- GMA’s TV program “Front Row” featured a story about a 74-year-old grandmother who has to dive into the ocean daily in order to collect coins and earn money
- Maria Tequillo said that she performs this dangerous job in order to provide for herself and her four grandkids
- Her body is already getting weak and her vision is getting worse but she still risks her life every day to support her family
GMA Network’s documentary series “Front Row” featured last Monday a story about a grandmother who dives into the ocean every day in order to collect coins thrown at the water by passengers of the Dalahican Ferry Terminal in Lucena, Quezon.
The episode was called “Mga Barya ni Lola Maria (The Coins of Grandma Maria).” The 74-year-old Maria Tequillo needs to work every day in order to support her four grandkids whose parents are living in other provinces.
Diving in the ocean to find and collect the coins being thrown by ferry passengers is a dangerous job for any diver, especially for someone who is already 74 years old.
But every cent is important for lola Maria. At the break of dawn, she usually uses her small boat to go to the Lucena pier and ask the ferry passengers to throw at her some money.
She is able to collect coins amounting to P100-200 every day, depending on the number of passengers who will throw coins at her. Lola Maria will then try to budget her small earnings to provide for their daily needs and for the school fees of her grand kids.
“Nuong napanood ko ito kagabi, parang bigla kong nasabi sa sarili ko na wala akong karapatan magreklamo kasi mas nakakapagod ang ginagawa niya. Ang buhay nila na sobrang hirap talaga para mabuhay sa isang araw,” a Facebook user who watched the video commented.
(When I watched this last night, I told myself that I have no right to complain because what she does for a living is much more difficult and tiring. They have a hard time surviving every day of their lives.)
Because of her old age, lola Maria’s body is already starting to break down. Her vision is also getting worse which makes finding and collecting the coins even more difficult. Despite all of these issues, lola Maria is still willing to risk her life for her family. – Kami Media