Working as a construction worker during weekdays and as a street vendor on weekends is a 26-year old man’s way of earning a decent living for his family during this pandemic.
Diomar Gonzaga is a laborer specializing in masonry works. Being an on-call laborer most of the time, Gonzaga will only be able to work if his foreman relative would get him to work at a construction project which he is involved in.
As a laborer, Gonzaga earns P600 per day carrying sacks of cement or hollow blocks and mixing the cement and sand manually. He then does the cementing and finishing on the walls or floors of the building or a house.
‘May pagkakataon pong kailangan naming mag-overtime para madaling matapos ang isang project. Minsan hindi na kami makakain dahil sa sobrang pagod, (There are times that we have to work overtime so that the project would finish ahead of time. Sometimes we can’t eat because we are too tired),” Gonzaga added.
During lean season in construction, Gonzaga sells rubber sandals on a foot bridge in Tikling Junction just to make sure that he would have money for their daily survival. He earns on a commission basis of P20 for every pair of sandals that he sold.
He has a three year old son whom he entrust to his parents while he is working.
His wife works as an all around house helper who goes home at 10 p.m. everyday.
The earnings of around P200 to P300 per day in selling sandals are only enough to buy food for the following day.
Everyday he travels from Angono to Taytay to sell sandals. There were times when his commission for the day would not be enough to buy three meals for the family and milk for his son. ‘Kung umuulan, mahina po ang benta kaya halos wala rin akong naiuuwing pera (When it is raining , the sales are down so I don’t get to bring home enough money), Gonzaga said.
His dream is to own a business one day. Gonzaga said that for him to achieve this, he needs to work hard everyday. (Nel Andrade)