in photo: Mrs. Melody Llamas, owner of Llamas Frito's Food Stall

A mother’s love endures all. Here’s a story that shows how a mother sacrifices for her children to get through challenges of life.

Mrs. Melody Llamas used to be a housewife who focused on taking care of her children. In 2015, through her husband’s extreme encouragement to make a living, she established a street food station named “Llamas Frito’s Food Stall” that offered various fried snacks. It has been one of the sources of their family income; however, a few years later, her husband died. She mentioned that maybe it was his reason why he pushed her to earn independently. It was a painful experience for the family but instead of dwelling on prolonged grief and negative thoughts, she became more determined and hopeful to keep going for the sake of her children.

Being a single mother left with three kids was never an easy task for her. While going through stage of recovery, she was still able to take good care of them and provide their needs by running her business. Then COVID-19 pandemic hit and affected lives that people were restricted to go out, leading to community quarantines and lockdown. This resulted to total discontinuance of physical reporting to offices, loss of jobs and livelihood, and temporary and permanent closure of business establishments.

Although shocked by this outbreak, eventually Mrs. Llamas was able to adapt to this change. She thought of some ways to earn by selling out random items online. During this tough time, the government provided programs to help Filipinos, and one of these was the Social Amelioration Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. She received an amount that she used as an additional fund for her business.

Another assistance that she received was the Php5,000.00 worth of livelihood kit granted by the Department of Trade and Industry under the Livelihood Seeding Program – Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay in December 2022, which primarily aimed to provide priority assistance to business establishments that were greatly affected by the pandemic. This livelihood kit contained requested food items that were sold in her stall wherein her common customers were students, local government unit employees, and residents of the municipality. She mentioned that she was grateful for the assistance that she received since she was able to expand her business which became the main source of their income.

Currently, her business operates on a daily basis. More so, she can increase her customer base due to resumption of face-to-face classes. By doing business, she is able to send her children to school and provide their needs. According to her, a woman must be strategic, resourceful and determined that she knows how to lift herself up during downfalls and think of various ways to solve life challenges. ♦

Date of Release: 18 May 2023