Monday, October 11, 2004

Where does the future lead?

Dock boy Posted by Hello

Pic: A boy, young by many standards, stand awaiting his co-worker to throw him the next bag of fish feed to be loaded on the boat. Poverty has led many children to forgo their childhood to help out in earning money for the family. For many, a household often comprise of an average of 6 or more children and with so many mouths to feed, everyone has to chip in.

Poverty is a stark reality in the Philippines. It is ever present in the towns, rural villages and almost everywhere you head. Homeless people sleep on church porches, kids ragged and unwashed carry flower garlands and tid-bits to sell for cash, girls prostitute themselves for money and shanties line every inch of the country. But this does not mean the future of the Philippines is a bleak one, on the contrary the people bred here are a hardly lot, surviving oppression, poverty, disease and wars with a stoic resolve to be living survivors. Many brilliant minds are born of these conditions but many more are left to rot in the refuse. Overpopulation is a factor, the Philippines has one of the highest birth rates in the region and this is ever increasing, the economy has suffered numerous setbacks especially squandering of the national treasury during the Marcos era and recently the Asian Monetary Crises and the lack of land has caused a build up of population, adding to the burden of providing basic amenities to the people.

Yet even the poorest peasant finds happiest every day, the Filipino philosophy is to be happy in ones life no matter how hard your lot is and that there is always hope in future. Deeply religious (more than 90 % are Catholics), tenacious, friendly and hardworking, they might yet pull off a coup for their country. A lack of resources does not mean a dead one to Filipinos, scarcity has bred ingenuity and innovativeness and from what I saw, they make use of every available item to get on with life. Don’t have a tool? Fashion one. Don’t have a required material? Find an alternative. Ran out of something? Go find another somewhere else. Find something broken? Fix it yourself.

No comments: