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Andong from Cotabato City: ‘Support your family’

For as long as he can remember, Andong’s family has been a regular addition to one of Cotabato City’s famed spots, the BBQ stalls not too far from the city plaza and the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church. His family, he said in the vernacular, “has been here for years and years”, and this (i.e. being here) has been their family’s “major source of living.”

It is, there, not too surprising that as a grown-up, Andong ended up “sumunod sa yapak ng parents ko (following the footsteps of my parents),” he said. That is, “nagbibenta ng BBQ ang nakagisnan ko; ito na rin ang ginagawa ko (I grew up seeing them sell BBQ; I ended up doing the same).”

Not, mind you, that he’s complaining, particularly since he now has a family of his own. “May panahong mahirap (There are times when doing this is hard),” he said, but “masaya rin naman (it can also be fun).”

It is the fun part that Andong wants to dwell on; not only derived from earning well, he said, but also from “pakikipagsalamuha sa iba’t ibang tao (mingling with different people).” This is a way, he said, “to encounter people.”

Having been part of the family business for years now, Andong said that being there for family always matters. “Support your family,” he said, adding that this concept of family need not just be defined by blood relations, but also with close ties to those who choose to be with you. “Real families are there when you need them; so be there for your family, too.”

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