Friday, January 12, 2007 at Friday, January 12, 2007 |
Signs of poverty are very visible nowadays. Just yesterday, I witnessed an altercation between a jeep driver and a passenger. The passenger, a woman in her 30s, was asking for additional change amounting to 75 cents. She kept on insisting that there was 50-cent discount given to commuters as per LTO directives. The driver shot back, saying the discount was good only until December 31 last year. The woman muttered something I didn’t understand and I thought she resigned, so it blew me off when she suddenly said “sige, pero ibigay nyo na lang sa’kin yung kulang pang bente singko sentimos.” Some passengers cleared their throats, startled; others gaped in disbelief. The driver gave up and just scratched his head.

I see nothing objectionable in what the woman did. In fact, for staying true to herself and her pennilessness, she should be complimented. Since when does asking for a small change become something to sneer at? I have to admit I am one of those who wouldn't have done the same thing. It's not because I thought 25 cents is nothing. Perhaps it's because I want to save my pride before the humiliating poverty that envelops us.

Poverty among us is a fact. Majority of over 80 million Filipinos are uncertain whether there will be ample food to eat on the table or enough money to pay the monthly bills in the next five years. Some see our nation as incorrigible barren land of unfulfilled dreams, others see it as a junk shop — which may explain why we have some thriving clans of corrupt politicians who see money in every rubbish thing. Our country is close to being declared “clinically-dead,” as far as the ongoing exodus of skillful and intelligent people is concerned. Those who dare say life today is easy have not been on the other side where grass is not green, and probably have never ridden on PUVs. Those who dare say life today is easy are mostly vacationing foreigners from a First World country, or worse, politicians. Is there a way to escape from this destitution aside from leaving the country?

Life in this country is like getting inside a run-down building which offer different rooms. Which one should be taken is for us alone to decide. How you got to the building doesn't mean anything. We’ll never know which room is of our own advantage until we open the door and enter the room. It’s called luck — opportunity — and with it, our lives basically become games which we are destined to play.

I can say that it's like playing poker, where intelligence and diligence do little to win the game. Success in life is more than just an ability to shuffle the cards to get the elusive royal flush; it’s also about getting those cards that make the royal flush. Those who say that the only ingredients to a successful life are perseverance and intelligence are living in a fantasy world or are too much absorbed with fiction novels. If being intelligent and diligent pulls one out of the quagmire of poverty, nobody will leave this country to chase dreams abroad. Nobody will look for some buildings in which lucky rooms are spacious enough to accommodate intelligent and diligent people.

Apparently, no one knows how the future can become as good as what our heroes envisioned. And nobody wants to waste time knowing when. It would take a French Revolution to change all these things. And no one likes to sacrifice and become poorer than they already are today and start again from scratch. In this jungle, it’s more important to make sure you’re going to have something to eat than to contemplate if the sun will make up his mind to rise the next day.
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blue 3 said...

Boy your are really good at writings, don’t you have plans to publish all of your works. Anyway, hindi ko naman masisisi yung babae sa pagkuha nya ng P0.75 cents
Eh totoo naman tinanggal ang .50 cents sa fare. Although hanggang December lang yon, may mga lugar naman na hindi na nagbalik ng 7.50 kasi bumaba naman talaga ang diesel. Pero natawa ako ng hindi pumayag yung driver sa kwento mo, at mas lalo akong natawa nung hiningi ng babae yun natitirang .25 cents. Astig. LOL. Kung sa iba siguro yun hindi na kukunin yon sa hiya, saka bentesingko lang naman yon, minsan nga may nakikita ka ng .25 cents sa kalsada hindi mo na kinukuha. Siguro ang nasa isip ng babae e ayaw nyang maisahan ng driver. Minsan kasi ganun eh, Dati nga nagbayad ako ng 8 Pesos dapat may sukli akong .50 cents pero di ko na kinuha kasi ang layo ko sa driver, sisigaw pa ako para marinig nya, dyahe naman. Eh .50 cents lang naman, Pero naiinis ako kasi parang naisahan ako ng driver.

O siguro pwede rin kulang ng .25 cents yun iniipon nyang 1 million kaya kinuha nya yun natitirang sukli nya. O siguro talagang gipit lang sya.

One thing for sure pare, pahirap ng pahirap ang buhay ngayon. Finding a nice paying job here in our country is tough. When you have nothing, Every cents counts.

Moral Lesson: “magbayad ng eksakto sa driver yun hindi ka na susuklian” LOL

Jan 25, 2007, 10:27:00 AM  
Earlie said...

hmmm... so profound!

Jan 26, 2007, 2:58:00 PM  
wickedly_darling said...

We know who to blame and whose fault it is, but so sad, the rage of those concerns are not enough to bring this monsters down. Some people cry their hearts out just to be heard but... men! Now a days, can anyone pinpoint who practically care?

- Last night half past eleven my dad went out to go for a stick of cigarette, after a few minutes, he enter ed the house in a hurry manner and ask me, “anu pagkain sa ref? I gave him a confused look, and he said, “ yung pulubi dun sa may gate, sinasalok yung tubig sa may kanal tapos iniinom, nagugutom yata”… damn! The statement came like a thunder clapping inside my head. I go the ref, take out the left over pansit, yeah, it is a lil cold already, and gave it to my dad, plus a bottle of water. This, morning, my dad told me that the beggar is still there, and the guy thanked him, he just told the guy not to drink that dirty water, he was telling me this while he prepares pieces of bread that he is going to give the poor guy. When I left the house for work, yeah, the guy is still there, and, I don’t know... I don’t have the courage to look at him. I feel sorry for the guy, but I feel sorry for my self also, I was hurting inside, knowing what he do just to ease his hunger, and I, we, can do so little to help him. Giving him food to eat is not enough…

May 17, 2007, 8:53:00 AM  
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