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.