Hardworking, participative, and with leadership qualities – these are but few qualities that best describe the grand prize winner of Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2013.

Helen D. Mabanta, together with her husband and siblings, are just ordinary dweller of Purok 5, Barangay Libertad, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, but with extraordinary achievements in family life, community development, academic activities, and spiritual enrichment.

The nominee family, an active and compliant member of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program for more than two years now, is a spark that has shined for many years in their community. Rachel is an active chairwoman of her purok and volunteer of the Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA that promotes women empowerment in the village through participation and trainings in the implementation of the said project.

As chairwoman of her sub-village, Helen encourages pahina, a local word for volunteerism, for the PAMANA project while acting as well as member of the Bids and Awards Committee of the village.

She is not only excelling in leadership, but also in beautifying and greening her village. Her one of a kind garden with a fish pond has earned her recognition in her town, province and the whole region of Northern Mindanao.  In 2010 and 2011, she bested the whole contingents of Kauswagan town in household gardening contest organized by the Department of Agriculture and the local government of Kauswagan. Due to persistence, labor, and love for environment; the vegetable garden with fish pens becomes one of her sources of income; aside from the fact that it provides them vegetables and viand.

The Municipal Agriculture Office of Kauswagan recognizes backyard gardening of the family because it promotes “Food Always in the Home (FAITH).” As it is, the regional office of DA endorses other farmers to emulate and duplicate the backyard garden of the family.

The husband and wife nominee never faltered in rearing their children with love and high respect. The parents inculcated in the minds of the children to be God-center individuals, humble, kind, and obedient to anyone. The mother nominee also extends her passion and advocacy in teaching her neighbord good values.

She did not let things get her down and was proud of being a mother, a wife, a chairwoman, a volunteer, and a Pantawid Pamilya Beneficiary.

The family laid a strong foundation of family life and is encouraging other neighboring families to do the same.

Aside from the spiritual nutrients, physical and biological needs are also given by the parent nominee to their children. Even before their enrollment to Pantawid Program; the parents have been planting variety of vegetables: gabi, eggplant, malunggay, okra, squash, among others; to their small backyard garden. The garden became the food and nutrient provider to the family.


The Mabanta couple also divides household chores among their four children, promoting unity, cleanliness, participation and strong family ties. While the other is tasked to help Helen on laundry, the other child will take care of the chickens they have acquired as tenant from a neighbor, and still others will cook food for the whole family.

Aside from the vegetable garden, the family is always active in the community. They join other families of Barangay Libertad in cleaning the streets regularly, volunteering for PAMANA project and in every activities of their village.

The family is also active in their school as Helen is one of the officers of the Parents-Teachers Association. Almost all activities of the school, the Mabanta couple are present to support their children.

The family has a lot to do with the large number of family who are now involved in the village activities. They see the servant leadership of the nominee- setting examples to their neighbors and the caring and commitment they show and catch some of their spirit and “can-do” attitude!

Aside from being a servant-leader in school, the five children of this family are all achievers. All children of the Mabanta family completed their respective elementary education with honors. Both parents always reminded the children that education is their best legacy they can give to their children as they promise to support for the education of their children until they will all have their degrees and title.

Momentarily, the family is thankful for the grants they have received from Pantawid Pamilya as they can provide all educational and health needs of their children. Each of the children beneficiaries has its complete school supplies bought because of the grant. Aside from the regular medical check-up, the parent nominee provides food supplements and nutritious food for their children.

Though, only three are grantees, but all of the children have enjoyed the full benefits of the grant, as the parents efficiently managed the grant only and for their children’s welfare.

The meager income of Rolando from being a highway cleaner of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is for other expenses of the whole family. The Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD Field Office 10 facilitated the entrance of Rolando to DPWH as highway cleaner.

These wondrous performances of the family has earned them respect, emulation, and love in their community, organization, school and church. (Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer)