Monday, December 17, 2007

the picture of a forgotten poverty.

once, i've heard a story of a little boy who lived in a very remote barrio. no electricity, no potable water, no means of communications and the road is only passable by foot.
everyday, this boy walks atleast five kilometers just to reach the nearest school. the trip comprises the cliche scenes of countless rivers, stony terrains and rigid mountains. he wakes up earlier than the roosters to prepare for school. then he immediately leaves school to wash the very same uniform to use in the next day.
the boy carries a small dusted bag bigger than him. inside the bag he only has an inch of an about to run out pencil and thin paper pad. it was given to him last year when an outreach program was conducted in there place. after that nobody attempted to go back.
one day, his teachers noticed how the paper pad becomes thinner and thinner everyday. he was often scolded because the teacher claims that he was so stubborn in taking down daily class notes. the boy then, would just remain quiet. this aggravates the teacher more. he was spank by a long stick and forced to write down the entire lesson for the whole day. the boy held his tears with all his might and wrote on the paper the smallest letters he could.
after a while, the teacher announced in the class that it is already their break. the boy immediately went outside and headed at the back of their classroom. then curious teacher cautiously chased him.
she found the boy at the back of their classroom, where all the scrap rusted roofs and scrap wood were piled. she saw the boy sitting on a corner covered with plywood scraps. then, she was surprised on what she witnessed. she saw the boy pulling a piece of paper on the pad and tore it into small pieces. then he put it into his mouth, gently chewed it to moisten then forcefully swallowed it.
the teachers immediately approached him and asked him why is he eating the paper? the boy was silent for a while then confessed that he haven't had a single meal for the past two days. he admitted that his parents weren't able to provide him anything for 'baon' because his parents earnings weren't enough to sustain even his studies. so for the past months, he kept himself from writing into his paper pad. afraid of getting starved again, once the paper ran out.
the teacher just can't help bursting into tears.


Anonymous said...

My god! Is this true? I can't believe this is happening!

Marocharim said...


Heard this story from you back in the good old days. Ouch talaga. ;)

Pero to kill the cloudy mood, I must admit: as a kid, I also tried my hand at eating paper. It's out of childish curiosity - not poverty - that me and my brother ate paper, crayons, and even went so far as to eat erasers.

Paper tastes somewhat like old potatoes, erasers don't taste like bubble gum at all. On crayons, if it says "lime green," it does taste a bit sour. It doesn't apply with orange.

Kakadepress kasi story mo eh.

gerrycho said...

there are more heart-breaking stories like this, i guess it just pain us more when we can't help. the greater irony of it is that since we can't get to do anything -- we even forget that its actually happening.

Anino said...

Marami ngang ganitong kwento na pawang katotohanan.Kaya bago natin itapon ang tirang pagkain, isipin natin ang mga kababayan natin sa malalayong probinsya na kumakain ng kung anu-ano lang.

wanderingcommuter said...

geno; unfortunately, yes it is true. sad isn't it?

marx: i never tried school supplies, though i've tried daisies before during rose urquico's debut taste like rose.

gerrycho: indeed, nakakakonsensya... i must admit, even me i am guilty of this.

anino: tama ka jan, parekoy!

tsina said...

so sad. hayy. it breaks my heart into pieces. hayy.

wanderingcommuter said...

same here, tsina.

thanks for reading. hehehe