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Friday, November 9, 2007

Marianette: without seeing the dawn

"Gusto ko na makatapos ako sa pag-aaral at gustong-gusto ko na makabili ng bagong bike."
(I wish to finish my studies, and I really like to buy a bike)
Marianette, in her tala-arawan (diary) entry dated October 14.

I HAVE ALWAYS been reading Inquirer.Net. I browsed through the news but never really paid attention to this article because I was rushing a project proposal on a project related to poverty alleviation. It is a shame on my part to have missed this! I am a psychology graduate and could have been interested in depression and suicide! Shame on me for being self-declared anti-poverty worker for not paying attention on this news!

Now I have come to terms after watching the news in ABS-CBN and GMA 7. I feel better now. As a social development worker, I learned the hard way not to be overly romantic about my work so that I can be objective and more effective in my work. In this case, I could not do anything but, again, feel for their loss.

No, I am not going to campaign for flowers this time. Neither will I ask you to post a photo of a bike for Manette, nor blog anything on poverty alleviation, nor against the government.

Let us walk in the pair of shoes of Manette (if ever she had one).

Feel what it means to be poor--where you are not counting paper bills but some loose change--or even beg for them,

when you feel resigned to the fact that three meals a day would be a luxury,

that you wear the same clothes day after day,

that you are rejected just because you are poor,

that you are dirty just because you have no water,

and the list would go on and on....

What have you learned from Manette, and all other Manettes who have died because of poverty?

How many Manettes more of Mindanao, and the entire Philippines will suffer the consequences of poverty? How many children and their dreams only remain to be distant and dead stars?

How many times should the government, react and not act on poverty?

How many of us have actually shared our lives--in our own little ways--to end poverty?

Manette is not just a news item. She is not just a girl. She is a symbol! She is one of the many faces of poverty who have lived, who have gone, and who have became dust--without seeing their dreams come true.

May her soul peacefully rest in God's Kingdom, where she will inherit abundance and eternal life!

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