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Rebecca of Cotabato City: ‘Enjoy what you do to last long doing it’

For longer than she said she cares to remember, Rebecca has been a “regular” of the BBQ area in Cotabato City – at first selling meat that she and her former husband grilled for “suki” (regular customers), and then, with him gone, continuing to do the same with her kids. “Dito kami bumuo ng pamilya ng asawa ko (This allowed us to build a family),” she said, “at dito na rin nakakabuo ng pamilya ang mga anak ko (and my children are able to raise their own families through this, too).”

It is, she admitted, not exactly the most thrilling job. “Gigising ka para mamalengke, ihahanda ‘yan para ibibenta, magbubukas ng tindahan, magbibenta. Tapos uulitin na naman sa mga susunod na araw (You wake up to go to the market for the goods to sell, prepare these to be sold, open the store, and then sell. Then you do the same all over again the next days),” she said. “Parang pa-ulit-ulit, no (It seems repetitive, right)?”

That, Rebecca stressed, is not to complain with what she’s doing; instead, “nagsasabi lang ng totoo (I’m just stating the truth).” Because for her, this life she ended up having is “hindi na rin masama (not bad at all).”

Rebecca said she is thankful for many things – for the opportunity to run her own business, for being able to spend time with her kids in running that business, and “sa mga taong nakakasalamuha ko (for the people I end up dealing with),” she said. “BBQ stand lang kung titingnan itong puwesto ko, pero may mga kaibigang nabuo dahil dito (What I have may just be considered a BBQ stand, but friendships have been formed here).”

And in the end, “yung mga parang maliliit na bagay ang nagpapasaya (the seemingly small things are the ones that make us happy),” she said, a wide smile on her face. “Ito rin ang magpapanatili sa iyo para ipagpatuloy na gawin ang ginagawa mo (These are also the things to consider for you to stay and continue doing what you’re doing).”

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