Peñarubia, Abra– Mr. Arsenio B. Molina has been married to his wife, Mrs. Norma D. Molina for 15 years now. The couple stays in their humble home in Brgy. Riang, Peñarubia, Abra. Simple it may seem, but it is in this abode that Arsenio developed love to become a father to 20 children.

53 year old Arsenio earned a degree in Commerce, major in banking and finance while his wife works in a beauty shop. Although Arsenio was able to graduate, he was never lucky to land an appropriate job. He had worked in a snack house before he decided to become a fulltime farmer to earn for his family.

However, it was in 2007 when Arsenio made the biggest decision of his life. This is the year when he accepted the challenge of becoming a Child Development Worker (then called Day Care Worker).

Arsenio’s Child Development Center (previously known as Day Care Center) is just a makeshift classroom from an unoccupied house. This house, located in Sitio Bangbanga, is owned by a local now residing in Pangasinan Province. “Impabulod na dyay balay ta imbaga mi nga awan ti pag-basaan na dagigay ubbing. (The owners lent the house to us because we told them that the children do not have a place to study.)”, Arsenio narrated.

However, this did not hinder Arsenio to pursue the development of the children in their neighborhood.

 Right now, Arsenio caters to children from Sitio Bangbanga and Sitio Lingsad. Parents from both sitios come to entrust the future of their children to “Sir Arsenio”. In return, Arsenio has 20 children that he takes care of and loves as his own. “Mayat ti ritnak. Maragsakan ak nga kadwak dagiti ubbing. Kayat ko iti agaw-awir. Kasla met lang nga anak ko isuda. (I feel good [doing this]. I am happy to be with the children. I love to take care of them. They are like my children)”, Arsenio said.

“Padasak lang koma ti agbalin nga Day Care Worker. Ngem kastoy met gayam. Nagragsak ak. Adda iti anak kon. (I just wanted to try to be a Day Care Worker. I didn’t expect that I would be this happy. Now, I have children.)”, Arsenio added reminiscing that his 15 years of marriage wasn’t blessed not even by a single child.     

Even after six years since Arsenio became a Child Development Worker, he still continues to share his love and knowledge to the little learners of Sitio Bangbanga and Sitio Lingsad.

And although the compensation for them is barely enough to take care of their own necessities, Sir Arsenio does not have any plans of leaving the profession. He believes that when he stops being a child development worker, he is not leaving the job but he is letting go of the children whom have been entrusted to him for a better future.

 ndeed, Arsenio or Sir Arsenio is a father in his own ways. He may not have the chance to bring up his own children, but he is already a father to the future generation of Sitio Bangbanga and Sitio Lingsad. He may not have even just one child, but he has 20 or even more children who loves him and recognizes him to be a part of their life.# DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, NFGV

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