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Ludovina of Davao City: ‘Just keep working’

Sultii lang mga tawo nga nangita ka nako; tingali tanan kaila sila sa ako diri (Just tell people you’re looking for me; just about everyone here knows of me),” said a smiling Ludovina, a banana vendor with a stall somewhere along Magsaysay Blvd. in Davao City. This is not surprising, she added, since “dugay na kaayo ko nagbaligya ug fruits diri (I’ve been selling fruits here for ages already).”

She has been doing this so long that it has not only kept her survive, but also allowed her to send her kids to school. “Maghuna-huna lagi ka nga saging lang man ni, pero naka-buhi jud sa amo-a (You’d think ‘these are just bananas’, but they’ve kept us alive).” And so “bisan ginagmay ra gud, makatabang man (even if only a little, it helps a lot).”

Life isn’t always easy, she said. “Usahay malugi ka (At times you don’t get back what you spent). Usahay walay mupalit (At times there are no buyers). Naa pud panahona mabulok ra sila (There are also times the fruits just rot).”

She also noted how people think she has things easy since “ga-lingkod lang daw ko, ga-hulat ug customers. Ang dili nila makit-an, ang ka-lisod sa pagtigum sa gi-puhunan, sa pagkuha sa supplies. Wala sila kuyapi! Kapuy baya (people think I just sit here and wait for customers. They don’t see the difficulties I had to save up for my capital, and when I get the supplies. They just don’t know! It’s tiring)!”

But she smiled widely: “Ana ang kinabuhi; padayon ra ta ug trabaho (but that is life; we just keep working).”

And it is this somewhat positive disposition that keeps her going. “I-agi gud sa katawa (Spend life with laughter),” she said, “aron dili ma-feel ang ka-lisod (so as not to feel how hard it can be).”

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