Love and Sacrifice Keep our Family Together through Financial and Emotional Crisis



By Kevin G. Lopez


We were living a great life as kids, although, we did not get whatever toys we wanted or whatever food we wanted to eat, most of the time. Our father used to work in Saudi Arabia, after a few years of which, he found an opportunity to bring us to the Middle East to live with him… in an apartment, though, not quite big. We lived a life most people would dream of. We weren’t rich but the cost of living there was not as expensive compared to that in the Philippines. For instance, a bar of chocolate, say Lindt, cost an equivalent of around Php150+ while in the Philippines, the said candy could cost much more.


Anyway, going back to the track, we lived in Saudi Arabia for about 8 years. It was a good life in the eyes of most but for me, something seemed to be missing. We got financial affluence, like having a Chevrolet Lumina car, as our dad worked in Saudi American Bank as a Senior Executive Assistant of one of the top ranking executives in the company. Basically, we seemed to be having a good life, yet, I felt there was something missing, as mentioned earlier. We lacked communication within our family. We didn’t go out a lot for bonding such as what families are doing nowadays. Sadly, at the end of the day, I realized that good life is not only about money…


After my first year in high school, we returned to the Philippines. Our father bought a condominium in Cainta where we lived until the onslaught of typhoon Undoy. We left the town and looked for an apartment in Quezon City where some of our relatives were. Unbeknownst to us, however, our transfer in Quezon City was the start of our financial debacle. We transferred from one apartment to another until we finally settled in one while setting up a business – a salon, or a unisex parlor.


At first, everybody in the family pitched in running the business, enjoying every bit of our learning how to manage it. Several years after, it was hell. Although, we tried our best in managing the business, we were just so unfortunate for having personnel who were untrustworthy. Betraying our trust, they filched from the daily earnings, to the extent of even offering their services outside the shop and keeping the payment for themselves. It was a painful experience for us. Our personnel were highly valued and trusted by our mother, but which they betrayed. They were even found to have been involved in the taking of illegal drugs, sometimes right within the salon. We were alarmed.


One of our personnel was set up for a “buy-bust operation”. He was chased by drug operatives. It was made to appear that he was selling illegal drug, although, in reality, he was just a plain user. One time, we found drug paraphernalia in the premises which they promptly threw away. They swore to my mother that they would change their ways. My mother who was kind bit the bait. She warned them, at the same time giving them a second chance. Unfortunately, in a few months, they were back to their old ways.


Several months ago, we sensed that something was being concocted by all our personnel to leave us which they did not long after. Their “mass departure” practically “killed” our business, though our initial reaction was to persist by all means.  Despite our concerted effort, the business flopped, shut down and later sold, whatever was left of it.


We returned to Cainta. My parents were without jobs as they were solely dependent on the salon business. I was fortunate to have been able to be taken in by a BPO company early this year. The pay is good which enabled me to assist my parents occasionally for the needs of our family. Eventually, we started a food business which enhanced the additional income derived by my dad from driving an aunt’s car under Grabcar.


Not all things went the way we expected them, though. Months afterward, the small food business failed and to top it all, my aunt got a new driver in place of my dad who instead of being downhearted, looked for another car that he could drive. He fortunately found another which he drove under Uber. My mom meanwhile, started another food business with the money which I raised for her. My elder sister, today, is finishing a college course with the help of our relatives. Our eldest sister on the other hand studies at home under Brother Bo’s Home School program on account of her having psoriasis, and still with financial assistance from our relatives.  Our parents on their part, are doing their best in generating an income to sustain our daily needs.


As a family, we have plans for the future, part of which is my pursuing a BS Criminology course next year. Such pursuit shall not affect my desire to help my parents financially, to the best I can. Currently, I am working for a Certificate as a Security and Safety Practitioner that could be helpful in satisfying a requirement for my course in the future. In that quest, I tried my best to be on top of my class, where I am now! I am also engaging in small businesses from which I derive funds for other small investments that would give security to me and my family in the future.


Our family has experienced more difficulties than what I have mentioned above, however, despite all those, we have survived. I admit that we had our share of mistakes and misunderstanding but we have been bound together by our love to each other. As a family, we were not used to having bonding moments that would make us “stick” together….but that was years ago. Today, we successfully went through the emotional trials which made us hold on to each other and the rails of security with steadfast resolve, while strengthening our foundation in this new decade that is suffused with various difficulties.


Today, at t twenty-one,  I may not be directly involved in activities for the sake of our brethren on the street, but what I and my family have been through, made me realize that our life is not different from those who sleep on sidewalks. In retrospect, I realize a lot of lessons from them which make me a better person….one who has a desire to have a better perspective in life and a deeply-felt love for my parents and siblings!


Ang Emotional Maturity o Kaganapan ng Damdamin ng Tao

Ang Emotional Maturity
O Kaganapan ng Damdamin ng Tao
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Kung ang dunong at isip ay sa utak, ang damdamin naman ay sa puso. Ang damdamin mula sa puso ang nagpapalambot ng kung ano mang matigas na desisyon at pananaw ng isang tao. Ang nabanggit ang magsasabi kung anong klaseng pagkatao mayroon ang isang tao, na kalimitan ay sinasabing mabait, maunawain, mapagmahal, matulungin, atbp. – dahil puso ang pinairal. Subali’t kung ang desisyon ng utak ay pinagmatigasan ng isang tao, ibang pagkatao naman ang ipinapakita niya, subali’t damay pa rin ang puso, kaya may tinatawag kung minsan na “pusong bato” – walang damdamin, matigas. Hindi maaaring paghiwalayin ang tungkulin ng isip at damdamin dahil magkaagapay sila sa lahat ng pagkakataon.

Ang taong normal, na ibig sabihin ay walang diperensiya ang katawan, pag-iisip, at puso, ay may sinusunod na panahon upang marating ang kani-kanilang libel ng kaganapan o maturity. Inaasahang sa pagtuntong sa tamang panahon ng kaganapan, ang isang tao ay matatag na sa pagharap sa mga pagsubok ng buhay – hindi iyakin, malinaw ang mga desisyon, at malawak ang pang-unawa sa lahat ng bagay at kapwa-tao.

Subalit sa mga pagkakataon na sa murang gulang ay napasabak na sa pagharap sa mga pagsubok ang isang tao, mabilis ang pagkakaroon niya ng kaganapan ng damdamin. Dahil dito, may mga batang laki sa hirap na marunong nang gumawa ng mga malinaw na desisyon at ang damdamin ay umabot na sa libel ng kaganapan, kaya tinaguriang “isip- matanda”. May mga tao ring dahil lumaking spoiled sa magulang, kaya hindi nasanay sa pagharap sa mga pagsubok ay nagkaroon ng malamya o mahinang pagkakatao, kaya tinataguriang “isip-bata” at may “malambot na damdamin”.

Ang isa sa mga pagsubok ng buhay ay ang sitwasyon ng mga nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa. Kahit ang isip nila ay umabot na sa kaganapan, subalit dahil sa hindi mapigilang bugso ng damdamin tuwing maalala ang pamilya, bumibigay ito at humahantong sa pag-iyak, pagkawala ng katinuan ng pag-iisip, at ang pinakamasaklap ay pagpapatiwakal. Ang isa pa ay ang sitwasyon ng isang “spoiled” na taong nag-asawa. Kahit may mga anak na ay nakasandal pa rin sa mga magulang na maya’t maya niyang hinihingan ng payo, dahil hindi siya nasanay na gumawa ng sariling desisyon kaya mahina ang damdamin. Ibig sabihin, kahit nasa hustong gulang na siya ay hindi pa rin siya emotionally- matured.

Kung sa relasyong magkapatid, ang isip ay “nakakatandang kapatid” ng damdamin o emosyon. Sa panahon ng “pagi-emote” ng isang tao, ang isip niya ang magsasabi kung siya ay tama o mali. Ito marahil ang dahilan kung bakit ang utak ng tao ay nasa ulo, bandang itaas ng katawan, at ang pusong nagpapadamdam ay nasa dibdib o kalagitnaan ng katawan…nangangahulugang mas mataas ang utak kaysa puso, kaya dapat lang na umiral kung kailangan. Sa kasamaang palad, may mga pagkakataon ding umiiral ang damdamin na nawawala sa ayos lalo na pagdating sa pag-ibig, na para bang sa magkapatiran, kung saan ang nakababata ay ayaw makinig sa nakatatanda, na umaabot sa “disgrasya” , kaya may tinatawag na mga batang babaeng “disgrasyada” – nabuntis ng wala sa panahon.

Dahil sa magandang dulot ng pag-iral ng isip sa damdamin, ang ginagawa ng mga nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa halimbawa, ay iniisip na lang ang kapakanan ng kanilang mga anak na naiwan sa Pilipinas, na siyang dahilan kung bakit sila nagtitiis na mapalayo sa kanila. Sa ganitong paraan, ang anumang panghihina ng damdamin ay natatalo ng isip…isang uri ng ipinilit na maturity ng damdamin.

Sa pangkalahatan, ang mga nakakaapekto sa damdamin ng isang tao upang umabot ito sa kaganapan o maturity ay ang angkin niyang likas na talino, paraan ng magulang sa paghubog sa kanya, nilakhang pamilya, mga kasama sa tahanan, at ang kapaligiran ng nilakhang tahanan o ang komunidad. Ang mga nabanggit na salik o sanhing nabanggit ang makakapagdetermina sa aabuting libel o taas ng kaganapan ng isang tao.