A woman with disability stand firm against inability
Leonida "Nida" Bautista of Brgy. Tibagan, Bustos, Bulacan was only a one year old child when her life was changed forever. She recalled she had a poliomyelitis or often called polio and vaccine was still nowhere at that time according to her mother.

Throughout her elementary grade, she was carried by her brothers and sisters. A relative working in Germany provide for her wheelchair to ease her burden going up to the third floor of the building when she was in high school however, she stopped studying college due to financial difficulties.

Gifted with a beautiful voice for singing, Nida joined and won amateur singing contests to earn for her and her family. Things went well for her career when she worked in Metro Manila as housemaid for a blind who also became her agent in music industry.

The hopeful singer, who is originally from Mindoro, enjoyed singing in concerts, performing with local artists, and being a radio drama talent. Nida was also able to perform abroad such as Japan, Thailand, and Singapore together with other gifted people with disabilities.

In spite of having a disability and being the youngest daughter from 10 siblings, she ceased her shot in the limelight to take care of her sick mother. She then used her earnings to build her own house in Bulacan that she later shared to her sister’s family.

Bautista, now 50 years old, eventually lived in a house standing above a small creek. The house was built through the help of the local government and concerned neighbors. Currently, she is managing a sari-sari store to earn for her needs and to help her family in tough times.

Leonida admits that she can live without the alms of her family especially her siblings. To earn a living, she put up a retail store using her savings and a P15k loan from Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc, (ASKI), a non-stock microfinance institution.

"Parang pamilya ko ang ASKI, hindi lang basta pautangan. Napakasarap sa pakiramdam ng mayroon kang ASKI na hindi mo ituturing na boss kundi pamilya, nandyan sila palagi, "shared Nida.

Nida participated in the Sari-sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program by ASKI in partnership with Coca-Cola and TESDA to improve her their business management.

Despite being physically challenged, giving is what Nida always think of every time she’s thinking of her purpose in life. “Kaya ko gusto ko pang mabuhay dahil gusto ko pang makatulong. Marami pa kong pangarap tulad ng makatulong sa kapatid at makapagpaaral ng apo. Masarap pong makatulong," she said.

Asked about her message to other people with disability, she said that whatever life they had or they will have, it is their choice. "Manampalataya sila sa Diyos. Walang dapat ikatakot kung buo ang iyong pananampalataya at sabayan mo ito ng sikap at pangarap," Nida ended.
"Parang pamilya ko ang ASKI, hindi lang basta pautangan. Napakasarap sa pakiramdam ng mayroon kang ASKI na hindi mo ituturing na boss kundi pamilya… nandyan sila palagi"
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Designed by: iSynergies, Inc 2013