From A Middle Class Girl’s Perspective

Having been raised by parents with conservative political views and are part of the military, you couldn’t blame me if my own views point closer to the right. Democracy works. You can’t blame everything on the government. The Philippines is poor because most Filipinos are lazy. If you work hard enough, you will succeed. The American dream.

And I still tell myself that from time to time. Why are all these people rallying for higher state subsidy? Surely, if they really wanted to study, they could just apply for scholarships. Di lang naman UP ang school sa Pilipinas. The tuition fee in PUP is much cheaper, last I heard. Plus, what they’re arguing is that the government spends too much in military and I personally take that as offensive. I don’t know if you guys heard or if you even care, but a lot of Air Force planes crashed recently, and some of the people that died are our friends. Pilots with a family, good people with cute kids, dying just because our country’s planes are less than second-rate. Heck, we can’t even afford to buy brand new planes. But I get it. How can they justify spending that much on guns and planes yet not cave when students ask for a little bit more for the budget on education?

Also, when you think about it, why DO we have to pay a hefty amount of money just to get quality education? The top schools in the Philippines are UP, ADMU, DLSU, and UST–we all know that only one of those are affordable and I’m using the word affordable really loosely here. And it’s not just in universities. My two cousins would almost cry and throw out a tantrum every time their dad would threaten them na if they don’t get high enough grades, they would be transferred to a public school because they say na pangit turo sa ganun. And how much is private school education? 45K-70K a year? I was lucky enough to get into a science high, but what about the others? They have to make tyaga sa 60 students per small classrooms and just one teacher, tas minsan wala pang baon kaya tatamarin na.

And it’s not just on education. Why do we have to live in a world where the elites spend $300 on a single pair of shoe while somewhere out there, some kid has to endure the blisters on his feet because he can’t afford to buy new slippers? How can Louis Vuitton charge $650 for those monogrammed handbags of theirs when they’re not even really that cute and are nothing but a status symbol, while somewhere out there, men are left to die because they can’t pay for their hospital services?

I can always give you stories of hope and inspiration, like how my manicurist’s children are doing well at school and one is graduating. Or how Ate Lina, after years and years of trying, praying, and going through dozens and dozens of albularyos just to have a kid now finally has a 5-year-old named Mika and she is all sorts of dapper. But what about the others who aren’t so lucky? What about the others who have to face the harsh reality of life everyday?

You couldn’t blame me if my views point a little close to the right, but having a best friend whose face showed every color of disappointment when I didn’t finish my meal that one time makes you wonder–is life really THAT unfair? We are all taught that if we work hard enough, we will succeed, but is that still true? Do all men really have equal chances at a richer and fuller life or is that all a lie meant to blind us from the fact that the world we currently live in is a terrible one? Is there something wrong with the people or is it time to change the system? Am I just too hopeful to believe that the world could be a better place? When will the story of humanity have a happy ending?

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