On Maria Orosa Street of Malate, Manila stands one of HOPE’s beloved Aling Tinderas, Rosa Chua. After her spouse passed away, Aling Rosa now supports herself, her three children, and her grandchildren as a small sari-sari store owner, with her earnings ranging from 400 to 2,000 pesos on a daily basis. Alongside that, she also works as an occasional street-sweeper, earning an additional 6,000 pesos on a quarterly basis.
But Aling Rosa’s determination doesn’t stop there; with the Aling Tindera waste-to-cash program, Aling Rosa has scavenged for multiple plastic bottles, tires, straws, and other recyclable plastic items with the help of her children and grandchildren in order to gain an additional set of income every now and then.
In 2022, Aling Rosa can proudly say she’s been in her position as a sari-sari store owner along Maria Orosa Street for about 15 years and counting, and she looks forward to even more opportunities to come her way. Additionally, 2022 also brings in Aling Rosa’s first full year as one of HOPE’s Aling Tinderas, wherein she’s gotten to exchange several sacks of trash and plastic bottles she cleans and collects for drop-off at the local collection station.
In her daily efforts as an Aling Tindera, her son typically accompanies her while collecting plastic waste in their local area. The two often split their tasks as they take on their daily trash collection endeavours; Rosa’s son handles most of the heavy lifting when it comes to weighing and arranging the trash they bring to the collection station. Meanwhile, her grandchildren are proud to help their hardworking lola in stripping used plastic bottles clean before storing them away for their future weigh-ins.
Within Aling Rosa’s collected materials, a majority of the items she amasses are plastic water bottles. She says that every now and then, she would go out and bargain with other sellers in the area for their used plastic bottles. Alongside this, after collecting enough bottles, Aling Rosa would go through the process of stripping the bottles clean from their labels, their caps, and their bands. After the cleaning process, she brings it to the drop-off location to weigh them, and this is where she can finally exchange all the materials she’s gathered for the extra funds she uses for everyday expenses.
After a year with the Aling Tindera program, Aling Rosa stands empowered as she manages two of her own businesses to care for herself, her children, and her grandchildren. From once being someone who sold trash to others, she now buys and collects plastic waste and other trash from members of her community to resell these for the good of her family and the environment.