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  • Writer's pictureLeonora Lo-oy

What happened to the 64-year-old woman living in the streets of Baguio for 34 years?

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

Baguio City, Philippines – The 64-year-old woman who had been wandering the streets of Baguio City for the past 34 years was successfully rehabilitated through the joint efforts of the government and private sectors.

The family of the woman tried to keep her to stay at home only to find she is out there again preferring the streets.

Nanay Calteya of Baguio City lived three decades away from home, moving from one place to another, the Baguio City Public Information Office reported.

The rescue of Calteya was made possible through the joint initiative and effort of the government and private sectors led by Ricky Ducas of the Baguio City Health Services Office Mental Health Program Unit.

Ducas told Baguio PIO that the mission to rescue her started after observing her every day on the streets. He mentioned that Calteya reminded him of a lesson he learned at St. Louis University that says, “we may have a lot of injustices, but everyone deserves to die with dignity.”

The will to rescue Calteya was further ignited when he saw a meme on social media about the 64-year-old woman saying, “Hindi ka taga- Baguio kung hindi mo siya kilala.”

Calteya’s rehabilitation

Ducas recounted that rescuing Calteya took a month of planning and that they had to gather resources. One of their means was the concert for a cause with the private sector held last July 15, 2021.

The team also located Calteya’s family through the Office of the City Social Welfare and Development. Ducas mentioned that the family longed for Calteya to come home, but they do not know how to make her stay.

The family, after learning about the rescue, built a home for Calteya.

Meantime, Ducas revealed that they had to establish Calteya’s routine through surveillance as she moves around frequently. After coordinating with the family and government agencies and stakeholders, the rescue was successfully done.

Calteya stayed at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center Psychiatry Department for a month. She was accompanied by her senior citizen brother. Their needs were provided by volunteers until she was discharged.

Being with her family

Ducas further said that after 9 months of efforts from the government and private sectors to reintegrate Calteya into the community, she is now staying at a home her family built for her and that she is looking after her grandchildren, doing household chores, and going to church.

Calteya’s medication is ongoing, and she is being monitored monthly.

“Anak na din ang tawag niya sa akin at sobrang saya ng pakiramdam na nagawa natin ang akala natin ay imposible. Sa tulong ng Dios at kayo na may puso na gawin akong tulay sa mga tulad nila. Iyaman! Sumya tako!” Ducas was quoted saying.

With the successful rehabilitation of Calteya, Ducas hopes that the public should do the same for all vagrants with psychological disabilities. He however stressed that the family must be the first to embrace them back home as part of the rehabilitation process.


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