayon sa Riyadh bilang isang radtech (radiologic technologist).

"Si Argie naman at si Ace, sabay silang nag-graduate taong 2014.

"Radtech din si Argie at nagtatrabaho siya sa Lariosa Hospital sa Surallah, South Cotabato.

"Si Ace naman, walang trabaho sa ngayon pero nakapagtapos siya ng aviation electronics technology.

"Nakapagtrabaho siya noon bilang isang instructor sa aviation school sa Baguio, hanggang sa bumalik siya dito sa Marbel at naging instructor siya ulit sa St. Alexius."

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Since graduating from college, Mayang's children have made it a habit to give a portion of their salary to their mom.

Mayang continued, "Nagbibigay sila simula nang may sahod na sila.

"Alam naman nila na dahan-dahan kong binabayaran ang mga naiwan kong utang sa school.

"Fully paid ko na ang mga loans ko ngayon kasi dahan-dahan din itong ibinawas sa salary ko."

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Aiza couldn't be prouder of her mom for overcoming all their challenges with a strong heart.

She told PEP.ph, "My mom is my hero.

"I have always admired her for being madiskarte, being a raketera para lang magkapera in a good way, and iyong pagiging strong niya kahit hindi madali iyong pinagdadaanan namin.

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"Hindi ko nakitang umiyak nanay ko sa harap namin at never siyang sumurrender sa mga hamon sa buhay.

"Kaya nagsikap din kaming tatlong mga anak na makapagtapos ng pag-aaral para maibalik iyong hirap ng mom namin simula bata kami at kahit hanggang ngayon."

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Now all professionals, Maria Buncalan's children (L-R, right photo) Argie, Aiza, and Ace couldn't thank their mother (left photo) enough for being their hero.
PHOTO/S: Maria Mayang Dizon Buncalan / Aiza Dizon Buncalan on Facebook
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