The Ortegas were former dwellers of a shanty made from salvaged and handed out materials. A home at the ANCOP Markham Village marked the beginning of a new life for this family of five.
In 2003, Ancop Canada started funding the construction of 50 shelter units in Talon, Las Pinas a city south of Manila. This is now known as Villa Monique – Markham ANCOP Village.
One of the beneficiary families was that of Istolano and Crestine Ortega. The family used to live in a shanty built on bare soil, with uncemented pathways, and without proper drainage. The Ortega couple have two growing daughters and they longed so much for a better dwelling place for the two girls.
Life had not been easy for the Ortegas. To provide for his family, Istolano had been working as a security guard but his meagre income could hardly sustain the needs of his family. To help bring food to the table, Crestine had been cooking food to go. Everyday she would up early to cook meals and sell these around their area on foot. But, even with their combined income they could not afford the smallest concrete house structure.
When Istolano learned about the ANCOP shelter program, he and his neighbours laboured hard and rendered the sweat equity to qualify. Their hard work eventually earned them each a beautiful unit at Villa Monique. For the Ortegas, moving into the ANCOP unit was a new beginning for their family. Their new dwelling place gave them a renewed sense of dignity, and they have become more hopeful of better life.
When the ANCOP Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) was introduced at Villa Monique, the couple’s second daughter Cyril who was in Grade 5 qualified for sponsorship. The Ortegas were so thankful of these help. They knew that their children’s success in school would help bring their family out of their poor condition.
Cyril is now a grown up teenager, a freshman college student at the Cavite State University taking up Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications. Apart from her studies, she loves to dance and has been joining dance competitions.
Cyril has spoken of how grateful her family is of ANCOP’s support. They now live in a decent and sturdy house in a clean environment, and she is in a good school. For her, all these things point to a better future for her and her family. This is more than enough to motivate her to do well in her academics and to finish school.
Istolano and Crestine are active in the various community activities in Villa Monique, and they are leaders of Couples for Christ in the area. For them, this has been a renewed and blessed life for their family since becoming an ANCOP shelter beneficiary; helping build their community is a way of giving back their blessings.
By ANCOP Canada