THE PROMISE. Leah Dinglasan, 41, fulfills the dream and her
promise to husband Marine Technical Sergeant Aldrin Cadiz
Dinglasan to grow the business the soldier has started.
October 19, 2018
LIPA, Batangas –
Leah Dinglasan stares blankly in the distance, wondering what
happened to her husband, Marine Technical Sergeant Aldrin Cadiz
Dinglasan, and if he is ever coming back.
This has been her routine
ever since she lost her husband during the five-month siege in
Marawi City after an ISIS-affiliated group from Mindanao took over
While Leah keeps herself
busy in managing the business her husband has left her, the widow is
still coping with her loss.
“Mahirap, siyempre iniisip
ko parin siya. Pero tuloy lang ang buhay,” Leah said, adding that
she was left to care for their three children.
Tech. Sgt. Dinglasan, 41,
was already three days into the siege after a sniper bullet struck
his cheek on May 31, 2018. Moments before his death, he called Leah
that once he returns from his tour of duty, they would manage
together the small sari-sari store business they had started.
The soldier was set to
retire after his Marawi duty.
After receiving a call and
hearing the news of the soldier’s demise from his commander, Leah
was at first in disbelief. She argued that he just called moments
Leah narrated how Tech.
Sgt. Dinglasan’s body can’t be recovered due to heavy firing from
enemy snipers. His body was recovered three days after his death.
Back in March 2017, the
couple started a small variety store business for their family’s
upkeep and finance their children’s studies.
With P20,000 in hand,
Tech. Sgt. Dinglasan bankrolled the variety store and started the
business before leaving for his tour of duty.
Leah was left to manage
the business, while her husband is in Marawi City.
The couple hoped that
soon, once he retires, they would grow the business into a
After her husband’s death,
Leah received assistance from the government in various forms and
from the private sector.
Leah in March 2018
received a P100,000 loan assistance from the Small Business
Corporation (SB Corp.) under its special program, Wounded-and-Killed
in Action (WIA-KIA), an offshoot program to help soldiers and police
who were either killed or wounded during the Marawi conflict, from
the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) micro loan program.
“Mayroon ding pension from
the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Veterans Affairs
Office, Employees Compensation Commission, financial and educational
assistance para sa mga anak namin, at mayroon din galing sa private
sector,” Leah added.
With the livelihood
assistance she received, Leah made a few changes in the store,
enlarging it and adding more supplies.
Five months after she
received the financial assistance, the store is now worth P150,000,
a 50% increase in capital.
On casual days, Leah could
earn P8,000 while the minimum she could earn is P3,000 on Mondays.
“Minsan kumikita ako ng
P8,000, yun na ang pinakamalaki. Pero kapag Monday, kumikita lang
ako ng P3,000,” she offered.
Leah explained that it was
Tech. Sgt. Dinglasan’s dream for the business to grow.
“Ang sabi niya sakin “Ma,
gusto ko yung tindahan natin magsimula sa maliit. Gusto ko
palalakihin natin. Hindi yung tulad noong dati na kaunti lang yung
laman ng tindahan natin,”” she said, holding back tears.
She also hopes that after
she completes the payment for the P100,000 loan from SB Corp., she
can borrow money from the P3 program to expand her business.
While she understands that
her husband is gone, Leah is still grateful to Tech. Sgt. Dinglasan
that despite knowing that she won’t share the accomplishment with
him, he had left her and their children something that they will
“Gusto kong magpasalamat
sa nasa ‘Itaas’ at sa asawa ko, dahil hindi niya kami pinabayaan,”