Written by Gilda M. Malanum as translated by Maria Christine Ann Q. Salazar
I was an Account Officer of the San Carlos Branch from 1997-2001. My name was Gilda M. Mendoza, now Gilda M. Malanum, since I married.
I would like to share my experience when I was an Account Officer (AO). It was during my stint as an AO of Center 1 Barangay Bacnar that one of my clients and center officer, Nanay Enit Malasan had lost her house and livelihood in a fire accident.
Nanay Enit, a single lady, stood as a guardian to her four nephews and nieces, after their parents died in an accident. Her life’s inspiration, Nanay Enit’s nephews and nieces were her reasons for not getting married since they needed her more. I will never forget what she told me before, “I am better off than a married woman because I was given by the Lord Jesus Christ intelligent and good children.” Every end of the school-year, the names of her nieces and nephews are always called in the Awarding Ceremony and she proudly comes up on stage to hang their ribbons and medals.
Nanay Enit makes “panutya” (or “panocha”, a Filipino delicacy made from sugar cane) and delivers it to different provinces such as Ilocos and La Union. Her four nieces and nephews helped her in her business. However, tragedy struck when a fire hit her house, including her business.
Nanay Enit became very disturbed when she lost her house and livelihood. She didn’t know how she would regain what she had lost. Through the Lord’s goodness, they found a temporary shelter in their community chapel.
Tuesday, the day of their center meeting arrived and the center have not deposited their weekly payments in the bank because Nanay Enit couldn’t settle her weekly payment.
As their Account Officer, I talked to the other center members to shoulder Nanay Enit’s payment. I requested them to help and understand her situation. The other members donated rice, clothes, food and money. When the collection of the center was completed, I invited her co-members and we went to the Chapel where Nanay Enit was temporarily staying with her nephews and nieces, bringing with us the little things that may be helpful to them. On the way, we saw her house burned to the ground. Nanay Enit burst into tears when she saw us entering the chapel. She hugged me and smiled when we were all inside. We didn’t stay long, but I asked her to write a letter for her co-TSPI members and I will circulate it in the centers. I will also give each fellow Account Officer a copy of her letter so they can circulate it in their centers and help Nanay Enit. Every orientation on release payments, our Branch Manager would always read Nanay Enit’s letter and ask for help.
Our Area Manager at that time was Sir Ramil Mendoza, who also made an endorsement letter for the staff, even those in the Head Office. Because of Nanay Enit’s letter and the endorsement letter, a large amount of money, clothes and rice was collected. We asked Nanay Enit to go to the Branch so we can give her all that was collected from her co-members and staff. You can see in her face that she was extremely happy because of the help that she received. She said, “God Is Good.” Nanay Enit is a Christian and serves in the Lingkod sa Panginoon (a Christian movement of single professionals) in her community.
She was able to build a small house and buy materials for her business to restore what she lost. She felt very happy and grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ because she and her nieces and nephews could start anew.
Before I transferred to Mangaldan Branch, Nanay Enit was still a member and proudly sharing TSPI to those who would receive her deliveries of panutya. Many of them were encouraged by Nanay Enit to be members of TSPI.
I did not hear anything about Nanay Enit for a long time because I transferred branches and started a family at the town of San Fabian.
But one day, my family visited my siblings and mother in the town of San Carlos. While going around the town, we went to CSI to purchase groceries. I did not expect that someone from that area would know me, but someone approached me and asked me if I was Ms. Gilda and I said yes. I asked him, “Why do you know me?” and he responded that he is the nephew of Nanay Enit of Barangay Bacnar who was helped by TSPI. I felt happy that he remembered me because he was still in elementary then but now, he said he was already in college. Their life improved and Nanay Enit already has her own capital that is why she withdrew her membership from TSPI. At present his other siblings are still studying and helping in the business to finish their schooling.
It feels wonderful when you have helped someone because no matter where you are the people you have helped will never forget you. No amount of money can match the overflowing joy I felt on that day.
This is my unforgettable experience as an Account Officer. I hope this will serve as an inspiration to my fellow Account Officers.
Thank you for the retreat because I was given an opportunity to share my experience of being an Account Officer.