Lola Porfiria

Few months ago, me and my sister drove together a couple of times in the south. She was always looking for an old lady who use to sell rags in a common area in Alabang. She narrates seeing her several times on that road and makes it a point to always give her money without the need of the rags. Last week, my sister offered me to buy some Nutella cookies which she will give 100% of the proceeds to an elderly woman. She is a new kid in baking, and I’m always interested with what new she’s able to come up to, moreover, glad that it’s going to be for a cause. She asked for some old clothes for a large sized but unfortunately what I can only give is either medium (me) or an extra large (husband’s).

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Cookie-For-A-Cause. P90 per cookie, 100% of proceeds will be donated.

     It turned out that the proceeds would be for the elderly woman she used to talk about. My sister, Marianne Ballesteros, always has tenderness for elderly people especially those who work hard for a living. She shares, she could not bear the thought of seeing our mother doing the same, and wishes that no elderly parent would suffer the same fate.


Lola Porfiria Ramos

Early March, she went to find the woman in Commerce Avenue in Alabang and interviewed her. Her name is Porfiria Ramos or “Peryang” as they call her. She is 85 and has two sons and one daughter. Both her two sons already have eyesight problems. When asked how many grandchildren she has, she could hardly count. After a quick chat, she gave her donations in a paper bag, meticulously packed. In a desire to share the elderly’s situation, she posts it in her Facebook account along with lola’s story and photos. She started a campaign for the elderly through selling her baked cookies with 100% of proceeds to serve as donations for Lola Porfiria. Since then, her post went viral not just because lola’s story is heartbreaking, but because a lot of people, mostly southerners, already knew her long before. They were all happy to see Lola Peryang given the attention that she deserves.


My husband who also does charity works was able to collect some goods from friends. This is the first batch of donations Lola Peryang received. 

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More cookies for fund-raising for Lola Peryang

Lola Porfiria has been selling rags for 5 years to support her whole family. She’s seldom seen in an island along Commerce Avenue between Daang Hari Road and Acacia Drive just outside Ayala Alabang Village and sometimes takes some rest under an Acacia tree. Out of P100 worth of rags, she earns P20. Just by typing this… it makes me shed tears. What can a 20-peso earning do? Even if she sells 5 or 10 packs in a day, it is not close enough to giving her and her family a decent life. Her skin is burnt to everyday’s sun exposure, and her eyes are starting to cloud due to perhaps, cataract. Her job in selling rags in her favorite location in between a main intersection and stoplight is risky due to fast cars passing by.


Lola Porfiria in Daang Hari, adjacent to Commerce Avenue where she’s always found working.

Last mid-March 2015, my family went out of the country and we had this Thailand trip booked late last year. My sister never missed to go with us on our travels. But this time, she was not able to book and go with us but relates that she can go some other time.

While me, my husband and our daughter are having a good time in Thailand, I learned through Facebook that my sister is going to be interviewed by a local channel (GMA 7) and so does Lola Peryang. Through this media coverage, it is going to help Lola Peryang and her family a lot, as well as substantiate all the donations that were collected through the viral post from social media.

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Front Row coverage of Lola Porfiria aired last March 16, 2015

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See Lola Porfiria’s story in Youtube.

I was glad that she was able to accompany the elderly during the media interview and have her go through a health checkup. I told her that maybe, that’s the reason why she was not able to go with us. Suggesting that it’s probably a time for her to continue on what has been started, she created a page in Facebook named Elderlies Of The South where she will be posting the updates on Lola Porfiria’s journey to a better life.

She has also kicked off a donation program through Bayanihan Project for Lola Peryang’s dream sari-sari store to help her continue earn for their living without the dangers of having to work on the streets.

After the advocacy on making Lola Peryang and her family’s life much better, Marianne is considering to help other elderlies in the south which will also be posted in her Facebook page, Elderlies Of The South.

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