I grew up in poverty and it was not easy when my mother was pregnant of me, my father leaves us with nothing. When I was five years old, my mother decided to marry so that she has someone to share with and thanks God He has given me a very responsible stepfather. He raises me like his own even we are just poor but we are happy because he taught us to live with rich heart than with rich pocket because according to him what is the use of money if you have no heart yet you are still poor.
We are happy but still, it is hard, because if you are 10 years old what you want is to play and play and play but it never happens to me because I need to get up early and help my parents. When I graduated high school another struggle for me, do my parents have money to send me in college? I never ask them I just find ways. I became a working student in my father’s sister I help them in their household chores both of them my stepfather and his sister had helped me in finishing my college degree. However, it was not easy but I keep going I strive hard and harder until I finished college. Nevertheless, graduating in college is not the end rather that is where life truly begins and there is more fighting, striving hard and harder most likely if you are living here in my country.
When I start working as a Social Development Practitioner, here, I totally understand the true status of my country. As people, work hard and harder they become poorer and poorer opposite of what happened in other countries. What we did to help those people, we educate them but not all understand, they do it now and forget later then go back to their usual habit. As John Maxwell said, “if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten”. If you want to arrive at a new destination, you need to take a new path.
Our advocacy is to help people and eradicate poverty as our boss always remind us those words for us not to forget and that is the reason for our existence. We help our clients, we let them borrow small capital to start up a small business but most of them failed, why? Because here in the Philippines, you can start a business but “Pahirapan” in Tagalog. Why? They must pay taxes which much bigger than their capital and you will get the approval but it takes for how many days. And you will be going through so many agencies asking their signatures some papers to submit and then some government employee is not so accommodating it is like you are going to retreat when you see their mad face, that is the reason why most people are not interested in business only a few tried it. In some countries, the government will help you until you make the stand but here is different you will get what you want but in the hardest way and if you already passed the test, well, congratulation but be careful, if the fruit of your labor shows some will stone you down. That is what we called ‘crab mentality.’ That is why people stay where they are because according to a Filipino saying, “Life is a wheel, sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down. Problem is that, when you are down the wheel stops spinning.
To wrap it up, I want to share what was my mother answered to me when I questioned her those times I faced difficulties. I say it to her, mom, maybe if you are rich by now your children will not suffer as what we faced right now, but she just gives me a simple answer. Son, if you do not strive hard right now your children will question you the same question.” So, tomorrow depends on today what you have done today you will reap it tomorrow. Each one of us is responsible for our life we cannot blame our parents, our country or our government what happens to us it is because of us. What we must do is to understand our life and our purpose. Every time I saw a man or people, families who just live in the street, under the bridges or some handicapped person I say it to myself, ‘I am so blessed’ thank you God for giving me such beautiful life. I am not rich but you make me understand what is life really is. As my uncle told me a story of a man who asked God. “God give me everything so I can enjoy my life, God replied; Son, I give you life so you can enjoy everything.”
To God be the glory.