Having nine children is a blessing, but it is also a big responsibility. As a father, Romeo Candazo, 46 years old, believes that it is his role to support and provide for the needs of his family, especially for the education of his children. His wife, Aking Candazo, 42, is a housewife. Both of them are residents of Barangay Batbatan. Two out of their nine children are already married and have families of their own. They are now left with seven children to raise and nurture. The youngest child is just four years old.
“Kung wara pa nakipag angot ang DSAC sa Brgy. Batbatan tama gid kalisod ang akon pamilya,” (If DSAC had not gone to Batbatan for the projects, my family would still be suffering right now) Romeo would narrate. He used to borrow a boat from his friends or join other fishermen to catch fish just to have an income for his family. The money that he earns is still being shared with other fishermen and the boat owner. Romeo cannot go fishing all the time since boats are not always available for him to borrow.
Romeo was one of the beneficiaries of the motorized pump boats that were distributed in Barangay Batbatan right after typhoon Haiyan hit. He believes that DSAC was God’s instrument so he can have something to call his own. Romeo also added that he earns an average of PHP 10,000 per month and he can fish whenever he wants to. He also uses it as a service boat for his family or to run errands to the mainland.
It was another turning point in Romeo’s life since he admits that he was part of illegal fishing operations before he was provided with a boat. This has also led him to realize the importance of not only the marine life but also human life.
“Duro duro gid nga salamat sa DSAC nagtawhay gid ang akon pangabuhi kag napa eskwela ko pa ang akon mga kabataan.” (I want to thank DSAC because it made my life easier and I have the opportunity to send my children to school.) The first time he got to ride his motorized pump boat his heart was overflowing with joy knowing that it would mark of a new beginning for him and his family.
He knows that this is just the start of a more challenging life and he believes that DSAC has been God’s tool in answering his prayers. He also added that God has always been present every step of the way and to never stop believing and keep the faith always burning.