Saturday, November 29, 2014

Being Poor is a Challenge - Part 1

         I was browsing the internet today when I saw & read this abs-cbnnews article posted last year. Would you imagine 18 million Filipinos are actually living by P50/day? It made me recall some of my experiences and compare it today.

          I was born poor. I grew up with a not exactly an irresponsible father but an immature one & a strong mother who was able to survive us (me & my 3 siblings) inspite of all the hardships & difficulties before. I am not writing this just to get sympathy as I myself don’t like the feeling of “kinaawaan” or just to sell a story as I don’t have any financial gain on this blog right now. Though I may not belong to the poorest of the poor as seen on the documentary series on television, I know what it feels like to be a poor - to have nothing, to have an empty stomach, to have an empty pocket, to almost lost a shelter to live & to almost lost a chance to go to school as I would always cry to my mother before “ma, pasukan na bukas hindi pa kami naka-enroll” but eventually my mother got us enrolled on the first day of school.

          But do you know what it really feels like to have nothing? Here are some examples of real life scenario - a comparison of having nothing & actually having something.

1st Scenario
What's the difference between a person who took a bath & a person who don't?
"You know the feeling & the smell of course", "o di ba ang baho, at ang sama sa pakiramdam?"

1. But then you need to take a bath, let's say a person took a bath but with no soap just water, "a little refreshing but the smell is still in there, right?"
2. Let's say a person took a bath but use a laundry soap because there's no bath soap." a little refreshing & you will feel clean afterwards but there's no fragrant smell, right."
I know the feeling because I once experienced it. "tumira kami sa tabing riles at pinapaliguan kami araw araw gamit ang sabong panlaba,kaya balat kalabaw po ako, hahah."
3. Then let's say a person took a bath with bath soap & shampoo. "the feeling so great you will feel refresh, clean & fragrant afterwards".
4. Let's say a person took a bath with bath soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash & facial scrub. "that's a luxury for me already but for middle rich ones they are just necessities right?"
5. And finally, taking a bath on a Jacuzzi with moisturizers, rose petals & fragrant oils in it. "well that's for the super rich ones."

2nd Scenario
Do you know what it feels like to have an empty stomach,to actually have nothing to eat ?
I can only speak for myself & the good thing during my younger years is that my mother does not let us out in the streets but there were times when we wake up in the morning without nothing to eat & my mother will find a way for it.

          Given this scenario - "We woke up & feel hungry but we have nothing to eat & for hours we wait for our mother to come & when she finally arrived she only got rice."

1. So we need to eat that rice, just the rice (nothing else) because we need to ease our hunger.
2. Then another day, our mother brought a rice again still "no ulam."
We need to eat that rice again but there's bonus- "a little sugar or salt /little toyo or mantika added so it may taste like adobo, o di ba mas may lasa."
3.Then another day we need to eat that rice again but my mother gave me 1 peso. So I bought mangga & bagoong plus talbos ng kamote from the backyard placed above the sinaing, ang sarap di ba, Oh, I love mangga & bagoong plus talbos ng kamote with kamatis.
4. Then another day my mother has some earnings when she arrived -so she cooked ginataang laing, sinigang na buto buto ng baboy, pritong galunggong with mangga at bagoong with ginataang halo halo for meryenda... " it feels like fiesta for me already but for the middle rich it's just ordinary, right?"
5. And today  there's a lot of food chains & restaurants, on the mall where the middle rich people eat & those fancy & high end restaurants in hotels for the super rich ones.

           But what's my point here? Poverty is not a good topic in this world of financial blogs as I do not encourage it. But I have been an observant as to what's been happening in our society & I have observed one thing the rich ones are getting richer because they keep on earning, saving & investing while poor ones keeps on spending all their earnings.

As I once read in Daily Bread ,
" I asked for riches that I might be happy,
but I was given poverty that I might be wise."
The poor ones didn't recognize what God had given us.
The lessons those experiences taught us because we know how it feels to have nothing.
Yes, we we're born poor but if we were born rich, would we know the difference?
Would I actually know the advantage of having a laundry soap than nothing while taking a bath.
Would I appreciate the importance of rice even with just a little taste on it than to have nothing on my stomach, right?

          So if you were born poor then be wise because that's what God is actually teaching us.
Yes we need to spend to help our economy but then let the rich people spend their money while the poor people spend wisely.

          If you're a minimum wage earner like me, challenge yourselves. Spend wisely, spend on things that are needed & not on things that you just wanted. Save because we know how it feels to have nothing. Invest because we need to prepare ourselves for a better future.
Just imagine how great our country will be, if those 18 million poor Filipinos  change their mindsets & becomes rich in the future :)        

Philippines maybe a third world country & I believe our country will rise up.
There's a reason why God chooses us to be born poor so we will all be wise in all aspect of our lives.
There's a reason why some people from other countries chooses to live & do business here, because they see the potential that our country has.
There's a reason why God let the strongest typhoon Yolanda hit our country because God sees we have the strength to overcome it.
There's a reason why God chooses us to be born here in the Philippines because even if at times we have nothing we still believe that there's God who loves us & will never leave us no matter what.

Just sharing some thoughts today.    
Have a blessed weekend!!!                        
Ps. The above scenario are my actual experience from 1st to 4th .


  1. I never knew how poor we were until when I got older na. Then it hit me, that's why pala my father let my mom and my 3 brothers go to Cebu every summer vacation because summer means no school and no school mean no salary for him ( he was a security guard then upgraded to office work/swimming coach at the same school) I know it was hard for him but having no money equals no choice. When he died and our lives got crazy, from living with maternal grandparents who showered us with material stuffs to going back to our province where I experienced how it feels like being in the mercy of somebody else. Yung feeling na no matter what I do, I always am wrong and never appreciated. But kahit na Grabeh ang sacrifices ko when I went back to the province, I appreciated it now that I am an adult. It made me who I am. I don't think I'll appreciate material gains now that I can afford things without those experiences

    1. O di ba, lessons learned. Would u persevere if u haven't experienced them all. Lahat tau may kanya kanyang experiences, we just have to know what lessons it gives to us.

  2. Can relate to the laundry soap as bath soap at substitute na rin ng shampoo haha. Pag tinatanong ako dati anong shampoo ko, kunwari na lang di ko narinig nyahaha. At ang mag-ulam ng toyo-mantika or bagoong isda-mantika combo pero mga favorite ulam ko mga 'to dati over sayote haha. Kung di na kasya ang bigas sa isang saingan, matic lugaw naman! As a kid, mahirap syempre pero when I came to the metro to work and seeing all sorts of poverty worst than what I had, it was such an eye opener for me and I became more grateful for all that I had to go through. And tama, kailangan maging wise talaga sa pagspend to make our lives better!

    1. I forgot the lugaw, my mother used to cook lugaw because my youngest brother was still a baby that time, well those experiences taught us to appreciate what we have today. Malinis kya sa katawan yang sabong panlaba, hahah pero syempre ngayon gusto natin mabango na :))

  3. You really are your mother's daughter. Saludo ako sa inyong mag-ina.

    I've said this before and I imagine I'll say it over and over, you really are such an inspiration :)

    1. As always mam jill, thanks also for those encouraging words :)

  4. Nakaranas din ako kumain ng toyo lang ang ulam, lalo na nung naghihingalo na ang kumpanya na pinapasukan ng father ko. Dapat nga talaga magbago ang mindset ng mahihirap, actually lahat ng nagtatrabaho at kumikita ng salapi na hindi pa naman matatawag na mayaman. Kasi need talaga magsave at mag invest, maging wise sa pagspend ng pera sabi mo nga. Another inspiring and moving post, Grace. Like you, I believe there's still hope for all of us here in the Philippines and for our beloved country as well. :)

    1. thanks ms edel, nakapag-muni muni ako last week ng mabasa ko ung article, hahah. Kelangan talaga mag-start mag-save at mag-invest ang mga nagtatrabaho kahit gaano kaliit ang sahod at maging wise sa paggastos ng pera :) yes, may pag-asa pa tlaga ang bansa natin.

  5. Hi Grace!
    Your story is sad :( but I tend to always look at the brighter side of things which is magsumikap at magtiyaga. I used to sleep on an empty stomach during my teenage years and waking up hungry too. But those are the experiences that God gave us to make us strong. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  6. Actually it's not sad but it's the reality. Would you believe na mas masaya ako nung bata ako kahit sobrang hirap kami coz I know I have a family who will take care of me kesa ngayon kc mas hirap ako at mas pressured na because as we grow old all the more responsibility to think of. Like what u've said those experience that God gave us makes us stronger so I need to look back on those experiences so I can be strong now on facing all the challenges that I will encounter. Thanks for appreciating my blog :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...