"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." (3 John 1:4)
Even if the much-awaited, rain-bearing nimbus clouds begin to assemble over the Philippine archipelago, children across the country are readying themselves for the start of the new scholastic year. Unfortunately for the overwhelming majority of the children, the prospect of starting or going back to school, is a time for fear and loathing.
While the public schooling system is nowhere near ready to provide education of decent quality to every child, majority of the parents are always in chaos during each year's school opening with the unabated ever-increasing cost of tuition and other education-related expenses.
How many times have you uttered the words "ang hirap magpa-aral ngayon"? Average income workers are facing a tougher time sending their children to school. It's the proverbial heavy cross which most parents lag for 14 years!
Clearly, children's education is every parents' priority, and all parents want to give their children the best education, not without a sacrifice.
My heart goes to parents who do extra work, particularly the mothers who are doing backbreaking jobs of being a labandera and plantsadora, turning night into day to earn additional income for their children's education.
My heart goes to those mothers who, in order to educate their children, embraced the uncertainties of being domestic helpers in the Middle East; enduring abuses from their employers, and suffering the agony of loneliness for being far from their own children.
Due to growing poverty, parents often face the huge dilemma between an empty stomach or an empty mind.
This I say: Don't give up from dreaming. Strive hard without letting go of your dreams, and don't let it drown in doubts. Be optimistic and have faith in the Lord for these children have a special place in His heart.
While we all recognize that education is the window of hope and a tool that will (or could) break the vicious cycle of poverty among families, current situations seemed to be defeating this purpose, i.e. poverty that makes education a painful struggle and an educational system that creates unemployable graduates.
In the end, we must take solace that if we do our very best to raise our children, and with the Lord in the center of our family lives, we can be assured that we will be raising kids who will bring us immeasurable joy. Let us achive the impossible and let us say to ourselves: "...sa tulong ng Maykapal, kahit mahirap magpa-aral, kakayanin natin ito para sa ating mga anak".
Lastly, if you and your family have been blessed by the Lord with a modest and comfortable life and a stable job, let us learn to share these blessings to your relatives or to unfortunate children who await educational assistance or scholarships. Help your "pamangkins" achieve their dreams to college, or give donations to social and religious organizations. Someday, these kids may become doctors or nurses, lawyers or perhaps teachers in your own community. Or maybe, they may become our country's next generation of heroes. Not impossible.
May your shared blessings bring a bright future to an innocent poor child, and in return may your blessing be more than you can count.
“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children” (Proverbs 17:6).
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