Wilmer & Cristina: Fishing in Iloilo
Cristina and Wilmer live in Tubulang, a small village on one of the Western Islands of the Philippines. They have four children between 2 and 22 years of age. Most of the villagers of Tubulang live off fishing and so does the Barba family. Every morning before day-break, Wilmer and his two oldest sons let out their nets at sea. They return to shore before 9 o’clock so that Cristina can take the fish for sale on the main regional market. She haggles over the price with the wholesaler who in turn supplies all the fish retailers of the market. In 2004, Cristina took a first loan for the family business of PHP 5,000 (not quite USD 80) to buy fishing nets. She is presently paying off her thirteenth microloan of PHP 20,000 (about USD 300) which served to buy a boat motor. The family owns two boats and employs a number of relatives in their small business. Unfortunately, one of the boats was heavily damaged by the typhoon of June 2008. With great resilience, the family is working together to make the necessary repairs, aided with the small savings they have been able to make over the past years.