Monday, March 27, 2017

Valenzuelano of the Month: Tatay Nelson Paloca and his Palitaw

Taal* man o dayo, Valenzuelano ka pa rin. (Taal-mula/katutubo ng isang lugar; a native of a place)

On a hot weekday afternoon, One Valenzuela went out of the office to buy some merienda. Another busy day was almost over and she needed a few minutes to herself. While walking, she chanced upon an old man, clad in his white shirt and worn out rubber shoes, sitting at the corner of the street with a large bilao full of palitaw (a Filipino delicacy made of glutinous rice, shredded coconut, toasted sesame seeds, and sugar). It is a sweet delicacy. To be honest, One Valenzuela was thinking twice on buying from the old man since she is cutting down on sugar and she usually just buys from the suking tindahan (sari-sari store). Her hesitation was all gone with one single act that the old man did: he gave a warm smile. This instantly reminded One Valenzuela of the saying that we should be happy with what we have, for those with very little, even nothing, can still afford to smile. Thus, One Valenzuela approached the vendor of the palitaw.

Tatay Nelson Paloca, a vendor of palitaw for about 20 years. He said that those who buy from him way, way back already have children and would say, "I have kids already and  you are still selling palitaw, Kuya Nelson!"
While buying some pieces of palitaw, One Valenzuela learned that the old man's name is Nelson Paloca, 55 years old. He currently stays in his son's apartment in Caloocan together with his wife, although he was once a long time resident and peddler of penoy (egg delicacy) in Barangay Maysan. From Caloocan, he would travel to Valenzuela to sell about 7 to 8 kilos of palitaw at Php2.00 a piece (USD 0.105). He said that he has been selling this delicacy for 20 long years, having a modest income of about Php700.00 which helps his family. One Valenzuela saw determination and strength in Tatay Nelson that Valenzuelanos would get inspiration from, thus she eventually requested an interview on another day. 
In the afternoon, Tatay Nelson sits in this corner to sell palitaw to students.
Here are some excerpts from the personal interview done in the Filipino language:

Gaano po kayo katagal sa Maysan noon?
Sa Maysan, ang tagal ko diyan. Sa may palengke. Ako ang nagsimula na magtinda ng lugaw diyan. Tsaka penoy na may harina. Mga kapatid ko ang naandyan, may mga pwesto na sila. Noong araw, noong mga panahon ko, kariton lang ang gamit ko. Nagtitinda ako ng lugaw at saka penoy. Tapos nung naging palengke na siya, nasa Caloocan na ko nag-lugaw.

Matagal ako sa Maysan. Diyan na ako halos nag-binata. Almost twenty years din...

Bakit dito pa rin po kayo sa Valenzuela nagbebenta ng palitaw?
Nagbebenta rin ako doon (Caloocan). Lalo pagka-Saturday, Sunday. Dalawang araw doon ako. Halos dito (Valenzuela City) karaniwan. Halos mas maraming bumibili dito.

Kwentuhan ninyo po kami tungkol sa pagluluto at paglalako ninyo ng palitaw.
Natutunan ko na ito, ito yung pinaka-natutukan kong hanapbuhay. Ito na yung ibinuhay ko sa mga anak ko noong yung iba wala pang mga asawa. Ngayon, may mga asawa na sila, ito pa rin, ipinagpatuloy ko. Kasi dito ako nakilala sa paglalako.

Alam mo natutunan ko ito, nagtitinda na ako ng kakanin noong araw diyan sa Maysan. May kinukunan ako diyan. Mga Sabino.  Mga kutsinta, sapin-sapin, biko. Noon, hinahango ko, Php40.00 isang bilao. Hanggang sa nag-try ako, nag-try akong magluto ng palitaw. Dalawang piso. Ganyan. Noong una, medyo mahirap. Noong naglalako ako, nakilala na ko eh, sa paglalako. Nag-click pa din siya. Patuloy, hanggang sa di na ako nagtigil. Nag-palitaw na talaga ako.

Sa Paso de Blas, sa eskwelahan, nagtinda din ako doon. Yung mga bata nga doon, alam mo, ngayon nakikita ko na sa Tollgate (Malinta Exit), mga caller na sila. "Kuya, malalaki na kami hanggang ngayon nagpapalitaw ka pa rin!" Tapos sa Royal Mall, wala pang Royal Mall, naglalako na ako. Tapos yung mga nagtitinda noong araw sa tapat ng Royal Mall, mga suki ko na yan. Tapos meron doon, naka-college na, may asawa na, sabi niya sa akin, "Kuya, hanggang ngayon nagtitinda ka pa rin. May asawa na ako. Yung mga anak ko, malapit nang matapos. Hanggang ngayon nagtitinda ka pa rin!" Mayroon nga doon, nagtatrabaho, sabi sa akin, "Kuya, natatandaan mo pa ba ako?" Sabi ko, "Hindi na. Kasi nag-iiba na mga mukha ninyo. Mga dalaga na kayo, lumalaki na kayo.". Pero yung pangalan ko, hindi pa rin nila nakakalimutan. "Kuya Nelson, kailan ka ba magreretiro?" Sabi ko, "Kaya ko pa." Mga anak ko nga, nagagalit sa akin. Kaya ko pang kumita ng pera.

Noong araw, ang Maysan, ginagawa pa lang yung simbahan, nagtitinda na ako ng penoy na may harina. Una, nagtataho ako. Pagkatapos ko magtaho, eh kwan na, gagarahe na ako. Ala-una isasalang ko (yung penoy). Tapos yung penoy, ipiprito ko. Maghapon na ako, hanggang gabi. Mga ten...

Ano po ang mga naging balakid ninyo sa paggawa at paglalako ng palitaw na nalagpasan po ninyo?
Yung ginawa ko sa paglalako? Tuluy-tuloy pa rin naman siya. Kaya lang, nagkaroon ng problema nung natigil ako kasi na-opera ung mata ko. Four months ako natigil. Bawal magbuhat. Minsan naiinip ako. Di ako sanay na walang ginagawa. Yun ang naging kwan ko (balakid). Kasi tuluy-tuloy eh. Walang tigil. Minsan kahit Linggo. Una muna, magsisimba ako sa umagang-umaga bago ako mamalengke. Dadaan muna ako sa simbahan, bago ako maggawa ng hanapbuhay.

Nagtuloy na naman ako (after 4 months). Continuous ang pagtatrabaho ko. Wala akong tigil. Kahit na di pa ako dapat magtrabaho, pinilit ko...Nabenta bahay ko, kailan lang. Kinailangan ang pera... Andun ako sa panganay kong lalake (ngayon; renting). Kasi yung misis ko, doon siya nag-aalaga ng dalawang apo ko. Minsan andun ako sa kubo ko sa Baesa (bilang katiwala ng lote), doon ako nagluluto nito (palitaw). Minsan, hindi ako umuuwi. After two days, dadalhan ko sila ng pera doon. Para malaki, para maganda-ganda. Isinesavings nila... tsaka iniipon ko yung pera...



Ano naman po ang mga magagandang karanasan ninyo sa pagbebenta ng palitaw?
Alam mo natutuwa ako sa dami kong kaibigan. Marami akong kaibigan, kahit saan ako magpunta. Yun ang masaya sa buhay ko na kahit saan ako magpunta, kilala ako. Hindi ko makakalimutan yun.Yung mga bata, wala pa yung Royal Mall. Nakikita ko yung mga suki ko sa palengke. Natutuwa ako...Natutuwa sila sa akin. "Hanggang ngayon, Kuya, nagtitinda ka pa."

Yun ang naging kasiyahan ko sa pagtitinda. Magkaroon ng maraming kaibigan...

Ano po yung gusto ninyong tumatak sa iba, halimbawa sa mga taga-Valenzuela, na mula sa experience ninyo ng paglalako ng palitaw?
Katulad ng hanapbuhay ko....kung sino yung gustong magmana nung hanapbuhay ko. Kung kaya nilang gawin. Kung gusto nila. Sabi ko nga sa panganay ko, sa June titigil ka sa trabaho. Kaya mo, ba anak? Sasamahan kita. Para makilala ka. Sabi niya, "Tatay, oo." Sa Maysan... Kailangan ipundar muna kita ng bike, para i-steady ka lang doon...

Tiyaga lang. Pinaghirapan ko ito, eh. Masaya ako sa ganitong hanapbuhay. Nakakaraos araw-araw...
------
This little conversation reminded One Valenzuela of how life can indeed be a struggle. But with the right attitude towards the ups and downs that we have to hurdle, partnered with perseverance, life can be a bit easier.

Salamat po, Tatay Nelson, for inspiring us. To Valenzuelanos who see him peddling palitaw on the street, purchase some from Tatay Nelson for by doing such, you help him save for the bike he is aiming to buy for his son as well as reach his bigger dream of purchasing a small lot that he wants to acquire in the future.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Giveaway Winner Announcement: SLIAN NAILS Classic Mani + Pedi for 2

Giveaway Winner Announcement

It has been a week since One Valenzuela supported and launched the giveaway of a SLIAN NAILS Classic Mani + Pedi for 2. First and foremost, she would like to thank everyone who engaged in this activity, taking time to like, tag, and share the post in Facebook as well as those who entered the Rafflecopter. By doing those simple actions, you just helped and supported another local business in Valenzuela City. It is always a good thing to #supportlocal and help the community grow. Maraming salamat po.

Without further ado, One Valenzuela would like to congratulate Ms. Rowena Eduarte!


An e-mail will be sent to you within the day from onevalenzuelano@gmail.com for instructions on how to claim the prize. Hope you enjoy the SLIAN NAILS experience!

Lastly, thank you SLIAN NAILS for sponsoring this giveaway! Read more about SLIAN NAILS here.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Because You Deserve It: SLIAN NAILS at Brgy. Palasan, Valenzuela City

--There's a sweet ending to this blog post. Kindly read on. --

Just recently, One Valenzuela received a message from Lyn, CEO of a newly opened nail salon in Barangay Palasan. Supporting local businesses is in One Valenzuela's  philosophy, thus a visit to SLIAN NAILS was scheduled. 

One Valenzuela met Ms. Jhoanna of SLIAN NAILS upon her arrival. While prepping to have the pedicure, One Valenzuela learned of the hardwork and all the effort that Lyn, Jhoanna, and Gibson (the board of directors) made to put up SLIAN NAILS (Read the story behind the nail salon business at Filipina Expat blog here: Part 1 and Part 2). She also got to know that Lyn is in Dubai while Jhoanna, her sister, is the General Manager of the nail salon. They envision SLIAN NAILS as your go-to nail salon which provides quality nail services without breaking the bank. The residents of Palasan and nearby places are blessed to have primary access to an affordable and relaxing nail salon experience.
Ms. Jhoanna Talag-Castillo of SLIAN NAILS.
"You deserve it" of SLIAN NAILS.
So how was it? One Valenzuela got there on a Friday afternoon, thus, her "happy feet" are no longer that happy anymore. This pedi treatment is just timely! SLIAN NAILS' ambiance looked great with its light pink and gray motif, very easy on the eyes. A well-spaced waiting area with several magazines which you may read can be seen upon entering the nail salon. The selection of polishes is also already available at the lobby. This way, you can already think of the color and the type of polish that you would like to have.
Nail polish selection at the lobby of SLIAN NAILS. The nail salon also has ZOYA Nail Polish which is safe to be used by pregnant women and kids. It was recently recognized by an independent panel in Women's Health Magazine for being the longest wearing natural nail polish. 
Gel nail polishes of SLIAN NAILS. Gel polishes last up to three weeks, thus, it is the perfect treatment before going to those long vacations and trips (say hello to the beaches and pools this summer with pretty nails!)
One Valenzuela 's choice of polish for the day.
Ate Lani, one of the nail technicians, prepared some warm water, foot soap, and flower petals in a bucket for One Valenzuela's tired feet. Calming music shoos away the stress as you sit regally on a queenly/kingly chair. A complimentary glass of iced tea, hot tea, or water to refresh customers is also included when you avail any of their services. It is a multisensory experience which awakens the sense of sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste.
Mirror, mirror on the wall...I find fair ladies, relaxing and all.
Being treated like a queen without breaking the bank. SLIAN NAILS nail salon services start at Php80.00 for the basic manicure and Php150 for both the mani and pedi (Express package- for those people in a hurry). SLIAN NAILS also offers the following: Classic Package (soak, clean, express massage, polish/buff), Lux Nail Spa, (soak, exfoliating scrub, clean, relaxing massage, polish/buff), Little Miss (for 12 years old and below), Paraffin, Gel Polish, Nail Art, and SPArty Packages.
Tired feet + Warm, soapy water + Flower petals + Soulful music +A good drink + Comfy chair = You DESERVE it.
Other than the complimentary iced tea, hot tea, and water, you may also purchase other drinks and Baskin Robbins ice cream at SLIAN NAILS.
The nail salon also has free WiFi so you can still get connected while having your nails done.
Ate Lani here served a princess of Saudi Arabia for 3 years. She said that part of her tasks is the provision of manicure and pedicure to the princess. No wonder One Valenzuela felt like a queen while having the Lux Nail Spa(and Little One Valenzuela as the princess)! The Express foot massage made One Valenzuela want to take a power nap and that's a good thing!
Photo from SLIAN NAILS

SLIAN NAILS Graduation Promo which runs until April 12, 2017.
Other than knowing how much heart is put into this business, people should also know that SLIAN NAILS has good individuals behind it who do not just want to earn money. SLIAN NAILS is sponsoring a child from World Vision Philippines, an NGO which is dedicated to working with children and their education, for each branch that it will open. As a customer, having your nails done in nail salons with such a cause makes you feel even better. 

In the end, SLIAN NAILS made One Valenzuela's "happy feet", well, happier! She's all recharged for the coming week. Thank you for the pampering, SLIAN NAILS!

SLIAN NAILS
Address: No. 35 M.H. Del Pilar St., Barangay Palasan, Valenzuela City
               (Landmark: Producers Bank)
               Free parking is available.
Open Hours:
              Monday-Thursday: 12:00nn-10:00pm
              Friday-Sunday: 11:00am-10:00pm
Telephone Number: (02)282-6315 / Smart/TnT: (0939)521-5265 / Globe/TM: (0956)412-7587
E-mail: info@sliannails.com
Like SLIAN NAILS on Facebook here.
------

GIVEAWAY ALERT! (CLOSED)
One (1) winner of a
Classic Mani + Pedi Package for 2
by SLIAN NAILS

There are 2 easy options to earn entries to this giveaway:
Option No. 1: On FACEBOOK: Like the FB post of the Giveaway here, tag a friend in the comment box, and Share the FB post. 
 
Option No. 2: Via RAFFLECOPTER: Visit SLIAN NAILS Facebook page and click Like, visit One Valenzuela's Facebook page and click Like, and answer the question:
With whom will you share the SLIAN NAILS experience?

Here's the Rafflecopter Giveaway tab where you can gain entries:
The winner will be contacted via e-mail on Sunday, MARCH 26, 2017 and will be announced in the blog.
Share this post with your friends. Good luck everyone!

------

Giveaway Winner Announcement

It has been a week since One Valenzuela supported and launched the giveaway of a SLIAN NAILS Classic Mani + Pedi for 2. First and foremost, she would like to thank everyone who engaged in this activity, taking time to like, tag, and share the post in Facebook as well as those who entered the Rafflecopter. By doing those simple actions, you just helped and supported another local business in Valenzuela City. It is always a good thing to #supportlocal and help the community grow. Maraming salamat po.

Without further ado, One Valenzuela would like to congratulate Ms. Rowena Eduarte!


An e-mail will be sent to you within the day from onevalenzuelano@gmail.com for instructions on how to claim the prize.

Lastly, thank you SLIAN NAILS for sponsoring this giveaway!  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Valenzuelano of the Month: Mrs. Nora Acantilado

Women play a major role in the society and the month of March is specifically special since the country is celebrating National Women's Month to highlight their importance and give honor to them. A long delayed post, One Valenzuela is featuring Mrs. Nora Acantilado, a Gawad Marciana de Castro-Valenzuela awardee last 2016. The said award "recognizes women who have significant contributions in their fields and whose lives serve as inspiration to many" (Source: Valenzuela City Facebook page).
Photo Credit: Valenzuela City official Facebook page
Let us all learn more about Mrs. Nora Acantilado, her successes and how she overcame the many struggles that come with life: (online interview in Filipino language)
1. Ano po ang karaniwang ginagawa ninyo sa isang regular na araw?
Bilang isang ina, ako po ay maagang gumigising upang ipagluto at ipaghanda ng pagkain ang aking mga anak at asawa. Bago mag-6 a.m., hinahanda ko na po yung mga gagamitin ko sa pagwawalis. Dahil tutungo na ako sa destinado na wawalisan ko mula sa Red Cross to Chowking yung dalawang street ng Villa Theresa. Pagkatapos ko na walisan yung destinado sa akin, hihintayin ko naman yung supervisor para pumirma. Umaga at hapon yan, yung nagwawalis ako. Minsan nag-eextra ako sa mga canteen bilang dish washer, naglilinis sa mga apartment, naglalaba sa mga kinakapatid namin sa pananampalataya. Sa tuwing Sabado ng gabi, volunteer tanod sa aming compound. Higit sa lahat iniipon ko yung mga lata, diyaryo, at bote tapos ibebenta ng aking anak sa malapit na junk shop sa amin.
2. Ang buhay ay puno ng pagsubok. Maaari po bang ibahagi ninyo sa amin ang ilang mga balakid na inyong naranasan? Paano po ninyo nalagpasan ang mga ito?
Sa buhay ng isang tao, hindi talaga nawawala yung mga problema at pagsubok. Kumbaga parte ng buhay natin.Una yung, nagsarado yung factory na pinapasukan ng aking asawa. Hindi naging stable yung pamumuhay namin. Dahil may mga age limit ang pinag-aaplayan ng aking asawa. Hirap siya mkapaghanap uli ng trabaho. Yung mga dalawang buwan na, wala pa rin siyang trabaho... Gumawa na ko ng paraan hindi na ko basta isang housewife. Naghanap ako ng pang-extra para makatulong sa aking asawa. Yung naglalabada ako sa kapitbahay ko. Naranasan ko hindi pakainin ng pinaglalabhan. Tiniis ko yun para sa anak ko. Kinausap ko yung mga kapatid namin sa pananampalataya na may karinderya para pag-extrahan bilang dishwasher. Naranasan ko yung magpakatulong sa ibang tao, iwan ang aking anak. Lahat na kasi sila nasa high school na at isang taon na lang mag-kokolehiyo na yung panganay ko. Kaya kailangan dagdagan yung sipag at income.
Mrs. Nora Acantilado with her daughters. She also has a son (not picture). As of this writing, her eldest daughter (left) is already a college graduate and the rest are all studying in the tertiary level. (Photo provided by the Acantilado family)
At yung dalawang beses kami naging biktima ng sunog sa compound. Noong madaling araw ng February 19, 2013, nagising na lang ako sa ingay at kalabog ng aking mga kapitbahay. Akala ko ordinaryong away lang ng mga kabataan. Pagkatingin ko sa bintana at nakita ko yung malaking apoy na malapit sa bahay namin. Agad ko ginising yung aking anak at asawa. Umalis na kami sa bahay namin. Dahil nga light materials yung mga bahay at dikit-dikit pa. Mabilis kumalat yung apoy. Siksikan at nagtutulakan para makaalis. Muntik pa kami matrap. Pagkalabas nga namin ng compound, sabay-sabay yung pagsabog ng LPG at lalo pa lumaki yung sunog. Yung mga panahon na yun hindi namin alam yung magiging buhay namin. Buti na lang talaga mabait yung magkapatid na Gatchalian sina Mayor Sherwin at Congressman Rex. Nagbigay ng tulong pinansyal para sa pagpapatayo ng mga bahay namin. Kahit paano may nasisilungan kami. Yun nagtulong-tulong kami. Pagkatapos ng klase ng mga anak ko. Uwi agad para tulungan ako sa part time ko. Kahit paano naiiraos namin yung pang araw-araw namin.
Noong May 15, 2015, mga 3pm yata yun. Naulit na naman yung trahedya. Ilang bahay lang yung pagitan sa amin. Isa kami sa nasunugan. Noong mga panahon na yun, hindi ko na alam yung gagawin na yun. Enrolment ng mga bata lalo na yung dalawa kong anak na first year. Yung naipon namin nawala lang sa isang iglap. Lalo na graduating pa yung panganay ko. Back to zero na naman kami. Hindi namin alam kung saan kukuha ng pampapaaral sa kanila. May mga kapitbahay pa kami, pinagsasabihan kami patigilin ko muna yung dalawa kong anak para hindi gaanong mabigat. Tinatawanan lang ako, nagkakaugaga ka diyan sa pagwawalis. Mag-aasawa lang yung mga anak ko. Hindi ko sila pinapansin. Sa halip, pumunta kami ng anak ko sa opisina ng konsehal para humingi ng tulong para maging scholar ang aking anak. Kahit man lang kalahati sagutin sa tuition fee. Kahit paano mabawasan yung gastos namin. Yung iba puno na yung slot buti nakapasok si bunso. Full tuition fee yung sagot ni Coun.Charie. Yung isa na lang talaga pinoproblema namin. Pero kahit paano nagagawan namin ng paraan. Buti na lang mura yung tuition fee sa PLV kaysa sa ibang Pamantasan. Kahit paano napag-aaral namin yung mga anak ko. (As of this writing, PLV students are already benefiting from the full tuition fee subsidy.)
Base nga sa mga kinuwento ko, hindi magagawa ng isang tao lamang kung siya lang gagawa nito. Kailangan tulong-tulong tayo para malagpasan yung mga problema. Laging may positibong pananaw. Huwag kalimutan manalangin sa Ama, kapag alam nating hindi na natin kaya. Hindi mo mapapansin, mawawala din yung pinangangangambahan. May mag ginagawa pala Siya na kakasangkapanin para tulungan tayo.

Mrs. Nora Acantilado together with the rest of the awardees. Photo Credit: Valenzuela City official Facebook page.
3. Paano po ninyo pinagbubuti ang inyong ginagampanang responsibilidad bilang isang ina at lingkod bayan?
Ginagawa ko ang lahat ng aking makakaya sa aking trabaho. Basta wala akong tinatapakang tao at alam kong malinis ang konsensya ko.
4. Sa inyo pong palagay, anu-ano ang kailangang taglayin ng isang babae upang makatulong sa kanyang pamilya? Maging huwaran ng kanyang komunidad?
Yung pagiging responsable, mapagmahal, at masipag. Kahit anuman dumating sa buhay, nakangiti pa rin tayo. Hindi natin gaanong dibdibin yung problema. Maging positibo. Yung magiliw ka bumabati at binabati ka rin ng mga taong nakatira sa Villa Theresa. Malaking bagay na yun kahit paano kasi na-appreciate nila yung ginagawa ko.
5. Saan po ninyo kinukuha ang inyong inspirasyon?
Kapag nakikita ko yung mga anak ko nagsusumikap para makapag-aral. Lalo ko po pinagsusumikapan ang aking trabaho. Ayoko ko kasi matulad yung anak ko sa akin na hindi nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral. Na ito magiging trabaho nila. Kumbaga gusto ko sila'y magkaroon ng magandang kinabukasan.
6. Ano po ang mensahe ninyo para sa mga kababaihan ng Valenzuela?
Habang may buhay pa, may pag-asa na darating sa atin. Manalig lang tayo sa Diyos. Gagawa Siya ng kakasangkapananin Niya para tulungan tayo. Saka hindi hadlang yung kahirapan para hindi pag-aralin yung mga anak natin.