WATCH: 74-year-old grandmother will dive coins for food

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She should be resting on her old age but due to poverty, she risks her life for a few coins.

The Filipino culture places importance on family ties. Taking care of aging parents and grandparents are part of the younger family members’ responsibilities. It is expected that when they reach a certain age, they will relax and enjoy the remaining days of theirs lives, watching their grandchildren grow. That is not always the case, especially when the family is poor.

Maria Tequillo, or Lola Maria, is not your ordinary 74-year-old woman. Despite her old age, she is still working for her family. Her work is not easy. Everytime she goes to work, she is risking her life for a meager income.

Her story was featured on GMA 7’s documentary series “Front Row” in the episode “Mga barya ni Lola Maria (The Coins of Lola Maria).”

At the break of dawn, she goes to Lucena Pier riding her small boat. She asks the ferry passengers to throw coins. She goes into the water and dives for the coins. When the day closes, she counts the coins. Each day, she gets a total of 100 to 200 pesos, enough to buy a few kilos of rice, coffee and eggs.

Lola Maria is not as young as she used to be that her body is not the same any longer. She has a hard time breathing, more so when she is trying to get to the surface and ride her boat. Her eyes are getting weaker each passing day that she loses coins that could have been used to buy their daily sustenance. She hopes that one day, she will own a small business and not dive for coins.

Excerpt: Mga Barya ni Lola Maria

Kilalanin ang dahilan kung bakit patuloy na sumisisid si Lola Maria sa malalim na karagatan para manguha ng mga barya. Panoorin ang ilang eksena ng dokumentaryong 'Mga Barya ni Lola Maria' sa video na ito!

Posted by Front Row on Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Her story reached many people and some of them were inspired. Some of them took pity and asked for help from other people to raise funds. Her story is a sad reality for many, not only for old people like her but also children. Due to poverty, they will do anything, even risk their lives, just to earn a few coins to scrap by.

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XOLXOL: WATCH: 74-year-old grandmother will dive coins for food
WATCH: 74-year-old grandmother will dive coins for food
She should be resting on her old age but due to poverty, she risks her life for a few coins.
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