Written By Eva Niña P. Sta. Ana, Writer, Operation Blessing Philippines
In a Filipino family, when parents have no means of providing for the needs of their children, the grandparents are always there to rescue!
A woman, in spite of her age and who has her own personal needs, who will always open her hands and heart, wide enough for all her apos (grandchildren), is a loving grandma.
This is the story of Lola Severina Panopes, 68 years old, from Purok 5, Barangay Alawihao, Daet, Camarines Norte.
Severina is the grandmother of one of Operation Blessing Philippines’ (OB) latest Bless-A-Child (BAC) Program beneficiary, Alicia Mae Agno, 5. Alicia is the 4th daughter of Liberty Panopes, 29, and Daniel Agno, 29. Both have no stable source of income. But Lola Severina is there to help out.
Liberty is currently pregnant with her 6th child. Her husband, Daniel Agno, is not living with them because of his engagement with illegal unlawful activities in another place. Liberty could no longer provide for her children because of her condition, making her completely dependent on her mother.
Lola Severina works as a massage therapist, earning P150 ($3) in every massage session. She mentioned that in a day, she can only do two sessions because of her old age limitation. She wakes up early in the morning tending her grandchildren’s needs and walks all day long in their barangay to look for a potential customer.
Operation Blessing witnessed first hand how loving and caring Lola Severina is to her grandchild, Alicia.
She could be strict as a grandmother, but the team saw that she just wanted the best for Alicia. She even does not mind sending Alicia to the feeding area every afternoon, because she believes this will help her grandchild achieve the needed health care.
When asked what is her heart’s prayer, she answered, “Panalangin ko dagdagan ang buhay ko. Dagdagan ang buhay ko para sa mga apo ko [My prayer is a longer life. A long life to live for my grandchildren.]”
Lola Severina has a very positive perspective on life. She said, “Positivity attracts blessings.” She believes that Operation Blessing is indeed a blessing that came right on time.
Out there, Operation Blessing will always encounter people who can inspire despite their sometimes lousy lot in life. Their stories and beliefs can never be shaken even with the tests of life. Help us bring more inspiring stories like Lola Severina. Donate today by visiting www.obphil.com or call us at 477-7806.