Hunger, hunger-A A +A
By Ben Emata
Saturday, October 6, 2012
IN METRO Manila and elsewhere in the country, we see so many people, young and old alike, going around hungry. You will see them examining trash cans and garbage places looking for something to eat. We see them every day, rain or shine, and some are lucky to pick up something to eat.
Nothing in their pocket except tears and sweats.
We can read from their outlooks the feeling in their heart. We see them fighting each day to retrieve whatever food there is thrown in the trash boxes. It is so painful to look at them and passing the same place every day, you will know the same people fighting for their lives the hard way.
This kind of existence is simply very difficult. Some of them go into begging but still, the earning for the day is not enough to satisfy just one stomach.
The same thing happens in the provinces. Still so many people go into begging as others retrieve whatever there is in garbage boxes.
Life is indeed terrible for them. In some countries, there are still beggars but very few. It is not because they are forbidden by law but because the poorest of the poor have something to eat in their homes.
In the Philippines, hunger is widespread. Thousands of people could not eat three times a day.
When I was still a student in Manila, it was ordinary to see people going around presumably with empty stomach. It is easy to tell a person is hungry by the way he moves, his outlook and behavior. Some genuine beggars along busy streets are hungry most of the time since they do not earn enough for the day. And the reason some people pull out some coins in their pocket is they are convinced the particular beggar is really hungry.
I just cannot understand why we have so many people roaming around the city streets seemingly hungry. We are supposed to be rich in natural resources, with a vast land ready for cultivation or for planting. We have domestic animals ready to plow the fields for rice and corn. It is really very difficult to imagine why we have so many hungry people.
Of course, we have rich people. We have the businessmen, the politicians, the government executives, the leaders and others. They live in mansions, big homes with cars and drivers and they really eat good food more than three times a day.
There is a very wide gap between our people, the rich and the poor. We really just cannot understand the situation. It is right there available for our naked eyes to appreciate.
If we go around the countryside, the villages, the exclusive subdivision, you will see real rich people. Maybe we have lots of industrious men and women in the country. I could feel the failure of the government to see this problem. We help the rich and forgot the plight of the poor.
Our government banks are for the wealthy people. Our system of agriculture remains the same animal pulled plows to cultivate the farm.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 06, 2012.