6.04.2011 | 22:36

For The Greater Good

A noble cause can never be defeated. It was an excursion from one my college organizations which allowed me to rekindle my slumbered talents for growing plants. As a kid, I remember that I unusually spent more hours in our backyard, either weeding, cultivating soil or planting vegetables. It was by passion that I almost wanted to pursue a career on farming.

Unexpectedly, the trip which was supposed to be all about obtaining seedlings, was sidetracked by something more meaningful.

The valleys of Agawkauin is located between two low-component towns in a northern Luzon province. Being in such state, the government can only apportion one elementary school for each of these towns. The fact bumped my humanity and I asked myself, is this true? In my current city, there is at least one elementary school per baranggay. But in the case of these towns, what will happen to the students who live on borders? How long will they need to travel to reach their schools? What other sacrifices would they have to make in order to learn lessons every day for the next schoolyears until they graduate? Will it be possible for them to resume to high school or even college? Only those that I cannot speak of.

I, together with a group, extended the tour on purpose. There was a longing deep inside me, that I should do something about this. A minute, incomparable measure as compared to NGO/governmental works this could be but there was a pull. I felt like, I belong, that comparing it to my previous experiences, it is miles from similar but the problem is present and cannot be denied.

On the first day of the extension, I interviewed the youth from the borders. I had the journalistic spirit of documenting the stuff but I felt that it will just overrate if not sensationalize my cause. I asked them the routines that they had to overcome in each and every weekday.

Apparently, what I imagined was true. They need to walk for almost four kilometers every day, one way. If it was concrete that they were stepping on, it would have been easy. But the slopes, muddy roads, rivers, and foresty trails gave me unsolicited goosebumps and my heart was melted with awe. These children valued education that much. I could not help but place my younger self beside these children: no, with modesty I can say that I never became bulakbol though the effort that I placed on studying was not that high, and cannot par with even 1 kilometer of walk from that place to the school were those kids go.

Reaching Manila. I realized that if a proposal of a school construction near the borders of these towns will equate to additional government cost, so will the dedication of teachers to be assigned here be a question. Not that I have negative thoughts on our educators, but at this generation there will always be pessimists and I myself can't play this big of a hero.

By the time that I get my license as a professional, I wish to set up a foundation which will focus on giving small reliefs to these children who give a great effort to get themselves educated. This of course will become possible with the help of my friends who saw the poor situation first-hand.

That could be a way of escaping taxes but I was just inspired of what I saw earlier in the ABS-CBN NCA Special Report. There were a group of guys who gave help to students in Zamboanga by gaining funds through an online advocacy. In that little help, hundreds of school children benefited and it is a heartwarming sight to see hardwork at its finest under the most crude situations.

I hope to be of little help, too. Soon.

Unquote Joe

Most of the time, tact is not for the intelligent. It takes a great deal of 'being there' to realize that something else is going on.
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Albeit Greatness speaks of an effort-filled voyage, the shortest trail en route is the way down.

The Tweet-ter

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