The woman in the picture is Anatolia Mabanag or Manang Ana who gets through the day by working as a cook in a school canteen co-managed by my mom. She has a congenital skeletal limb abnormality very similar to polio.
She goes to Carbon market at 3:30 AM, starts cooking nonstop from 5 AM to 3 PM, and cleans the kitchen till nightfall. She is the first to arrive at school and the last to leave. I can only imagine the long hours she spent standing while doing the chores left and right, withstanding the burn on her tired legs. Sometimes she complains, most of the time she endures. She couldn't quit her job because she's supporting her 3 children. Her husband died when her youngest was just a few years old.
Manang Ana cooks very well! LAMI JUD KAAYO iyang tinuwa and adobong pusit! Probably the best and flavorful adobong pusit, walay joke! Alongside her delicious homemade dishes, is her good-natured heart. We always hear our mom saying,"mabuting tao talaga si Manang Ana. Pagka buotan kaayo." And I can really say that she is.
Last year, she went to a doctor to have her deformed leg checked because of the pain that she feels every so often. The doctor advised her to undergo an operation but she couldn't afford it.
At home, my mom always asks how we can help Manang Ana in her condition. It's an ageless topic. I wasn't really paying so much attention to it until last night. We fetched mom at school and she asked me if Manang Ana and her daughter could take a ride with us and I said why not. The traffic was sooo bad and the rain made it worse. While we were stuck in traffic, we had a conversation about Manang Ana's life. That was when I learned, understood, and felt her condition. Before she went out of the car, I said a silent prayer for her that may God give her a good health so she could carry on for her family, and for us to find a way for her to have the operation.
This is also the reason why I post this because we want to raise a medical fund for Manang Ana's operation. I tried to sign up at GoFundMe but it's only for the US. If you know a similar site here in the Philippines, please let me know. And if you are also interested to help, please send me a message.
And if it's not too much to ask, I would also like to request to expand the reach of this fundraising by sharing this post.
Thank you, beautiful people and may the Lord bless you.