FEATURE STORY: LOTS OF LOVE AND A HOME LOT FOR CABANATUAN COUPLE

IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH FOR RODRIGO AND AMY BONGAS

While I was looking for someone to interview at the awarding of TCTs at the Samahang Magkakapitbahay ng Purok 5 Homeowners Association, Inc. in Bantug Norte, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, a man sitting quietly and observing intently the scenes while waiting for the program to start caught my attention.

His name is Rodrigo Bongas, a barangay tanod, whom I found out is an embodiment of a man staying faithful to his marriage vow to be there for his wife in sickness and in health, and in good times and in bad.

shfc awardees 2

shfc logoI approached him and asked if I can speak with him for a few minutes. Although he initially hesitated since he will be accepting the transfer certificate of title on behalf of his wife, Mang Rodrigo eventually agreed to be interviewed. “Welcome po kayo sa bahay namin,” he said when I inquired if we can visit their house.

“Mga limang minuto lang po ang layo mula dito. Matutuwa si misis.” The mention of his better half intrigued me as we made our way to their humble abode.

I asked him why his wife could not attend the awarding ceremony. “Maysakit po siya Ma’am kaya naka-wheel chair na,” he responded. I quickly made a picture of a sickly woman in my mind but was surprised to see an exact opposite-she was brimming with pride and joy when she welcomed me to their house.

Amy Bongas, 52, has been battling diabetes but doesn’t show any indication that she is sick. “Ako po ang naiiiwan dito at nagbabantay sa aming tindahan habang wala ang asawa ko,”she said proudly, while allowing a little smile to crease her lips. 

Mang Rodrigo and Aling Amy have been staying in their current residence for five years now. Her hospitalization and continuous medication, coupled with the college expenses of their only daughter, have been preventing them from fixing their house. But now that they received their own title, Mang Rodrigo said that he will start doing some repair work. “Maraming salamat po sa inyo at nagkaroon na ng katuparan ang aming mga pangarap,” he said. 

The Bongas couple is just one of the 17 partner-homeowners from Samahang Magkakapitbahay ng Purok 5 HOAI who received their respective TCTs in a ceremony led by Atty. Ann Margarette Vista, Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) OIC-Vice President for Central Luzon Regional Operation on June 10. Taken out in May 1993, the association is currently led by Rustico Laya and boasts a collection efficiency rating of 152.57 percent as of March 2019. (SHFC)

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