P. 13

“Currently it’s very difficult for
           everyone here in our area. A lot of
           the people have been losing hope. I
           do believe that we’ll need more help,
           and as much as we do have with
           the resources out here, it’s simply
           not enough. I’ve been calling my
           friends in Manila to help with the
           finances in response to the needs of
           our people here. It is very difficult,
           because even in Manila they have
           their own cases to deal with during
           the pandemic.” Laarni’s takeaway
           during this dismal time is that she
           truly hopes that the people still see
           how beautiful it is to be with family.

           Once the health crisis is mitigated
           and all are able to return to a
           semblance of normalcy, Laarni does
           have nature-related activities in the
           works for all of Bukidnon, currently
           postponed due to the pandemic. In
           response to so many of the area’s
           trees being cut down, she intends
           to travel from village to village with
           seedlings in tow, on a tree-planting
           mission. The new growth echoes
           her words of encouragement to her
           district: “Hold on and hang onto
           your hope. The service that we
           provide our people is never ending.
           We make sure that we are always
           there for them. We make sure that
           the service will not stop. And I
           believe that that’s what my husband
           is planning to do, with having me
           taking over; providing the people
           with the services that are needed.”

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