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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Diane, Zamboanga del Sur’s Pantawid exemplary child

By Claro A. Lanipa

KUMALARANG, Zamboanga del Sur – Intelligent. Talented. Kind. This is how people described Diane Rose C. Gasque, the “2014 Pantawid Exemplary Child” of Zamboanga del Sur.

Born to parents Elmer and Emelyn Gasque of Diplo, Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur, Diane, 11, is a consistent honor student from pre-school to grade school. Now in grade 5, her teachers said Diane is one of the smartest and most intelligent students in her school.

Living hand-to-mouth, her family strived to support her studies from her father’s meager income as a laborer of rice dryer in the barangay. During off-season the Gasque family would resort to vegetable gardening to sustain their daily needs.

The family was registered into the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the year 2009, a conditional cash transfer program of the Philippine government implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The program aims to eradicate extreme poverty in the countryside by investing on health and education. From then on, the family has been actively involved in the Pantawid programs and 100 percent compliant with all the conditions set by the implementing agency. As a proof, Diane’s mother is one of the most active parent leaders in the community.

Although Diane is always chosen to represent her school in either academic or non-academic competitions, she also enjoys playing with other children her age. But she loves reading books and devotes more of her time to studying than playing, her mother said.

When asked of her ambition in life, she answered: “Gusto ko mahimong usa ka abogado tungod kay gusto ko motabang sa mga pobre nga walay pang bayad ug abogado (I want to become a Lawyer so that I can help the poor who cannot afford to pay for the services of a lawyer).

At home, she helps in household chores like fetching water, cleaning the house, cooking and also washing plates. At her young age, she is aware how her parents work hard for her future. So, she never fails to help in household chores to ease the burden of her parents who are usually tired from work.

Diane’s family is also active in church, allowing her to be one of the servers of the altar during masses.

As the only child she is very close to her parents who shower her with love and care, and teach her to be God-fearing and respectful for others.

Diane is an epitome of a model child that others should emulate. She is now representing Zamboanga del Sur in the 2014 Exemplary Pantawid Child – regional level selection.