Angelhouser | A Journal By Angelica Bautista Viloria

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Poverty Has A Name

Do you remember Mang Pandoy? Was that during the presidential campaign some years back? Whatever happened to him? Or what about those three boys who had those paper boats during one of the State of the Nation addresses of GMA?

Just a few days ago, we were all shocked by the suicide of a girl called Mariannet Amper. She was a 12-year old girl living in Davao City who felt helpless and hopeless about being poor. She did not even have transportation money to go to school regularly.

So, do you care to listen to statements about how strong our economy is? How we are doing much better in terms of GDP or inflation? They do not mean very much right when a citizen of the nation seems to have seen no other recourse but to end her life?

What were you thinking when you were 12 years old? Did you think of the big problems of this world? People that age are supposed to be in school, enjoying life, with not a care in the world. Sadly, it does not always work that way.

Sadder still is when others refer to it as an "isolated case." How many suicides do we want for us to take notice or take action? When we do not recognize that this is a real problem, then that's the real problem.

I also do not find comfort in the fact that there is an outpouring of generosity and of donations in the wake of Marrianet's death. Wouldn't it have benefited them better had they received the help when Marrianet was alive?

News reports mention that before Marrianet died, she had managed to write a letter to the show Wish Ko Lang. A few days ago, I heard over the radio that Vicky Morales had gone to Davao to condole with the family and to belatedly grant Marrianet's wishes. I can vouch for how many people rely on that show for their dreams and wishes. For some reason, I had referred to that show in some post of mine in another blog. Ever since that time, I have continuously received e-mail from readers I do not know, with some addressing me even as Ate Vicky. They do not care to even read what I wrote about the show. Or how I referred to it. All they know is that as soon as they read the words "Wish Ko Lang," it is the answer to getting closer to their hopes and aspirations.

What do I do with their e-mail? I forward them to Wish Ko Lang although I must say that I have never gotten a reply from them. I don't get any error message too so I guess the messages are getting through. If they catch me at a good time, I try to reply and wish them all the best with their problems and the things they need helping out with. There are numerous Marrianets out there. All with varying concerns, all with difficult problems.

What is my wish? My wish is that sometime, someday, every individual will have the chance to be what he or she would want to be. That every child will have access to food, good education, and opportunities to uplift himself or herself. That no one will be so troubled so as to think that there is no more hope nor help in the days to come.

What can you or I do? Find a good cause to support or to be involved in. Look beyond your family and your home. Do things for others in your own little way. Pray. You and I may not be able to make a difference to all the Marrianets of this world, but there may be one Marrianet in your community that you can help out.

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