Monday, September 15, 2008

Random Ranting

I don't know what is happening but for the past few days, I've been feeling so distraught and hopeless. Perhaps this is just an effect of my phone's zero balance state, perhaps not. There is really no telling but things have not been according to my plan.

I stayed in Korea for nine months to study and it is there that I felt that this world is a beautiful world to live in. Who wouldn’t think this way when everything seems to be perfect. Modernity is working hand in hand with nature and I have been so impressed with how Koreans made it possible. You look at one side and you see sky craping buildings and apartments. Then on the other you see green mountains and seemingly clean and clear water. The vehicles do not emit black smoke and people wait in pedestrian lanes until that traffic signal turns go. Employees in offices wear smile and courteous when you talk to them like you can always approach them if ever youu need anything. You can leave your things on that bench to go to the toilet for a moment and come back to realize that no one touched your things. You can also expect schedules to go on as planned and on the dot, like if your bus ticket says you’ll be arriving in Seoul at ten o’clock then you are guaranteed that it will.

Back in Korea, I thought everything is going to be okay once I get back to my own country. That I have planned everything well. I told myself that I am going to find a good job while studying, find time to relax and enjoy life. But things are just the opposite. I feel so poor now, and all I see is nothing but poverty.

Now that I am back to the land I thought I missed, I am living in a room where I can't even find a decent space for my notebook. I can't eat a decent meal when all I have is 900 pesos which I need to budget for an entire week. Considering that I go to my part time job's office spending 50 pesos for transportation within five days, summing it all, eats 250 leaving me 650. And where will 650 take me? I have to sacrifice breakfast because I won't be able to afford lunch and dinner if I follow a healthy diet. I even half to split lunch so that there will be leftover for dinner. As if that's not enough, I have to force myself to walk all the way to school under the heat of the sun, because additional expense for jeepney rides has no room for the meager budget that I have. And what of all those class fees that I have to pay, required articles that I need to photocopy, and written homework that I have to print? Only God knows how I will be able to deal with all these. And it's only with God that I am pulling enough strength to make it through.

As years go by, life becomes more and more difficult. Gone are the days when all I have in school is ten pesos which I can use to buy a meal plus dessert. Jeepney fare is just fifty cents and I still have something to keep. But now, ten pesos is a joke. Give me that amount and it won't even let me get to the nearest destination I would want to go granting that I need to transfer from one vehicle to another. Prices are soaring way above our capacity and for middle class people like me to cry foul, makes me think what more it could be for people poorer than I am.

This state of our country is not an isolated case. All over the globe, many are suffering and sometimes, their predicament is more serious than we are experiencing. African people have no food to eat compounded by deadly diseases that do not meet proper treatment because there exist no sufficient medical institutions. In Laos and Cambodia, people suffer from hunger not because the prices of food is high but because there is no food at all. It is truly sad that we have to suffer like this. But why can't we do something about.

For the love of humanity, why can't we alleviate this ironic stance that we are presently in? I say ironic because our country should not be like this. We are naturally rich with all the untapped resources that we have. All that we need to do is make a move, do some action. Leave the government alone because we cannot depend on them to solve all the problems that we have. If we think about, the main problem that we are facing is not the lack of opportunities but the lack of a proper attitude.

Take Korea as an example. It used to be a poor country. So much poorer than us fifty years ago. During those times, the people also suffered hunger and poverty, exploitation of human rights had been rampant, and social ills like crime and prostitution were ubiquitous. But people started believing that the only way to solve their problem was if they work hard, actually extra harder. So everybody gave out their best, people studied important majors like engineering and business related courses. Everybody drove the economy forward. During those times, Koreans have gone to other countries too as workers but they did their part, helped the economy perhaps by sending money and ultimately went back to live in their own land to do more for their country. And now, look at them- developed and continually pushing forward competing with European and American economies.

Of course, this is not to say that our country is but a dirt in a paved road. We can also do what others have done. Korea has already proven it, why can't we believe in ourselves and move ahead?

Until then, I would have to dance with the music and accept the fact that I only have 900 pesos for the entire week.

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