Poverty in the Philippines

15. October 2016 Philippines, Social AwarenessApplesH6 comments
I am not rich. But I dare not call myself poor. This I say in respect for all those who live day by day, without a steady job or none at all, those who do not have access to basic necessities such as food or medicine. I am not poor. I may not have a large amount of cash in my wallet, but having a wallet is a blessing in itself.

Last weekend, my husband and I watched the documentary of Mike Enriquez – Philippine Agenda: Hunger, depicting poverty in the Philippines and focusing on the country’s poorest provinces. It was heart-wrenching to watch but I could not take my eyes off the screen as it showed me images of families… little children who do not have food to eat. Such that they have become skin and bones. I saw a 9-year old child who was no bigger than my two year old. His arms and legs were like half the mass of my thinnest child. I watched as a mother waited for her six kids to get their share of the food and then she would take whatever was left on the plate – this even with her carrying an unborn baby in her womb.

What is even sadder is how the poorer these families are, the more kids they seem to bear. Their sorry plight is aggravated by the lack of government support services available to them. They do not have access to health centers, education, livelihood that will all help them create a suitable environment for their families and kids. I asked my husband several times, why? Why do they live like this? Why do they not have food? Why do they have 12 kids when they cannot feed even one of them? Why is our government allowing this to happen to its people?

I am not ignorant that such misery exists in the Philippines. The streets of Manila are filled with begging children exposed to the harsh environment which push them to grow up as criminals. But I have never seen the kind of misery that I witnessed this weekend. And I am ignorant to the answers that I seek. I can only ask – If the Masbate province has been in the Top 10 poorest provinces for years, then someone is not doing their job.

That’s why I have always told my husband that I will do everything to make sure that my kids do not ever get into that situation. If I have to beg and crawl or take in two jobs just so my kids stomach’s will remain full, I will do it. But I have had the privilege of a good education that my parents worked hard to pay for so it is easier for me. Much much easier. And that makes all the difference in the world.

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This post is a response to Bloggers Kapihan’s invitation for Blog Action Day 2016.