Boarding House, Another Home
A group of landladies and landlords organized a Boarding House Association to help scholars stay in Canlubang, Calamba City while completing the 6-month basic training at Dualtech. Over the years, more than 2,000 trainees took their temporary shelter in nearby villages. And about 400 scholars from Bicol, Ilocos Region, Palawan, Leyte, MIMAROPA, Cebu, and Bohol are now staying in the boarding houses. These provinces are places where Dualtech's help to young people is appreciated. For the start of training, boarding houses are needed to accommodate these scholars.
There are 15 boarding houses managed by the Titos and Titas of Dualtech scholars. They provide bed spacers. They meet weekly to discuss concerns among trainees and help one another based on their experiences. Just like in a family, trainees have their assignment for housekeeping and schedule for meals and laundry needs. Through their chores, they also acquire interpersonal relationship and the value of “pakikisama” which they would then apply while deployed in different factories.
Though many stories are told in school, experiences in the boarding house are also lessons they bring even after their stint at Dualtech.
Tita Beth Dalusong is the President of the Boarding House Association. The landladies and landlords are consulting her about cases that may be difficult to handle. Tita Beth started accommodating students since 2007 with 30 boarders and the number grew to 70. Common concern is the misunderstanding of boarders among others but she is still able to manage it ”Kung may 10 kang anak, 6 diyan ang pasaway”. One memorable case was when a group of students hid lambanog under the bed. She immediately instructed them to throw it at the creek and never drink liquor again as it is prohibited also at Dualtech.
In cases of sickness, lack of financial support from the parents, and immediate need for medical requirements, Tita Beth lent her own budget to students who were in this difficult situation. She said, ”Mabilis madurog ang puso ko sa mga ganitong pangyayari, yung nakikita mong uuwi sila ng hindi kumakain o may lagnat. Minsan for OJT na pero hindi makapagpamedical kasi hindi mapadalhan ng pamilya, kaya ako na ang nagbibigay bilang tulong ko na rin sa kanila. Laki din kasi ako sa hirap kaya alam ko kung anong nararamdaman nila.”
For them to be motivated, Tita Beth also shared her experiences in life. ”Akala nila hindi ako laki sa hirap pero lagi kong sinasabe na napag daanan ko rin lahat ng pinag dadaanan nila ngayon.” For Tita Beth, family needs full attention. “Ang pagiging pamilya dapat nakikita, dapat nararamdaman. Kung minsan, kung sino pa yung hindi mo kamag-anak o kapamilya sa kanila pa tayo nakakaramdam ng pagmamahal ng isang tunay na pamilya.”
She still has graduates who stay in the boarding house. Some still go back to her on special occasions. Her passion to help these scholars is reflected on these boarders who pay back a visit and support other scholars in need.
Tita Carol Dizon, a mother and a landlady for 11 years, sees her role as much more than being a mother “Hanggat kaya, talagang ituturing kong mga anak”. She has 27 boarders from Ilocos, Lucban, Mindoro, Aurora and in Cainta who are undergoing the in-plant training.
It is just normal that scholars will miss their family, but as a landlady and guardian she always remind them about the importance of their training. She would always tell them the rules of Dualtech.
Together, she brings the trainees to church every Sunday morning with her son. She gathered them in the afternoon to watch movies and have a short talk about their personal concerns.
She believes that a family should respect each other, and correct one another if needed. Lastly, she said “Kung paano ang pagpapalaki ko sa mga anak ko, pareho lang din ng ginagawa ko sa kanila. Itinuturing ko sila na parang aking mga anak”.
Tito Jay Milo was born in Bohol. Tito Jay started putting up a boarding house in November 2015. Tito Jay and his wife are the only two living in their house since his son and daughter have their own houses. Most of his boarders are from Bohol too where he grew up. They are happy to have boarders with them because they do not feel alone anymore.
As their guardian, he motivates them whenever they felt difficulty on their training especially in the academics. He always makes time for them especially for parental advise. Now, he is making some renovation on his house to be larger and comfortable inside. He said “Pinapaayos namin ito para mas maging comfortable ang mga boarders, para hindi sila mainitan at maging maluwag sa loob. Napapakinabangan ko naman sila, dapat nasusuklian ito. Hindi ko pinapaayos to para dumami pa, same number of boarders pa din pero mas komportable na sila”.
He portrays the father-role in the house. Even if some boarders once have not followed house rules, by heart he helped them to realize good future ahead of them.
Tita Didith Miller was a full time mom who started getting Dualtech boarders in 2006. Her first boarders are mostly from the Bicol region. Like some other landladies, she has set her own rules and regulation as they enter the boarding house.
She has three boarders whom she helps by allowing them to stay at no cost. These three scholars came from poor family and their parents could not afford to send a regular allowance. “Minsan itong mga batang ito natutulog nang hindi kumakain. Kailangan mo pang tanungin kung kumain. Sasabihin nila kumain sila pero pagtinanong mo kung anong ulam, sasabihin lang kanin po. Kahit alam nilang bukas yung tindahan ko para pag nagutom pwede silang humiram, kahit isang beses hindi sila nanghiram o nangutang sa akin. Sila pa yung tumatanggi pag binibigyan. Alam mo kung bakit? Kasi noon pa sa probinsya nila, sanay na pala silang hindi kumakain, sanay na silang ginugutom” Tita Didith shared. The stories of these three students touched her heart. She sees a promising future in them because of their attitude and desire to help their family.
They are called the Titos and Titas; but the trainees look at them as their parents in the absence of their real parents in the province who then work hard to send their sons for training. And just like their parents, they take it as a responsibility to instill to trainees the high morals and discipline of which Dualtech also teaches in school.
People call it “Boarding Houses”, but this group of landladies and landlords redefined it as Boarding Homes where trainees would feel the family atmosphere with them.