An update from Rubelyn Lumanta in the Philippines

Rubelyn with her two children

Rubelyn with her two children

Milena, a Kiva Fellow volunteering in the Philippines sent us an update from Rubelyn, one of our entrepreneurs, who lives on a tiny island called Nuc Nucan.

Reaching Rubelyn was an unforgettable experience. First, we took a 45 minute boat ride from the mainland. We arrived on an island surrounded by seaweed farms and weathered boats. Most people on the island work at night, so during the afternoon they socialize, sing at videoke bars, or relax in the countless hammocks that line the narrow streets.
There are no cars or bicycles on this island; people walk, and the “streets” are narrow pathways of sand lined by houses and shops. The island is vibrant. To get to Rubelyn, we had to maneuver through a maze of children, music, and shops smelling of roasted fish.

Rubelyn lives in a small house located right on the beach. She was shy to talk to me, and preferred speaking through a translator. She confirmed that she is a fish buyer. She purchases fish from local fishermen, and either sells them in Nuc Nucan or at the Bohol mainland.

The loan helped her to buy fish in bulk and at a better rate, and she used the extra profits to pay for the daily expenses of her family. She has two children, both of which are shown in the picture.