In the Philippines, the social wall has become thicker and higher. Everyday, more than two-thirds of the estimately 90 million population of this third world country strives to work as construction workers exposed to the scorching heat of noontime, lavanderas whose hands have gone kulubot, helpers, drivers, and all “so-called” third class jobs just to sustain and fill their precious young children’s stomach. And what about those who look for left-overs and any edible matter mixed with the dumped “wastes” of the upper classes?
Looking onto the other side of the wall, we see the children of the elite and the landed, craving for a cup of Starbucks coffee (P100 or so), shopping for new fashion wears, and driving their luxury automobiles in the creamiest destinations in the Metro. All the glitz and glamour, the scent of eau de toilettes, the display of branded commodities and all these wealth are exposed to the well-off.
Well, these are also exposed to the so-called mababaho at madudumi of the society, those filthy rugged people. But just exposed. They do not get the chance to at least savor the aroma of brewed coffee from Seattle’s Best or perhaps, to name the closest to the common tao, Jollibee’s Chikenjoy. Instant noodles are their special meal for each day alternative to the usual cup of rice mixed with salt, toyo or fishsauce. I wonder if they can even afford to buy 2 pieces of tuyo and a bunch of pandesal for their breakfast. Now, this seems exaggerated but this is reality. Go to Payatas, Dagat-dagatan, Balot and other left behind communities in the Metro for you to see such bitter struggles of our fellow Pinoys.
Everyday, I go to places by foot and by public transportation. I get to explore the narrow, stinky, and muddy streets of the palengke, meet manong driver and ate tindera, sit beside urban folks and promdis (colloquial term for people from the provinces searching gold in the city) in the jeep, as well as with middle class feelers. In malls, I always observe how these middle class strata (yes, strata, because the Filipino society’s midclass still has sub-hierarchies, actually, all levels naman) portray themselves as sophisticated citizens leveling themselves with the higher strata members, not to mention their Donya Victorina-like behavior. Kadiri.
In Greenhills which, for your info, is a very diverse community and not just of the rich, for instance, I always get to meet people from various stratas of the society. I walk shoulder to shoulder with businessmen and professionals along Annapolis (minsan lang pala kasi madalas naka-auto sila eh, hehe), yet also walkwith the attendants, maids and helpers. At night, I would see a family (I suppose, may tatay, nanay and children eh haha) busy searching for any food that may be found in the heaps of garbages dumped outside hotels and restaurants and collecting reusable stuff that they can sell in junkshops as exchange for (mere) coins. As BMWs and Benzes of the sossy, mabango, maganda and mayaman pass along ruggedly-clothed and poorly-nourished people, there I am between two polar groups, wondering how this gap continually widens. Or as a social wall, continues to thicken further separating the people.
How do we take action?
Don’t just look around.
Your lips can utter that short prayer from your heart for our less-privileged countrymen.
And share what they need to hear.
More than anything else, we all need Christ to transform different aspects of our lives into better ones. 🙂 Domino effect lang yan. 🙂