“Labindalawa kaming magkakapatid tapos walang nakapag-aral. Kaya nung nagkapamilya ako, sabi ko iibahin ko ang pamilya ko, pagtatapusin ko ang mga anak ko.
(“I have eleven siblings and none of us graduated from school. That’s why when I started my own family, I wanted them to be different, I wanted to make sure my children will graduate.”)
Tay Samuel Araño, 54 years old and one of Cropital’s partner farmers from Occidental Mindoro, grew up in poverty and wasn’t able to finish his schooling. So he made it his own dream and mission in life to make sure his children don’t suffer the same fate.
Through his hard work, five of his seven children have now graduated from college. Two of them are registered criminologists now serving the country; the others have earned degrees in IT, business administration, and agriculture.
“Sabi ko sa mga anak ko, igagapang ko pag-aaral niyo hanggang kaya ko.“
(“I told them, I will strive to get them through school until I have no more blood, sweat, and tears to give.”)
And Tay Samuel kept his promise.
“Hindi hadlang ang kahirapan sa pagtupad ng pangarap. Matutong dumiskarte. Iwasan ang bisyo para matulungan ang pamilya,” he advised. (“Poverty isn’t an obstacle to achieving one’s dreams. Learn to find ways, to make ends meet. Avoid vices for the sake of the family.”)
Tay Samuel says that life now isn’t as hard as it used to be. From being just a tenant farmer, who had to pay rent on his harvests and often came up short on money for daily expenses, he now tills his own land, and even earns a little extra from raising livestock.