Struggling to make ends meet, 15-year-old Angel Pinto tried her luck online in the hopes of bartering a pair of rubber shoes for a laptop for her siblings’ online classes.
She can barely catch up with her own online lessons using a mobile phone whose storage capacity easily gets full which makes it difficult for her to save files. As the eldest of five, she worries naturally about her four siblings when their time to have classes online comes with only one mobile phone available.
Her problem was solved Tuesday night (Oct. 6), a day after her story was published by Manila Bulletin Online when Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso learned about her plight and gave her not one, but three tablet computers. Now, studying would be easy for Angel and her siblings who are in Grades 1, 2, 5, and 7.
“Nagulat [kami] kasi po [nung Tuesday] tinawagan po kami nung staff ni Mayor Isko tapos hindi po namin ineexpect na mismong kagabi [rin] po ipapadala yung tablets (We were surprised when Mayor Isko’s staff called Tuesday night and sent the tablets right away),” Angel told Manila Bulletin Wednesday, October 7.
MB Online came out with Angel’s story Sunday, October 4.
Hindi na po kami mahihirapan at kapag nagkasabay-sabay yung schedule naming magkakapatid ay hindi na po kami magkakagulo (It will now be easier for us to attend online classes even if our classes are happening at the same),” she said.
Angel thanked Domagoso, saying her family is very grateful for the city government’s immediate response. The STEM (Sciente, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) major also promised to study harder.
“Kay Mayor Isko Moreno, thank you very much po sa ibinigay po ninyong tablet sa aming magkakapatid. Malaking tulong po ito sa amin upang makasabay sa online learning (To Mayor Isko Moreno, thank you so much for giving me and my siblings tablets. This would be a big help for us to help us keep up with online learning),” Angel said.
“Ipinapangako po namin na mas pagbubutihan pa ang aming pag-aaral at papahalagahan at iingatan po namin ang ibinigay ninyo pong gadget. Maraming salamat po ulit (We promise to study harder and treasure these gadgets. Thank you so much again).”
When Manila Bulletin relayed by Viber the profuse thanks of the Pinto family, the mayor replied: “Pasalamat kamo sila sa Diyos (They should thank God).”
Angel also encouraged her fellow students who are also having a hard time with online classes to never lose hope and just keep the faith.
“Pare-parehas po tayong nahihirapan sa sitwasyon natin ngayon na kung minsan dumarating sa point na pinanghihinaan tayo ng loob at iniisip natin sumuko. Pero laban lang, iiyak pero di susuko. Kapit lang. Kapit lang tayo sa mga naniniwala sa atin, sa pangarap natin, at syempre kay God. Malalampasan natin to (We are all struggling because of our current situation. Sometimes we would feel discouraged and think about giving up. But just fight, cry but do not give up. Let’s think about the people who believe in us, our dreams, and of course God. We can overcome this),” Angel said.
A Grade 11 student of Mary Chiles College in Sampaloc, Manila, Angel tried to barter a pair of shoes in Facebook groups in exchange for a laptop that she and her other four siblings would use for their online classes. Unfortunately, she was unsuccessful.
She said a laptop would lessen her burden and help her multi-task in her online classes.
She also joined the “Piso Para s Laptop” fundraising campaign online, but the money she got from the campaign was still not enough to buy herself a laptop.
Before the pandemic, Pinto’s mother sold street food in an elementary school in Manila but lost her only source of income to the lockdown.
Angel said she is trying to barter things to help her mother and siblings.