The Life of a Poor Race
less fortunate children
Racing for Survival
I have seen many people with distinct cultures and beliefs from various places. I once had the opportunity to converse with quite a number of personalities while working as a medical representative in the Philippines. I used to work as a marketing front-line at a pharmaceutical industry wherein I was promoting medicines by giving samples to physicians. From my day-to-day tasks as a rep, I had witnessed some patients who were begging for samples because they could not afford to buy them at the pharmacy. Some of them confessed that they would prefer to buy food rather than buy medicine with their last centavo (cents).
In a third world country where I came from, poverty is prevalent to almost every region. This is one of the prime defenses of the majority of the population aspiring to try their luck abroad, even if it signifies compromising their safety. A poor person in our country has no government support like food stamps or health insurance for children ages 0 to 5 years of age unlike here in US.
I was also a product of a poor family. My parents struggled so hard at work just to send us to a reputable school. Sometimes we only ate rice and dried fish most of the day. As I can recall, when I was in the first grade, I started to walk miles from our home to school by myself because we had no money for transportation fare. I did that for six years of my elementary days. My legs and feet were already exhausted by the time I arrived home. I grew up too fast and learned things the hard way. At age of eight, I could already cook and do household stuff like a pro, but somehow I never regretted being a poor because I believe I became a responsible daughter of my parents (not to blow one’s horn).
My mother, despite her low income from a government job, managed to enroll my brother and me to a private school starting high school through college. Most of her income went to our tuition fees because we did not have any government loans to avail in our country. She had no chance of fixing our shanty while were both still at school. We used to live in a house where the roof was made with dried coconut leaves (called “Nipa”). The roof had started to deteriorate so badly that you could even see the sunlight in some holes at daytime and when it rained, we had to get a bucket to pitch the pouring rain out of our house. If we had no luck and it poured at night, we had to stay up until the rain was gone.
I had a classmate in high school who belonged to an above average family but funny how she ditched our friendship so quickly after seeing our house that almost fell on the ground (an awful truth)! Reminiscing those days has made me stronger as a person and it reminds me from time to time that I passed those hard days of my life. Do not get me wrong, I am still in the poverty level, but just thankful to live in a comfortable and warm place of some manner.
Then, I finally graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business Management and had been blessed to find a job in pharmaceutical although jobs in the Philippines are quite tough to obtain. Imagine having to have a college degree to land a job as sales person at a department store or must be at a college level when applying as a delivery driver. High school levels will definitely just find themselves as a housekeeper or house cleaner at the above average families or rich families in town. Our race is undoubtedly poor but it also where you can find numerous hardworking people. My hardships here in US are nothing compared to my experiences back home and I would never hesitate to make the same decisions I had made more than 5 years ago.
It is eighteen more days before Christmas and I can see most people are busy doing their shopping lists, pre-occupied by what gifts to buy, and are aiming for designer stuff. But they have to ask themselves. Do they really need all that stuff? Perhaps, because they can afford it. What I am trying to express is, think of those less fortunate people who struggle and use every bit of their strength just to eat once or twice a day rather than buying expensive things to show off for Christmas. Then maybe, we will realize and appreciate how fortunate we are over others in the world.