Hinde nakakahiya maging mahirap. Oo, alam ko na pwedeng sabihin na “virtue signaling” ito, pero lehitimo naman ang pinaghuhugutan ng post na ito, ‘di ba?
Para sa mga hindi nakakaalam, taga-Zamboanga po ako. Laki po ako sa hirap. Naging squatter po ako noong bata ako.
I lived in a residential area called Villa, which is a part of an urban district called Sta. Maria. Located around four kilometers from the pueblo (poblacion), it used to be a subdivision, until mismanagement by the owners allowed squatters to settle down. As a result, on one hand, one has the well-manicured and high-walled houses of the rich.
On the other hand, the urban poor lived in houses made of anything that they could find. My family was a little bit luckier; the owner allowed us to live on their land and be on our own devices, provided that we took care of it.
But we still didn’t own the land. So, we had to work hard to improve our financial situation…and to allow myself to experience some “luxuries” that I couldn’t have in my own childhood. Yes, we only had enough to pay the bills and buy the food for the day.
In front of our house was a mansion owned by a German couple. Since they knew my parents well (my mamang did manicures and pedicures for the lady), they agreed to give me all of their rubbish every Friday afternoon.
Oo, nagbenta ako ng basura. Nagbenta din ako ng isda, bayabas, at mangga. I walked 8-10 kilometers per day during the weekend para magbenta. Minsan bente kita ko sa isang araw, minsan 10, minsan 50 – swerte na ang 100 o 200 sa isang araw.
Pero hinde ko ikinakahiya ito. I am proud that I earned money with my own hands and that I rarely needed to ask money from my parents.
Of course, since there were many people who threw their garbage out in the open, we also scrounged for these treasures inside these piles. Usually, that meant wading through diapers, chemical waste, and rotten food. Nakakadiri, ‘di ba?
Pero proud ako. Dahil sa pagbenta ko ng basura, nalaman ko ang totoong halaga ng pera sa murang edad.
Ano ang kinalaman nito sa Valorant? Oo, pwedeng tawagin na “virtue signaling” ito, depende sa inyong interpretasyon – hindi ko ikinakaila ang purpose ng post na ito.
Maganda na ang buhay ko ngayon. Flex ko lang ah, napublish na ang mga sinulat ko na akda sa Cultural Center of the Philippines, Inquirer, Young Star, Sociological Review, at marami pang iba.
Kahit hindi na ako gaano ka-active sa larangan ng esports writing, naghahanap pa rin ako ng paraan para maipakita ang pagmamahal ko sa gaming sa aking munting sariling paraan.
Stable na rin ang trabaho ko at nakakaraos naman ako at ang pamilya ko kahit nasa unprecedented global pandemic at trying times po tayo mga tsong at madam at bes.
Hinde nakakahiya maging mahirap. Hinde nakakahiya maging Pinoy. Hinde nakakahiya ang pagkakaroon ng mumurahing mouse.
Collecting junk and being mahirap may seem dirty, but at least it was honest work.
At least, we earned the money through our own sweat and without stealing from the national treasury or oppressing and degrading other people.
It was a job that we could be proud of.
Besides, who doesn’t want to have the roads cleaned for free?
About the Author
Earl Carlo Guevarra, 27 and a proud Zamboangueño, is a teacher of English based in the heart of Manila. When he’s not teaching children the fundamentals of grammar, he writes essays and poems, many of which have been published locally and internationally. He also loves fruit shakes and video games.
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