The second rung: Bearing the Unforeseen Responsibility


By Dionessa Grace Galimba

      “The challenges and adversities I encounter now are just temporary. Time will come that I will reap the fruit of the seeds I have sown.” Those words went through his mind as he looked at the hospital bill he was holding that seemed to be getting heavier. He then walked towards the office of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in the hopes of getting some financial assistance for his sick mother.

                   At the age of 20, Runuel Lowies Salvador, a sophomore student of the College of Education taking up Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED) major in English, struggles to bear the heavy responsibility laid upon his shoulders – that of taking care of his sick mother sans financial aid.

                   His mother who worked as an account field coordinator in a marketing corporation was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease Stage V last November 21, 2018 and was required to undergo eight sessions of dialysis a month.

There is nothing Runuel’s family can depend on. He is the eldest child in the family and his younger sister is still studying in high school and is unable to help with the family’s expenses. Runuel had to find a way to provide for his family’s needs. He became the sole breadwinner of their family, hopping from one job to another. He became a call center agent, part-time tutor, online seller, and popcorn “retailer”.

             “November 21, 2018 at 8 in the evening, my mother was rushed to the hospital. We went to the emergency room without any peso at hand. My heart broke into pieces as I saw her suffer from tremendous pain brought by her illness. This placed our family in a wretched situation. I was running out of means on how to provide them their needs. My mother needs treatment, my younger sibling should continue her education, my family needs me,” says Runuel who lives in Salvacion Habog- habog in Molo District, Iloilo City.

            His mother needed to undergo an operation as soon as possible. He persevered to raise funds for the said operation, working the whole night and at the same time, going to school in the morning sleep-deprived.  He decided to sell popcorn to his classmates and schoolmates and he used social media to market the product. Many were moved by his story and they bought from him. For several months he was able to allocate enough money for his mother’s operation.

            “There comes a time that I felt restless, I felt like giving up but my family prevails as my seedbed of inspiration and motivation to keep paddling in the sea of life. Throughout the years I learned that there’s no point in giving up. Challenges are inevitable, and we have no choice but to courageously face those. They are just stones God has placed for us to topple and to learn how to rise and become stalwart soldiers of life,” said Runuel, who graduated from Iloilo City National High School with High Honors.

     His classmates also have kind words for him and confirm that this is one young man who is not the type to give up.

 “He’s an easy-going and exuberant classmate. His laughter really stands out in the class, which in turn will also make us laugh with him. This attitude of Runuel is a resemblance of how solid he stands despite the troubling circumstances that he encountered. He juggled his part-time job, studying, and looking after his mother. All of these responsibilities that he had faced has molded him to be the Runuel that we all know: Gapadayon nga makatapos kag makabulig sa pamilya,” says one of his classmates, Cherlyn Gamao.

            Runuel’s mother is currently recuperating and he keeps on working and studying at the same time, confident that time will come up when God will reward him for his perseverance and for not quitting when the going got tough.


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