I remember, it was my first day of the semester going to the state university where my grandma enrolled me in Manila. I really don’t know what to do and what to expect. Throughout my life living in the city, I never experience to go to a public school or state university. Every time I went to school, I always have our family driver to fetch me or the school bus if our driver is busy. I got used the life my grandparent’s granted me. I admit that I don’t have everything but I have enough. My former classmates said that it’s a school for the poor or less fortunate people or people living below the poverty line. At first they can’t even imagine me going to that school where I had to deal the poor people out there for 4 to 5 years. Yes, I studied in a state university and I really don’t care what other people say. After all, I’m not living on other people expectations or demands. In the first place, it’s not written on our law that rich or wealthy people are not allowed to enter public school or state university. You can call me hypocrite (that’s what they think of me) but I really don’t believe that choice of school matters at all because it’s up to the person. Whether she/he will do good or the other way around. I have lots of friends who went to the famous and top universities but do you know where they are? Some are just at home; some are working in call center even if they have a master’s degree; some are still dependent on their parent, etc. (Okay, back to my business)
My big problem was how to get there. I don’t know how to ride a jeepney, bus or train. Funny right? It’s the truth. I walked a kilometer or I guess it was two going to the jeepney stop- along the highway. Upon reaching the jeepney stop, I met an old lady, a bum maybe in the corner of the street. Maybe she saw me standing and walking wearily that’s why she approached and asked me if I have a problem. I asked her on how I can go to Baclaran, what jeepney i supposed to ride. She didn’t say anything instead she just stops the incoming jeepney with a placard written “Baclaran” in front of the jeepney.
The bum then asked me if I could give her some money to buy her food because she’s so hungry. I gave her 50 pesos. I thought it was enough to buy a loaf of bread but I was wrong. I saw some street children running going to her. I bet they are her children. They walked to the store and sat down on the wooden chair while they enjoyed their food. I realized that there are some people who have bigger problems than mine- how to eat thrice a day.
When I walked along the street going to the MRT-Taft station, I saw some street children, street vendors and different people striving so hard to survive. I can see from all their faces how tired they were and do you know what their common goal is? To live. Sometimes we complain with things that we lack, not well enough and everything seems so hard. We continue to look for more when in fact, we already given more than what we deserve. Sometimes we just took things for granted.
As I wait for the next trip, I noticed a guy standing behind the other guy. With my two naked eyes, i saw the man stole the other guy’s wallet from his blue jean’s pocket. I was shocked how the man got the wallet without the other man knowing or feeling it. That was absurd. I wonder why the man has to do that to his fellow Filipino. Is he doing that everyday? How can he even feed his own family from the money he just stole? I hate to think that some people are willing to do such crime just to live. Is it because of poverty?
Poverty is a malignant disease which kills millions of people softly and my country is not an exception. By that kind of disease, I truly believe that there is only one medicine which can cure this disease itself. It is a medicine called ‘education’. Education is our only weapon to solve our problem in poverty. As what my grandma told me ‘being poor is not a sin but to die poor is’ because you didn’t work hard while you were alive”. It is not our fault that we are born in a poor family but we can do something about it. It is to educate ourselves instead of putting ourselves to mere poverty. Don’t let poverty become a hindrance to your success. If other people can do, you can do it too. After all, we are created by God equally; it’s just a matter of gender and nationality.
There are lots of opportunities out there. They are just waiting for you to grab it. If you don’t have money, what’s the use of public schools and state universities out there? Our government even give some scholarships to those who are determine and willing to study. You always complain to our government that they abandon our country but have you ask yourself “Did I help my country, too?” It’s just a matter of how many years of studies compare to the life you are having now in poverty. It will be forever if you will not work hard. They said that there is no permanent in this world except change. There’s still a chance for you to change. Poverty is just temporary; why not think of a life where you deserve to be. Don’t be lazy. Stop that colonial mentality. Start now before it’s too late. Nobody said it was easy but it’s really worth it in the end.
Related blog: http://www.whypoverty.net