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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Is it the Creator's Fault Why the Philippines is Poor?

Tropically Perfect
When I was still in my primary school and with my young age, the lesson of my teacher was that Philippines is almost perfect. She told me and my classmates that it is located in the tropical region where there is the sunduring the day and turns dark during the night; That the temperature in neither too hot not too cold; That our country is not the same with other countries that have much daylight during summer and much night hours during the winter season. She had also discussed on how rich the natural resources of the country is.

Despite the above teachings, many of my classmates were still dreaming to experience the snow. Many were still dreaming about the America (Europe is not that popular in the Philippines compared to the U.S of A.). But to tell the truth, I never dreamt the same thing as my classmates had. I have always loved the sun and even love it more when I am sweating under its shine. Maybe it is beacuse I never worked hard under the sun.... but maybe not.

I am currently in Europe and in fact, in the hottest part of Europe when winter strikes. Even with this, I still don't like this cold. For me, Philippines and other tropical countries have the perfect climate and weather conditions. At least for me who have experienced both the "colds" and the 'hots" as we may see.

Europe Needs to Be "Rich"

Why is this the title I gave? I have been thinking about this fact. Since Philippines have moderate temperatures, there is no much needs to survive. I have observed that here in Europe, if people do not have money to have woolen clothes and thick jackets, they would die on the streets. In Philippines, thousands are sleeping in the sidewalks of the cities, the homeless and the mentally challenged plus the "batang kalye"or street children. Europe and other cold countries have a need to be rich, have a need to have brick layered houses, have a need to warm the house to not get sick and die.

As the title says, I can conclude that due to the fact that Filipinos do not need much to "survive", they get contented and simply "survive". After all, Filipinos can still live without much clothing and shelter. It can be attributed to location why we (Filipinos) are poor. Do you agree? People here in Europe help each other or i may say implement laws to let their fellows survive. Try to see this European Rights System. Of course there are other factors like the ones in Why the Philippines is Poor

Basically Basic
As Maslow have explained in his Hierarchy of Needs Theory, higher needs in the hierarchy only come into focus when the lower needs in the pyramid are satisfied. It is true that no one can have safety, love/belonging, esteem and self actualization without satisfying the physiological needs first. Say this example, a young teen-ager couple eloped and had a child. Since they have no work and source of income, the two become impatient of each other, feel irritated of almost everything and eventually have splitted up. The child has no food because neither of the parents 
have moeny. He begged on the streets while the parents individually sorted to any crime or illegal 
activities to survive. Yes, who can think of love (the long run and real love) if one has a painful hungry stomach? This is true in Philippines, Filipinos are loving, I am sure. But with poverty, crime has risen to its top level. One problem causes another, thus, poverty causes much!

Not Even the Basic
Shall we say that we (Filipinos) may have at least the basic of the needs to live and not merely to "survive". We see what is called the "basic". Basic needs are comprised of Excretion, Eating, Sex, Drinking, Sleeping, Shelter, and Warmth. See this Representation on Maslow's Theory.

It seems that even these basic needs Filipinos are not given the minimum right to have. For excretion, how many people are doing it on the seas? Why there are fecal matters in the streets of the slums? Even in the white sad beach in an island (when I had island hopping with colleagues) there are fecal matters floating in the waters? For sure the basic need of excretion is not satified in the Philippines. I am talking here both in the urban and rural areas, especially those slum living under bridges and near the seas. Yes, this is true for some concerned people and organizations are alerted by this dirty situation. I quote here the content of the Wastewater and Sanitation program in the Philippines , giving proof that what i am saying is true.

"The Ecosan project aims to provide proper sanitation to those who do not have access to proper sanitation. These are the poorest of the poor who could not even afford to put up their own toilet. These are the people who either used their neighbor’s toilet or defecate in the open fields or open water/sea."

To be honest, among the seven basic needs mentioned, only two are accessible to Filipinos. Sex and sleeping. Although I can tell I have nothing to cite here on sex matters, it is obvious considering the population in the country. In fact, this has become a problem than a need! When Filipinos don't know how to have birth control! For sleeping, at least everyone has it. We have the "Filipino Time" (always late) and this is usually caused by sleeping more and waking up late. Even in the sidewalks, street children and homeless individuals sleep so this one, Filipinos can have enough.

For the rest of the needs, there is not enough. Food and eating is not an easy thing in the Philippines. There are pleadings for hunger and starvation like in this article found in the Asian Human Rights Commission. Moreover, the access to clean and drinkable water system in the country is getting worse. There are waters yes, but mostly, the people's safety is at stake! Even Filipinos are already alarmed by this situation. There is a forum on a government site about the Scarcity of Clean Water in Philippines.

Even in 1999, there were already many thousands of homeless individuals. Street children are also among these homeless.In Around ten years ago, here were already more then 220,000 homeless children in the country's 65 major cities, with more than half in Metro Manila. Most of the children have been forced to try to supplement the family income by begging, peddling goods or doing odd jobs. Samonte said the figure is certain to grow. For mor info about this, read this Article. With this, I can say that warmth and shelter are very far to be achieved in the Philippines by common Filipinos.

With these, I say it's the fact the the Creator has made the Philippines in the tropics. If not, street children and homeless men and women would not exist. They would die of either too much cold if Philipines is in Europe. But how about you? What do you think about this?

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