Everyone of us have different life experiences growing up. Here’s mine:
I can say that if not with my determination to finish school, I won’t be able to find a good job. And if I did not have a good job, I won’t be able to help provide for my family’s daily needs. I am the eldest of four in the family. In the Filipino tradition, the eldest child looks after his or her younger siblings and is also responsible for the welfare of the whole family besides the parents.
Came from a family who lived in poverty, I motivated myself to pursue my studies and dreamed of someday I will be able to help my parents provide for the family. I won’t forget those times when I had to go to school wearing a pair of overly beaten shoes – mid-sole cracked with an old pair of white-turned-beige socks – with 2 pesos in my pocket for recess. In the province, it’s a whole-day class and we had to go home for lunch (some students had packed lunch) and come back at 1 P.M. for the afternoon classes.
On Saturdays, I work in one of the grocery stores in the market in town as extra helper. If grocery stores have enough helpers, I work as a dishwasher in a small canteen at the market. And when there’s no available spot in the canteen, my friend and neighbor will take me with him to work for an elementary teacher as a weekend helper at her house – doing the dishes, laundry, grating cassava for cassava cakes she makes to sell in school, tidying up clothes and ironing – in short, weekend housemaid. Earning 30 Pesos (less than a dollar of today’s conversion) for the whole day’s work in the grocery store or in a canteen or at the teacher’s house, I can buy a sachet of toothpaste, a small bar of bath soap, two sachets of shampoo, and a few school supplies. The rest I had to share with my sister who is in grade school at that time. My father’s earnings as a pedicab driver will provide for the food on the table. We did not have electricity and water supply. We had to do our laundry and bathing in the river.
It was a difficult life with lots of challenges. But with the help of prayers, hard work, and God’s guidance, my family and I are helping one another to overcome them.
There was a time in my life that I was into a deep struggle. I needed money to sustain my needs because I was still seeking employment. Since job hunting costs money (food, transportation, printing and dropping resumes), I had to stretch a single change in my pocket. When I landed a job in a non-government organization company, half of the first few paychecks I received were allotted to pay an obligation I promised to settle as soon as I landed a job.
My family was relieved. I was very thankful and relieved because I got to stop collection harassment for good. That was very annoying. Collectors called early in the morning though I already arranged for payment. I was not the only one who experienced a tough time like this. I learned that my second degree cousin had encountered collection harassment. It is against the law.
My second cousin lives in California, works and gets paid really good. So she had the ability to settle her debt at that time. She got a help to stop collection harassment California area. A very credible law firm can give assistance to the victims of collection harassment. As long as we pay our obligation, there is no reason to be intimidated by these collectors.
I miss my younger sister…well, all my siblings. It is her birthday today. My sister asked a favor to help her to have electricity installed to her home. They do not have power for about three months now. For no reason at all, her neighbor cut the connection though my sister pays the bill monthly and on time. It is really difficult doing house chores without electricity. Besides that, my niece and nephew have to deal with kerosene lamp or lighted candles when studying and doing their homework. I am so upset because some people in this world are very unreasonable.
My brother-in-law is working overseas-offshore. And he and his co-workers go to shore every two or three months. So my sister has to budget the money he’s sending her. But there are times she gets short. Like what is happening now. I understand their situation. I would not mind helping my sister. I want her and the kids to live comfortable too. As a birthday gift, I am sending money as additional fund to pay the charges on installing the electricity at my sister’s house.