Ang Ayaw Tumulong Huwag na lang Manlibak ng mga Kapus-palad

Ang Ayaw Tumulong

Huwag Na Lang Manlibak ng mga Kapus-palad

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Napilitan akong sumulat uli tungkol sa subject na ito dahil sa narinig kong pag-uusap ng dalawang babae sa dyip. Galing ako noon sa mga nasunugan kong kaibigan sa Tondong nakatira pansamantala sa isang basketball court ng barangay na hindi kalayuan sa pinangyarihan ng sunog. Habang tumatakbo ang dyip galing sa port area papuntang Divisoria, sinabi ng isang babae sa katabi niya na, “mabuti ngang nasunog ang mga bahay sa Parola dahil pinamumugaran lang ng mga drug addict, mga puta at mga bata madudungis”.

 

Gusto ko mang sumabad, hindi ko na ginawa dahil mukhang mataray ang babaeng nagsalita at siguradong magtatalo lang kami. Mahirap na dahil baka makarating kami sa barangay, mabisto pa kung sino talaga ako dahil kukunin ang pangalan ko. Hindi kasi ako nagpapakilala sa mga taong tinutulungan ko sa Tondo.

 

Ang pinakamasamang ugali ng tao ay ang paglibak sa kapwa nilang kapus-palad o naghihikahos, na ayaw naman nilang tulungan. Palibhasa daw ay hindi mapapagkatiwalaan, madudungis kaya nakakasira ng tanawin, mga magnanakaw, mga puta, mga adik, mga tamad, mga putik ng lipunan.

 

Ang dapat gawin ng mga ayaw tumulong sa mga nangangailangan ay tumahimik na lang at magpakasaya sa yaman nila na pinaghirapan nilang kitain. Pero tulad ng sabi ko, dapat ay huwag manlibak ng mga taong kapos na inaakala nilang nakikibahagi sa kanilang yaman.

Walang may gustong maging mahirap. May sinusuwerte kahit hindi masyadong nagsikap at mayroon ding hindi sinuwerte kahit ang ginamit sa pagsisikap ay mismong karangalan at buhay, kaya nagpuputa at nagnanakaw. Ang mga nagpuputa ay nagkakasakit ng AIDS at ang magnanakaw ay napapatay.

 

Ang nawalan ng ganang magsikap ay siguradong may dahilan kaya huwag silang husgahan agad, tulad ng isang nakausap ko na ilang beses nang nagtrabaho subalit palagi ring biktima ng pagmamaltrato. May mga biktima ring ginawang “tuntungan” ng mga taong gusto lang yumaman…ibig sabihin, ginamit lang sila.

 

May mga taong sinuwerte sa buhay pero sa halip na lumingon sa kanilang pinanggalingan ay nanlibak pa ng mga kaanak at kaibigan na hindi sinuwerte kaya naghihirap. Kung mapansin naman nilang nagsisikap ay sasabihin pang “trying hard” at pati ang mga simpleng pagsasaya na nakikita sa mga larawang naipo-post sa facebook ay nililibak din sa pagtanong ng, “ganyan ba ang naghihirap?…naka make-up pa at magagandang damit ang suot?” Para sa akin, hindi dahilan ang kahirapan upang magpabaya sa pag-ayos ng sarili dahil marami ngayong magagandang damit sa ukayan at mura lang.

 

Dapat alalahanin ng mga may kaya sa buhay na nanlilibak, na ang yaman ay hindi nila madadala kung sila ay patay na. Ang mayayamang nanlilibak ay kumakain ng masasarap, hindi tulad ng mahihirap lalo na ang mga sobrang kapos na ang mga kinakain ay galing sa basurahan. Subalit, magkaiba man ang kanilang pagkain, pagdating sa bituka ng kanilang kinain ay parehong nagiging dumi o tae na mabaho! At, tulad ng mga kinakapos sa buhay, kung mamatay ang mayayamang nanlilibak, kakainin din ng uod ang nabubulok nilang bangkay…. pwera na lang kung na-cremate sila!

 

 

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On Being Exposed to Various Facets of Life

On Being Directly Exposed to Various Facets of Life

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

One can learn by browsing through the pages of books and at the present time, by viewing documentaries on TV channels. The knowledge gained out of those is “secondary”, unlike when one experiences first- hand occurrences in life which then, makes him or her some sort of “authority”. Among these instances are those that involve being in the midst of a depressed area, befriending hoodlums and other shady characters, travelling to interesting and unlikely destinations, eating extraordinary foods, going through grueling experience, etc.

 

In the same manner, sensitive posts such as those in the DILG, DSW, CHR, and many others should be occupied by people who have gained first-hand experience so that they can come up with ideas and decisions, based on “experience”….as much as possible. Unfortunately, various appointments in the government posts are based on “referrals” of friends, associates, or out of gratitude. Later, these appointees, as expected, are proved to be inadequate in carrying their job, and worse, are corrupt!

 

On the other hand, some may say that a doctor need not be sick of any malady to be able to prescribe a medicine. But then, prescribed medicines are not sure balls to cure as patients are asked to return after a certain period of time to check if what have been prescribed were effective. This situation is in contrast to the shared testimony of patients themselves, who got cured by certain herbs…but which medical “authorities” prohibit.  That is why despite the testimonies of those who have been relieved by herbal medicines, for instance, that go with an advertisement, what follows is a harsh precaution from the DOH that the “medication” has not been proved as effective!….so, why allow the inclusion of the testimonies, if that is the case?…or why allow the ad to be played at all, as it will just create confusion? Relative to this was the practice in the earliest civilized nations, such as those mentioned in the Bible. The practice involved exposure of the sick to the public to attract the attention of passers -by, hoping that among them, one or several who had similar disease and got cured would stop by to give advice.

 

Today, in the Philippines, some people who have not even stepped on the ground of a depressed area have the temerity to speak about poverty and life in slums despite the limitation of their “exposure” to TV screens and news gleaned from pages of newspapers. They are the detractors of Duterte in his drive against illegal drugs. All they know are just the words “death” and “extra-judicial killings” without even going any further as to the “who” and “why”. They read and view news that the killed guys are from depressed areas or slums. They never get to the depth of the story, especially, on what the drug-hooked criminals have done and could still do if left to roam the streets peddling drugs from their police protectors and evil suppliers, to their equally impoverished neighbors.

 

These detractors will never understand the situation that resulted from the negligence of the past presidents, because they, who speak about the EJK, only go as far as the air-conditioned malls and drive around the city in their airconditioned car. The furthest that they may have gone to are the touristic destinations where they spent their expensive jaunts. They have not even tried eating in sidewalk carinderias or have taken coffee in makeshift open-air “cafeterias” along side streets of slums.

 

WHAT I CANNOT UNDERSTAND IS THAT DESPITE THE FACT THAT MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION BENEFITS FROM THE DRIVE OF DUTERTE AGAINST DRUGS, THIS MINORITY MUDDLE HIS EFFORT INSTEAD OF JUST OBSERVING FROM THE SIDELINES AND GIVE HIM A CHANCE….THEN JUDGE HIM AT THE END OF HIS TERM. UNDERSTANDABLY, THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY ANYTHING, BUT THEY ARE NOT HELPING THE DEMOCRATIC EFFORT OF THE PRESIDENT FOR THE MAJORITY WHO, LIKE THEM HAS ALSO THE RIGHT TO BE PROTECTED BY THE SO-CALLED DEMOCRACY…ESPECIALLY, AGAINST THE CRIMINALS!

The “Other Side” of Divisoria (Manila, Philippines)

The “Other Side” of Divisoria (Manila, Philippines)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

While Divisoria has always been known as the shoppers’ Mecca, especially, during Christmas, there is” another side” of it which I do not want to present as an image of poverty but that of perseverance, patience, and honest endeavor. This is the “other Divisoria” which many people just refuse to see as it might cause them to puke! The accompanying photos show how these honest Filipinos contentedly strive to live in sheer honesty.

 

The skeptics always say, “it is their fault for going to Manila and suffer deprivation”. These hypocrite skeptics have  TV, radio, and occasionally read newspapers, so they should know that the provinces from where these people who are eking out an honest living on the “other side” of Divisoria, are infested with NPAs, Abu Sayyaf, opportunistic landlords, and loan sharks. For the arrogant, the world is just for those who can afford to live decently. On the other hand, as these skeptics have not endured days of hunger, they may not understand how it is to make a difficult decision to live a hand-to-mouth life in Manila by scavenging in garbage dumps, rather than die of hunger and be in constant fear for dear life in the province.

 

It is true that the slums have been in existence for many decades now, but there would be no slums had the government ever since the time the nation has become independent, did not get infested with corrupt lawmakers and officials. The slums have been around since the time that deprivation and exploitation have been propagated by learned Filipinos who found their way in the halls of Congress and Senate, as well as, agencies, even at the helm of the government. Unfortunately, the seed of exploitation has grown into an uncontrollable proportion today, making corruption as wrongly and unfairly viewed to be always a part of the Filipino culture.

 

The striving people from the slums near Divisoria, and other districts of Manila, in this regard, may be viewed by the arrogant as akin to dogs and cats, because of their many children, oftentimes making them utter unsavory remark, such as, “they know they are poor, yet, they keep on having children”.

 

How I wish these skeptics can also openly, make biting remarks –

  • to the corrupt politicians and government officials, such as, “they graduated from prestigious universities and colleges, yet, they do not know what is right or wrong”

 

  • to the filthy rich, such as, “they have plenty of money, yet they can’t even throw a piece of bread to a beggar”

 

  • to the stiff-necked Catholic priests, pastors, and other religious ministers such as, “they are supposed to be representatives of the Lord, but they can’t afford to take a look at the spiritually hungry”

 

Finally, compared to the disgusting hypocrites, loan sharks, corrupt government officials, arrogant “religious ministers” and conscienceless rich, who are supposed to be learned and intelligent, the people who honestly make a living such as those who belong to the “other side” of Divisoria, are worthy to be called creatures of God – true human beings…slum denizens who are viewed by aforementioned with utter repugnance.

 

(This blog will definitely, not hurt those who do not belong to the mentioned “classes” of loathsome Filipinos.)

 

 

Crimes are not the Brainchild of the Impoverished…as what the “comfortables” insist

Crimes Are Not the Brainchild of the Impoverished

…as what the “comfortables” insist!

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

It is like the vicious cycle which has no clear answer, as to which came first, the egg or the chicken. There’s a popular belief that poverty creates crime, as the need of the impoverished to survive forces him to earn via crimes. But what has not been taken into consideration is the “second party” or the people who “use” the impoverished for their selfish motive. Simply put, drug lords organize “educated pushers” to explore the impoverished areas to recruit “uneducated runners”, as well as, entice the gullible residents – young and old to be hooked to illegal drug.

 

In my long years of association with those living in depressed areas, I learned and observed personally that they can go by with even just one meal a day. Committing crime is far from their mind as they are a contented lot. But when illegal drugs entered their life, and they became hooked to them, they were forced to find ways and means to “earn” so that they can go on with their newly-found habit. In this regard, some of them learned easy-to-earn trades such as snatching, sex peddling or hooking, shoplifting, killing for a fee, petty burglary and drug-running. When they came to Manila, they had no vices except occasional drinking. Foremost in their mind was to work hard with part of their earnings to be sent back home to their families. But, then, well-to-do and impressively educated newfound friends gave them ideas how to earn fast and live comfortably in the city.

 

It should also be noted that in far-flung provinces, life is very simple. Having vegetables and rice for meals is not considered a way of the impoverished. Students walk their way to school. Life is laid back. But when illegal drug is introduced into communities, some of which still have no street lights, a drastic change occurred in the life of the “probinsiyanos”. In this regard, some news heard over the radio and seen as broadcast on TV are about unknown barrios and towns with drug dens raided by authorities, and drug pushers cornered and caught red-handed with marked money!

 

Illegal drugs are residues of progress. For people to enjoy progress, heavy prices must be paid …with the future of the youth that goes puff with every sniff of the melted crystals… or, with the crumpled values and honour, long nurtured in the heart of the gullible squatting residents and “probinsiyanos”.

 

On the other hand, if one insists that poverty creates crime, he is like saying that there are drug laboratories in slums, or the poor can afford to buy and hoard high-powered guns, or they have immense garages for luxury cars used in delivering drugs to avoid detection, or they can afford to organize high-end concerts akin to “tiyangges” so that imported drugs can be sold easily at bargain prices, or they are so clever or well-financed enough as to negotiate for deliveries of kilo-tons of drugs from China, or that offices of illegal recruiters can be found in their midst!

 

Unfortunately, many Filipinos are so comfortably confined within the secured walls of their homes, hence, their knowledge of what are really happening “on the other side” of the country are derived from TV shows and pages of broadsheets. Despite that glaring reality, SOME, IF NOT MANY OF THEM, still have the gall to utter dismay and disbelief….of course, they cannot believe them, because they chose not to open their eyes to the realities of the big chunk of Filipino life!

 

 

The “Other Side” of Divisoria

The “Other Side” of Divisoria (Manila, Philippines)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

While Divisoria has always been known as the shoppers’ Mecca, especially, during Christmas, there is” another side” of it which I do not want to present as an image of poverty but that of perseverance, patience, and honest endeavor. This is the “other Divisoria” which many people just refuse to see as it might cause them to puke! The accompanying photos show how these honest Filipinos contentedly strive to live in sheer honesty.

 

The skeptics always say, “it is their fault for going to Manila and suffer deprivation”. These hypocrite skeptics have  TV, radio, and occasionally read newspapers, so they should know that the provinces from where these people who are eking out an honest living on the “other side” of Divisoria, are infested with NPAs, Abu Sayyaf, opportunistic landlords, and loan sharks. For the arrogant, the world is just for those who can afford to live decently. On the other hand, as these skeptics have not endured days of hunger, they may not understand how it is to make a difficult decision to live a hand-to-mouth life in Manila by scavenging in garbage dumps, rather than die of hunger and be in constant fear for dear life in the province.

 

It is true that the slums have been in existence for many decades now, but there would be no slums had the government ever since the time the nation has become independent, did not get infested with corrupt lawmakers and officials. The slums have been around since the time that deprivation and exploitation have been propagated by learned Filipinos who found their way in the halls of Congress and Senate, as well as, agencies, even at the helm of the government. Unfortunately, the seed of exploitation has grown into an uncontrollable proportion today, making corruption as wrongly and unfairly viewed to be always a part of the Filipino culture.

 

The striving people from the slums near Divisoria, and other districts of Manila, in this regard, may be viewed by the arrogant as akin to dogs and cats, because of their many children, oftentimes making them utter unsavory remark, such as, “they know they are poor, yet, they keep on having children”.

 

How I wish these skeptics can also openly, make biting remarks –

  • to the corrupt politicians and government officials, such as, “they graduated from prestigious universities and colleges, yet, they do not know what is right or wrong”

 

  • to the filthy rich, such as, “they have plenty of money, yet they can’t even throw a piece of bread to a beggar”

 

  • to the stiff-necked Catholic priests, pastors, and other religious ministers such as, “they are supposed to be representatives of the Lord, but they can’t afford to take a look at the spiritually hungry”

 

Finally, compared to the disgusting hypocrites, loan sharks, corrupt government officials, arrogant “religious ministers” and conscienceless rich, who are supposed to be learned and intelligent, the people who honestly make a living such as those who belong to the “other side” of Divisoria, are worthy to be called creatures of God – true human beings…slum denizens who are viewed by aforementioned with utter repugnance.

 

(This blog will definitely, not hurt those who do not belong to the mentioned “classes” of loathsome Filipinos.)

 

Though how Progressive a Country is, there will always be Poverty because of Corruption

Though how Progressive a Country is, there will always be

Poverty because of Corruption

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Perfection should be ruled out in the reckoning of a progressive country, because there will always be poverty due to corruption somewhere in the system of governance. In other words, the glitter of progress cannot hide poverty. For ultra-progressive countries, the signs may be insignificant as they try to blend with the glamour of urbanity. But in other countries, especially, the third-world, the signs are very prevalent, so that there is always a massive effort to cover them up occasionally, literally, as it is done every time there are special occasions such as visits of foreign dignitaries. This practice is successful in the Philippines.

 

Practically, poverty is the shadow of progress, and literally, too, as where there are looming high-rise buildings that are pockmarks of progress, as not far from them are slums or homeless citizens who huddle together under bridges and nooks. These are misguided citizens who flock to the cities after selling their homestead, that have been farmed for several generations, to deceitful land developers, at a measly price. These are the urban squatters willing to be relocated but found out that the promised “paradise” do not even have a deep well so they go back to their sidewalk “homes”. These are contractual workers who have no job securities as they earn only for five to six months, after which they leave their fate to luck while looking for another job.

 

How does corruption ever be involved in the sad fate of the exploited? Simply, by the government’s negligence  in providing decent relocation sites with job opportunities and basic facilities to those uprooted from their city abodes for more than so many years; by its cuddling of the spurious contractualization perpetrated by greedy employers; by its failure to guide and protect the rights of farmers who sell their rice fields to subdivision developers at measly prices that are not even enough to sustain them for six months; by its failure to provide the citizens with the basic necessities as funds are allowed to be pocketed by corrupt officials; and practically by looking the other way despite the availability of laws against vote buying.

 

Third- world country leaders should stop using the word “progressive”, but instead they should use “surviving” to describe their respective economy. If a country’s economy cannot sustain, much less, provide a “comfortable life” to majority of its citizens, then it is still “ailing”…hence, expect poverty to be trailing behind, just a few steps away from the pretentious allegations!

 

 

 

Ang Mga Taong Hindi Marunong Mangalaga ng Tulong at Mga Walang Pinag-aralan Subali’t Maayos ang Buhay

Ang Mga Taong Hindi Marunong Mangalaga ng Tulong

At Mga Walang Pinag-aralan Subalit Maayos ang Buhay

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Dapat lang na hindi ibalik sa taong tumulong sa iba ang itinulong niya sa mga ito. Ibig sabihin ang tulong ay hindi dapat ituring na “utang” ng taong tinulungan. Ang dapat gawin ng isang tinulungan ay ipasa sa iba ang tulong na napakinabangan niya. Subalit iba ang usapan kapag ang tinulungan ay hindi marunong mangalaga ng itinulong sa kanya tulad ng mga sumusunod na kuwento:

 

#1…..Tungkol ito sa isa kong kaibigang seafarer, mayroon siyang malaking bahay na hinuhulugan at may dalawang anak na nag-aaral. Noon ay hindi hamak na malaki ang kita niya kung ihambing sa kinikita ng hindi sumasakay sa barko. Ang masama lang ay mayabang siya at galante tuwing magbakasyon at mahilig bumili ng mga bagay na naide-display niya upang masabing marami siyang pera. Kalimitan, makalipas ang dalawang buwang bakasyon, isa-isa na ring nawawala ang mga gamit dahil kung hindi naisanla ay naibenta…at sa akin tumatakbo upang umutang. Palagi ko siyang pinapayuhan, at oo naman siya ng oo. Ngayong nagkaedad, halos wala nang kumpanyang tumanggap sa kanya, kaya  nataranta dahil ang bahay pala ay hindi regular na nababayaran sa SSS kaya malaki ang naipong arrears. Ang anak na babae ay isang teen-aged mom dahil nabuntis high school pa lang, at ang panganay na lalaking anak ay puro tattoo ang katawan at laman ng kalye. Ang asawa naman na suki ng mga parlor ay halos walang expression ang mukha dahil kung ilang beses nang inineksiyunan ng  gamot na pampatanggal ng kulubot, kaya sa biglang tingin ay mukhang tanga. Ilang beses siyang lumapit sa akin upang umutang, subalit nagmatigas ako. Nang magalit, pinaalala ko sa kanya ang mga utang niyang niyang hindi ko nasingil dahil idinaan na lang niya sa “kalimot”.

 

#2…..Isa pa ring kaibigan ang inabutan ko ng tulong na pandagdag sa puhunan niya sa pagba-buy and sell ng mga prutas. Nang lumakas ang negosyo, biglang umarangkada sa pagbukas naman ng isang karinderya dahil naiinggit yata sa mga kaibigang may ganitong negosyo. Minalas sa mga taong tinanggap niya upang tumulong dahil puro kupit ang inabot niya. Wala pang anim na buwan, bumagsak na ang karinderya ay may utang pa siya sa inupahang puwesto. Pinahiram ko pa ng ilang beses subalit hindi pa rin natuto dahil nagbukas uli ng karinderya na talaga namang hindi niya nakokontrol ang pagpatakbo. Lumipas ang isang taon bago kami nagkita uli….balik siya sa wala. Nang subukan niyang “humiram” uli sa akin, tumanggi na akong tumulong. Tulad ng inaasahan ko, nagtampo at nagalit kaya iniwasan na ako.

 

Iba naman ang kuwento ng mga taong nakatira sa bangketa na ang ikinabubuhay ay pamumulot ng mapapakinabangang basura. Yong isang pamilya na naabutan ng pera, bumili agad ng mga scrap na kahoy, tatlong gulong na pang-kariton, mga pako at nanghiram lang ng martilyo, at tulung-tulong silang mag-asawa sa paggawa ng kariton, kaya ngayon ay lalong marami silang nahahakot na papel, lata at bote, kung ihambing noon na sako o malaking plastic bag lang ang gamit.

 

Yong isang pamilyang dating isang kariton lang ang gamit sa pamumulot ng basura, nagkaroon ng isa pa nang maabutan ng tulong, kaya tag-isa na silang mag-asawa ng itinutulak na kariton, at dahil lumaki ang kita, nakaya na nilang mangupahan ng isang maliit na kuwarto…hindi na sila nakikigamit ng kubeta ng restaurant ng Intsik, at hindi na rin natutulog sa bangketa. Nakakaipon na rin sila ng iba’t ibang gamit sa bahay na napupulot sa mga basurahan dahil naikakarga nila ang mga ito sa kariton nila upang maiuwi.

 

Yong mag-asawang matanda na sigarilyo at mga kendi lang ang dating tinitinda sa bangketa, nang abutan ng tulong, nagkaroon ng maliit na mesa, dalawang thermos para sa kape, mga biscuit, at tinapay na idinagdag sa mga itinitinda. Mayroon na rin silang picnic umbrella, pananggalang nila sa init ng araw at ulan. Nang dinagdagan ang puhunan nila, nagtinda na rin ng piniritong isda at kanin na tantiyado nilang mauubos sa maghapon, nalilibre pa ang tanghalian at hapunan nila.

 

Yong mga namumulot lang dati ng mga reject na gulay sa Divisoria, may mga kariton na rin at ang tinitinda ay mga gulay na binibili nila ng maramihan sa mga papauwi nang mga mangangalakal kaya mura nilang nakukuha…nabawasan na ang hirap nila dahil hindi na sila mangangalkal pa at maglilinis ng mga reject na gulay.

 

Kung minsan mahirap unawain ang tao. Kung sino kasi ang may kakayahang pinansiyal ay sila pa yong nagmimistulang kawawa bandang huli dahil sa pinili nilang pagpapabaya sa sarili ganoong may pinag-aralan naman sila na magsisilbi sanang gabay sa paggawa nila ng mga desisyon. At, kung sino pa yong sa tingin ng iba ay walang pag-asa sa buhay dahil mga yagit sa bangketa kung ituring – walang pinag-aralan at ni walang ekstrang damit, ay sila pang nakakaraos dahil sa pagsisikap upang mabuhay ng maayos! Ibig sabihin, hindi kailangang maging titulado ang isang tao upang makagawa ng malinaw na desisyon sa buhay!