My own Maalaala Mo Kaya
I don’t want to be tearjerky or something. But since it is the season of achievements, commemoration, and graduation, allow me to share to you my little story as a student.
I was a spoiled youngest daughter. Though I was not from a rich family, my parents were very accommodating to my whims. Not that I had a lot. I would say I was mature at an early age, I did not want to abuse their great love for me. Eventually, I realized that I could not have everything that I wanted and even could not have everything that I needed.
In high school, my parents sent me to a private school despite their constant financial struggle. I was aware of the promissory notes they’d had to send come examination time. Yet they still enrolled me in a private school anyway. In the first 2 years, I only had one set of school uniform that I would have to wash every night and hang dry to use the next morning. I had ugly pair of shoes. I had difficulty with getting books, and had to inherit books from my brother whom also inherited them from whomever.
In my 3rd year, I opened up becoming a working scholar at school to study for free and finally, it was not as difficult. It was still hard to acquire books so I had to borrow from teachers. The good thing is, they have kept books that some past students would leave behind. All I had to do was return the books at the end of the school year.
Knowing that studying for “free” would not be that hard it turned out, I promised to do the same in college, in whatever way possible. I applied for full scholarship and was granted one by the local government – covering all tuition and miscellaneous fees. I just had to have an average grade of 2.0 and must not fail at any course.
I also worked as a student writer/editor and entitled me 50% more discount which was converted to cash and was helpful in my other school needs – books, everyday jeepney fare, food, projects, and so on. And yes, that was never enough so magic has to be done everyday.
I should say, my parents were lucky to have me as a child. In my four and a half years in college, they only had to worry most about graduation-related fees – even half of that was paid for by my very close friends because my parents were still struggling financially.
It was not easy. And while I am proud of how I have survived school, it would’ve been better if life would not be as tasking. If you notice, this is not a new story. Many Filipino children if not most, have to go through this and worse. Why? Is it the government? Is it because of our own doing? Is it our fault to be poor as a family and as a country?