ANTIQUE Sherryl Bargola was raised by her grandmother in an Indigenous Peoples (IP) community at Brgy. Sagua in Anini-y, Antique after her parents separated.
Back then, she has been dreaming to become a teacher to teach children the importance of a family, education and health.
During her elementary days, she even taught her fellow IPs how to read and write but unfortunately some of them didnt enroll to high school after graduated from elementary.
I came from a dysfunctional family. Both my parents couldnt afford to support my studies. My mother has been missing since 2001. I have to work as a helper at the age of 13 and a household assistant to be able to sustain my studies up to college, Sherryl said adding that there were times that she felt tired and exhausted but she really wanted to finish her studies.
With her perseverance, she enrolled to college taking up Bachelor of Science in Tourism at the University of San Agustin. Finally, she graduated in 2009 and on the same year, she worked as an area enumerator of DSWDs National Household Targeting System on Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).
Just like ordinary girl, she was in love with a man whom she thought could be her partner forever. However, poverty has caused her suffering and even lost her first-born but was still blessed with another child.
In 2012, she decided to work abroad but due to some inevitable circumstances, she returned home. But devastations did not end up there, she broke up with the father of her son and choose to become a solo parent in 2013.
I brought my son with me to work as a helper here in Iloilo, she stressed.
Sherryl recalled that while she was seeking for another job, she remembered Sonny Estolloso, aformer regional IP focal, who convinced her to apply in the Department way back in 2011. She narrated that she called the office of Estolloso and inquired if there are still hiring. The latter informed her that there is a job vacancy for Social Welfare Assistant (SWA) and advised her to submit an application form, pass the exams and interview.
I am now the SWA of Tobias Fornier in Antique for four years and six months. Its been challenging to me to work in DSWD having a different course. This agency gave me the chance to fulfill my dream as a teacher and it is a noble job that you are teaching the beneficiaries. I am taking good care of my job because I know Im fortunate to be able to serve my own community, she said.
While working in the agency, Sherryl shared that many good things started to happen in her life including finding a man who truly loves her despite of everything and realized how grateful God is. She said that the challenges she had encountered in life made her stronger and taught her the compassion to serve the people and community.
If I gave-up in the past just because of the difficulties and disappointments, maybe I did not become a hero to my family. As I am the one who gave them hope for a better life. Maybe I did not become a hero to my IP community. As I am the first to give them inspiration, courage and pride. Maybe I did not become a Pantawid Pamilya Hero now. As my story is a manifestation that we can help end poverty through educating people, she said.
Sherryl is one of the H.E.R.O (Has Exceptionally Rendered Oneself) awardees in SWA category last year.
Thank you so much for this honor. I am truly humbled to be in an agency of people who have inspired me, helped me grow and helped me realized the potential of my profession to truly make a difference. Thanks to our Antique Provincial Link Jeffrey Gabucay and the rest of my Antique POO family for believing in me.This award doesnt mean that I am a perfect employee, this award is just a reminder that I should work harder and do my best as an employee, she ended. (MGC/DSWD-6)