I’ve been very busy for the past weeks, working-relaxing-working, acting like a grown up, so I didn’t have time for myself and my blog. After the noise, there’s all this quiet. This week I was feeling a bit down for reasons I couldn’t explain. Post-holiday depression? Maybe I was just tired. I cheered myself up with thoughts of the things that I have, but it didn’t work.
Then I saw a TV feature in Imbestigador. An 80-year old woman in Leyte has been working so hard, walking barefoot to the forests to get some crops to be sold in the village, just to feed her three very young grandchildren, who were left to her by the kids’ parents.
The face of Lola Cion looked like it has fought the worst wars in the world. Creases are in every inch of her skin and her eyes are hardly open, but her gait could be mistaken for a 60-year old as she carried a pile of wood, which she sells for 50 pesos. She lives in a shabby nipa hut and she does all the chores for the kids. She sells some crops for about 8 pesos and buys food for all of them. God, my heart was crushed.
Shame on me, I told myself. Me, with a salary so much higher than what I used to earn in the University, and who experience the comforts of urban Singapore–I had the guts to complain about life, while Lola Cion was smiling at the camera, explaining to the interviewer that she has to live longer for the kids; she actually wants to live up to 200 years for the kids! It’s amazing how a person could have a single solid reason to live: for the kids.
I suppressed my tears but couldn’t hold them any longer as I watched a group of volunteers who were contacted by GMA network send Lola Cion some short- and long-term help. An NGO whose website is called visayans.org crossed the waters from Tacloban and carried boxes of rice, biscuits, and other foods, together with toys and other goods for the children. The beneficiary pledged to send them monthly allowance and scholarship for the children as long as s/he is employed, said the NGO worker.
So many beggars in the metro should see this documentary. If an 80-year old woman can work so hard for a few pesos, how much more can the young ones do?
This gave me a totally new perspective, and no more trace of sadness is in my veins like a hangover wiped away by a bottle of Gatorade. Starting fresh again, I looked at my 2012 outlook and mentally crossed out the “invest in some properties” because I just signed some papers related to this. The small property is aptly called an investment because it can be used for business in the future.
After watching the story of Lola Cion, I imagined myself helping the NGO or some humanitarian advocacy. Hmmm. Maybe I should also include this in my goals.