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Living along the railroad isn’t always as comical and exciting as the Filipino Comedy Series “Home Along Da Riles”. Things can get pretty rough and rowdy in that area and in the case of Cynthia Barabal and her family, theirs was the exact situation.

Cynthia has been married to her loving husband for thirteen years and is blessed with three beautiful daughters.

She and her husband, a call centre agent and an engineer respectively, are earning just enough for their daughters’ schooling and family needs.Though blessed with a family, their living conditions before wasn’t the best to thrive in. “Our house is literally beside the railroad in Manila and the environment wasn’t exactly ideal for them.” Cynthia exclaimed.

Fully aware of what they should do, they wasted no time in looking for a new home. “We were supposed to be part of a relocation project headed by the municipality; unfortunately it would entail for us to live far away from where my husband is currently working, practically having me be a housewife in the province with my daughters.” The circumstances seemed bleak for them.

When they heard about Habitat for Humanity from one of their neighbours, without any hint of hesitation, they signed up and hoped for the best.

Hope, like every other family in distress would entertain, walked in to their doorsteps. Someone delivered a message that they qualified for Habitat’s regular housing program in Brgy. Pinagsama, Taguig City. They could not even fathom the amount of joy that they felt upon hearing the good news. 

Right after receiving the message, they started attending seminars, helping out in construction, and planning the layout of their future home. Cynthia mentioned that since it was going to be their home where they will build a better life, and it was only proper to plan ahead with its layout.

Since they moved in 2004, they noticed significant changes in their lives. “It’s very different compared to before. The environment, the community and even the attitude of the people are very positive. We’re very happy to know that our children are able to grow in a suitable environment today.”

Her daughters are able to safely immerse themselves with the community and grow. Abby, their eldest daughter is now more into recreational activities such as volleyball which her peers look up to her. The family would also engage themselves in cleaning programs within the community just so they could do their fair share of help.

Just like any other parent, the dreams for their children are big. The couple’s dream for their children is to finish studies and become hard working and humble professionals in the future.

For Cynthia and her husband, it was quite difficult for them to realize their dreams back then. Now, their dreams are almost within reach. 


Cynthia Barabal and her family were able to escape adversity and are now living how a family life filled with promise. Over 4 million Filipino families are still experiencing inadequate housing and this is problem that we should face as a nation. With your help, let's provide our fellow countrymen with the right living environment such as a home in a vibrant and sustainable community by clicking on