The Perpetual Struggle Against Poverty

The Perpetual Struggle Against Poverty

Recent worldwide events has put the Filipinos in a stage of panic. The current global financial crisis that crippled even the world’s wealthy nations has a telling effect on the poor and marginal sectors of our society. The effect of such blow has pushed the poor further down below the poverty line level.


What are the kinds of poverty that majority of the Filipinos are suffering? First there is the common knowledge that a person is said to be poor if he has no money. In other words, this is called poverty of the pocket. He has no money for his basic needs; food, clothing, shelter, medicines, etc. The recent survey result conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS) showed that more and more Filipinos are in the brink of hunger, meaning that one can hardly eat at least 3 times a day. The continued soaring of the prices of the prime commodities remained unchecked by authorities and from all indications we can only wonder, will there be still a hope left for us? In the countryside, so many poor and sick people have died without even seen by doctors. Also from the same survey result in a realistic indication that people in the affluent bracket of our society who are willing to give and share their food to the poor are getting scarce nowadays. Poverty of the pocket breeds violence. Petty crimes like thief and robbery is the direct act of a desperate hungry stomach.


Then, if poverty of the pocket abound in our midst, it is more likely that a second form of poverty co-exist. This is called poverty of the mind. It is said that when a person is bankrupt of ideas, no amount of effort and persuasion can move him to get out from the mud where his feet is stucked. What made this matter worse is the fact that a lot of them has resigned to their fate; that it’s God’s will for them to be poor. This is a malady caused primarily by a lack of education and training. But then, what can we expect when money is very scarce for a poor to be able to provide education for their children?


This we can say, that poverty of the pocket is the root cause of the poverty of the mind. It is also safe to say that poverty of the mind reinforces the condition to a more despicable state.

Will there be still a hope left for us? We can only turn ourselves to the Holy Scriptures for relief. In the sermon of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Mount he said “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor, the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.” (Mt 5:3). We can only say this is our onlyhope, and consolation in our perpetual struggle to eradicate poverty.


An Inspiring Short Story Of An Ordinary Man – Kuya Paul Taneo From Mactan Lapu-Lapu City Cebu

A Very Honest Man and A Loyal Driver

Nowadays, it is rare to find an honest person especially when money is involved. Even your closest friend can betray you just because of money. We have heard stories of rare ordinary Filipinos who honestly returned cash which they found somewhere . How about you? What would you do if u found a big cash and no one was there except you? If you are poor and in need, for sure you will be tempted to keep it, right?

I have a short story to share but it is not about someone who found a cash on the road or somewhere and returned it to the owner. It is a different story of an ordinary man who has chosen dignity over money.  It is about Kuya Paul Taneo from Mactan Lapu-lapu City who used to be my sister’s driver.  I just want to write a little about him to praise his honesty as people like him are already  endangered.

Kuya Paul being gay wearing my sister's bag

He served my sister, Jimelyn  and my bro-in-law, Martin  from Canada as an on call driver. Martin had been here for  5 times since they got married last June 2009. On Martin’s third visit here in Cebu, they decided to buy a mini truck and since they are not capable of driving, my sister posted an ad hiring for a driver and that was when the couple and Kuya Paul met. Every time Martin came here, he would buy a mini truck and sold it when he left back to his country  as our family isn’t very interested in having a vehicle considering the location of our place where there is no right of way even for humans lol. The third mini truck was bought last June and was used few times for 2 months as sister left for Canada to join her husband.  Due to limited time and unexpected time of the arrival of her visa, my sister wasn’t able to sell the truck personally and entrusted the truck to Kuya Paul while waiting for a sure buyer.  The couple had been patiently waiting for her visa and it was more than 2 yrs  before she was granted so she just left the truck and flew away to finally be with her husband in Canada. Even if they don’t know much about him and Toledo is far from Mactan, the couple still trusted him the truck. My sister was no longer paying him though and since they partied their ways, Kuya had to start searching another job again. He said that, that might be the last time he would see and serve the couple and will look for something that could give him an income to support his family. Kuya Paul has an on and off job and I think he didn’t even finish Elementary.

Last night, a sure buyer called and wanted to buy and pay the truck today because they wanted to bring it to  South right away. I explained that I can only transact or meet a buyer weekends because I am working weekdays. But the buyer was in a hurry so I just told them to transact with the driver and they agreed. I called Kuya Paul to meet the buyer and to receive the payment in cash in my behalf and will give them the documents on Satruday.  I never had in my mind that he would run the money away though I really dont know him. They met this morning and the buyer called me that they are a bit hesitant to deal with him especially that I have the original documents and they will  just be giving the money to a driver so they went to a police station.  I was run out of battery and credits and the last time I spoke with Kuya Paul was when he said that everything was ok and he was asked to drive the couple back to their apartment. I told him that it isn’t his job anymore as they are not paying for his service but I think he is too kind to refuse.

I mentioned the situation to my co-teachers at work while waiting for Kuya Paul. Everyone was very worried and telling why did I trust him that much. He has the money and even how good a person is, he could be tempted. He could just say that he was robbed, had an accident, he was scammed or things like that. I never had that in my mind til they kept telling me and told myself “ what if they are right? It is Php 95 000  and big enough for him to be tempted especially that he doesn’t a regular job”. I got a message from the buyer that they got the truck already and Kuya Paul has got the money at 11 am. I asked myself why the message was late because I estimated that the deal would be done by 9 and Kuya Paul should be in my place by 12 ( more than 2 hours travel from Cebu ). Hmmmm, people at work were teasing me though I tried to avoid thinking about it and chatted with my sister online during lunch break. I wasn’t worried that he would run away the money, I was only worried that if he would do it, where will I get 95k to pay Martin?  While on video call with my sister, she was trying to contact him few times but his phone just rang and disconnected after few rings. I was telling her that he could be in the van and the signal is poor so just asked her to wait. I was messing up with the couple online while the other teachers were teasing me that they would really clap their hands if Kuya Paul will arrive. I told my sister that I will just send them a message when he arrives as it was bedtime for them already and we hanged up.   Hmmm I was fine, I wasn’t nervous til I decided to give him a ring just to check because I got no message from him that he got the money already or if he is on his way. I borrowed another teacher’s phone to insert my sim card because my phone was dead. Well, u know that when you insert your sim card to someone else’ phone, some names of your contacts will be erased. I dialled the number of the second message in my inbox because I read it as Kuya Paul’s number. The phone was just ringing and ringing but no one answered. I went out of the faculty room to get better signal and keep calling Kuya Paul. Oh I began nervous because everytime I call him, he would answer it right away but that time, there was no answer. I was nervous, really! Why didn’t he answer the call? He is no longer busy and he knows that I would call anytime so he should have his phone ready all the time.The phone was just ringing and then said “the subscriber cannot be reached, please try your call again later” lol – that line huh!  I heard laughters inside the faculty room but I ignored it and keep dialling the number til I turned around and saw Kuya Paul at the door of the faculty room. He was sweating a lot as if he was running. I then got inside and teachers were laughing as they were weirded out why I was calling the other teacher’s phone when I was just few steps away. They thought I was crazy huh! I just then realized that I was dialling Mrs. Vistro’s number, that table next to mine hahahahah!

Kuya Paul didn’t run away with the money or didn’t make any stories that could excuse him for not delivering the full amount. Everyone was amazed for they really think that he would run it away and told me that if he would come and deliver the full amount, he is indeed an honest person and one in a million. They said that money is very hot these days and anyone could be just tempted especially in situation like that. I dont know him and even my sister doesn’t know him very well as well but the moment I turned around and saw him at the door of the faculty room, I was so proud of him to my co-teachers and to you my readers. Yeah it was such a gamble but people like him still exist! My sister and her husband have been good to him and treated him right, they got it back in return.

His name is Paul Taneo, an ordinary man from Mactan who didn’t even finish Elementary. He doesn’t have a regular job but has survive from the daily needs of his family.I have heard this many times from my father that dignity is more important than money and I am sharing this story as Kuya Paul has shown it despite of being jobless, he has chosen dignity over money and has remain loyal to Martin and my sister. And also, we can learn from here that treat people the way you want to be treated. Although we don’t get it often to people whom we have treated the best we can, in time, you will get it back.

Thank you for reading!

Let Her Live a Normal Life-Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox

I am following the story of Amanda Knox since she and her boyfriend were convicted for killing her housemate Meredith Kercher. I could see the innocence from her eyes and how scared she was to be in jail yet she looked very strong. She faced it and never lost hope. I had no doubt that she will get her freedom someday and  I am happy to know that I wasn’t wrong. She and her boyfriend finally got their life back although the family of  Meredith might not be happy about it.

Her life behind the bars is such a nightmare and for sure, it will take some time to forget that nightmare. I believe that the media should let her go and let her live a normal life. There are better stories to tell the world than reporting Amanda’s shopping for chocolate and toothpaste.  Let her move on and leave her alone! Why do you have to follow her and check what is she doing? She deserves to be happy after what she had been through. Go and stalk someone else!  You are  just making the wound go worst instead of helping her to heal it. She has to forget everything to start again. I see her as a woman with great strength. She still managed to smile despite of everything. She deserves to be happy!

I wanted to be a journalist when I was younger but if I read stories / news like this, I am thankful that I am teacher for I do not need to stalk and expose someone’s very private life just to make money.


Simple Living

This article inspires me a lot and reminds me of different people I met in traveling. Also, reminds me of a friend whose dream is to be a well-known writer and so he moves from one place to another and live like this man in the article.

I love this statement ,  ” To me, life experience, traveling, and meeting people is so much more valuable than having a nest egg.” 

I am sharing this because this is what I really want to do. Travel and write my experiences hoping to help people by inspiring them what I have written . If it doesn’t then at least I tried.

The Secret to Living Well on $20,000 a Year

Source: Yahoo Finance

We tracked down Joseph Fonseca, a writer currently living in Seattle who supports himself on $20,000 a year. Fonseca, 28, authored a first-person piece in the Washington Post over the weekend describing his “10 cities, 10 years” project, in which he moves every year and starts over in a new town. An aspiring novelist, he plans to eventually write a book about his quest. We spoke with him by phone to get more details about just how he makes ends meet. Excerpts:

Do you avoid a lot of the expenses that many of your peers spend money on, such as technology and meals out?

For the most part, yes. I have a lower-end Android phone because I needed a new phone. I went as cheap as possible. I don’t own a car, I rely on public transportation, and sometimes biking. I have a laptop, because I need it for writing. I do have Internet access because it’s pretty important to get online. My only extra bill is Netflix, and I’m considering getting rid of that. I don’t go out to eat, or just for special occasions. I cook for every meal. I don’t drink coffee. I try to stick with water. I do go out to bars, but not every night. That’s my best way to meet people and experience cities.

What’s your typical meal?

I usually buy a pound of beef and a package of chicken and make easy Mexican dishes. I get some vegetables and mix it all together and throw it on a tortilla. I do a lot of pasta dishes. When I’m working, I usually pack a lunch, I make a sandwich plus chips or cookies to get me through the day. Then I get home and cook a fuller meal. I try to have a good mix [of food] so I don’t get sick. My brother taught me little tricks to take different ingredients around the house, like seasonings, to make a sauce that’s different and more unique, to give yourself different tastes.

What about clothes?

Once or twice a year, I might get a few new things, like an extra pair of jeans or pants, or a couple shirts, but I still have shirts I wore to college, so they’re six or seven years old or older. If a job requires certain clothes, then I’ll buy clothes for that. I maybe get one new pair of shoes a year and make them last as long as possible. I mostly shop at cheaper places, like thrift stores or Salvation Army or Goodwill. Those are good places to hit up.

What about going on dates?

I was in a relationship for a couple years, and we’d go to movies or bars. I like to go to movies, so I try to find cheaper movie places. We’d go to parks and take books or play a board game out there. We’d go to free art exhibits or save up and make a night of it. When I lived in Nashville, I’d get free passes to art museums where I worked, so I’d use that.

Do you indulge in any luxuries?

I splurge on things with friends, like going out to bars. To me, the most important thing is to have fun with friends. I’d rather spend $30 or $40 to go out with friends and have those memories that buy a bunch of CDs or random things. What’s the hardest thing to do without? There are days that I wished I had a car. Sometimes public transportation isn’t great. But for me, the benefits of not having a car outweigh that [feeling].

Do you have health insurance?

I don’t. I had one job that offered it, so I had it for a little and went to the doctor and got a clean bill of health. I do have the thought, if I get sick or hurt, I can’t afford to go to the doctor. Luckily, I rarely get sick. If I start to get sick, I try to eat a little healthier. I’ve been hurt a few times, but just made do.

Do you have any savings for emergencies?

My savings all go toward the move each year, so long-term, I don’t have any savings. I also don’t have any debt. I try to save $3,000 for each move, and that gives me a little security to settle in and put down deposits.

Do you anticipate or look forward to having a higher salary one day?

Not necessarily. I hope to make my career as a writer. My goal has always been to do that. I’ve never been someone that wanted to be settled into a career. I may or may not have a family some day. I don’t see myself as someone that will own a house and have property. I basically just want to be someone who at some point can say, “I’m a writer full-time.” Hopefully it would pay more than $20,000 a year, but I could live a satisfactory life on $50,000 a year and be a writer and do other things if I had to. To me, life experience, traveling, and meeting people is so much more valuable than having a nest egg.

If I had children, I would want to make enough money to support them. But as long as I’m unattached, I’m just concerned about my life. I don’t imagine I’ll ever be a well-off business person. As long as I have enough money to be happy in my own life and satisfied with my goals and not relying on others, then I’ll be happy.

What about retirement–do you plan on ever saving enough to retire?

I don’t think about it too much. To retire requires having a career to retire from. My ambition is to be a writer, and I’d love to be writing into my old age, to be like Vonnegut and write until the day I die.

Do you have any advice to others trying to live on $20,000 a year?

You can get rid of so much stuff and you’ll realize how little you’re really missing. It’s about prioritizing what you really need in life. It’s hard to save and stick to a strict budget if you don’t have a reason, or if you’re just vaguely saving. You should have a goal you’re working toward, a career goal or an artistic goal.

Cancer Symptoms You Are Most Likely to Ignore

Symptoms Women Are Likely to Ignore Red, Sore, or Swollen Breast

Source: Yahoo Health

Everyone knows to check for lumps in the breasts, but too often symptoms closer to the surface – which can indicate inflammatory breast cancer — are overlooked. Some women describe noticing cellulite-like dimpled skin on an area of the breast. Others noticed that a breast felt swollen, hot, or irritated. Red or purplish discoloration is also cause for concern. Call your doctor about any unexplained changes in your breasts.

Nipple Changes

One of the most common changes women remember noticing before being diagnosed with breast cancer is a nipple that began to appear flattened, inverted, or turned sideways. “My nipple started looking like it was turned inside out,” said one woman. In addition, inflammatory breast cancer also causes nipple problems, such as itchy, scaly, or crusty skin on the nipple — so take any nipple changes seriously.

Bloating or Abdominal Weight Gain

The “my jeans don’t fit” syndrome While this might sound too common a phenomenon to be considered a cancer symptom, consider this: Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer overwhelmingly report that unexplained abdominal bloating that came on fairly suddenly and continued on and off over a long period of time (as opposed to occurring a few days each month with PMS) was one of the main ways they knew something was wrong.

Feeling Full and Unable to Eat

This is another tip-off to ovarian cancer; survivors say they had no appetite and couldn’t eat, even when they hadn’t eaten for some time. Any woman who experiences noticeable bloating or weight gain numerous times (the diagnostic criteria is more than 13 times over the period of a month) — especially if it’s accompanied by pelvic pain or feeling overly full — should call her doctor and ask for a pelvic ultrasound.

 Unusually Heavy or Painful Periods or Bleeding Between Periods

Many women reported this as the tip-off to endometrial or uterine cancer. Unfortunately, many women also said their doctors weren’t responsive, overlooking or misdiagnosing their complaints as normal perimenopause. Ask for a transvaginal ultrasound if you strongly suspect something more than routine heavy periods.

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Boxing: A Form of Self-Defense and Sport

Boxing: A Form of Self-Defense and Sport

by: Demosthenes Gonzales

Boxing has been around as long as the human race as a means of defending oneself from the aggression of enemies. A man who has the craft on this art of self-defense employed boxing as a means of settling disputes. In this art of fighting, the boxer banks on his own physical and mental capabilities to demolish his enemy. More often than not, the fighter with excellent physical and conditioning skills will always come out as the victor. Thus, for a man known to have this skill and talent will always get the respect and awe from everybody to the point that he is even feared. But nowadays, with the advent of guns as the fastest means of settling disputes this notion has been reduced into a ridicule. Boxing, like any forms of Martial Arts emphasizes only in the use of bare hands to defend oneself. Naturally, there is no way that bare hands can parry thebullets that’s being fired from a gun.But if boxing as a way to defend oneself is being overshadowed by the use of guns, boxing as a sport is very much alive and a very much patronized by the lovers of this sport. It is one of the few sports to be disputed in both the ancient and modern Olympics. In the history of this sport, boxing was first included in the 23rd ancient Olympiad with the use of just bare knuckles and without protective gears in the head, groin and mouth. The fighters were treated by the spectators like the Roman gladiators that both protagonists will be slugging at each other until only one man is left standing in the arena. The year was in 668 B. C. in Athens, Greece when boxing was first introduced.This sport was not included in the first Modern Olympics in 1896 because it was considered too dangerous. In the Ancient Olympiad, tragic deaths of the protagonists were seen atop the arena because of fatal injuries obtained by them from the blows of their opponent.Boxing was finally included as an official Olympic sport in 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis after efforts had been made to protect the fighters from severe injuries. The use of protective gears for the head, mouth, groin and the use of boxing gloves gradually appeared in the subsequent Olympic Games. Rules and regulations wererevised time and again with the end-view of improving the sport andproducing good athletes.

To represent one’s country in any sports in an international competition like the Olympics is an ultimate dream of any young athlete (boxers included). Honor and glory will not only be for them but for their country and countrymen as well. Specifically for boxers, the rewards at stake are quite enormous though they’re taking a tremendous risk by doing so. Truly, no other sport can offer such a high level of excitement as boxing because of the intensity of the pressure and continuous action inside the ring. For every second of every three minutes, the fighters are in the business of annihilation in the square jungle. It’s either, a win, a defeat or a draw for both protagonists. There’s no other way: to hit and be hit, to mangle and be mangled.

by: Demosthenes Gonzales