For me, life has been hard. As a matter of fact, my hubby says that my favorite saying is ” life is hard”. I always say that when I get depressed or discouraged. The truth is that life used to be hard but I didn’t really realize it when I was a kid. In fact, life has been pretty good lately for me and the future seems very bright. My biggest problem right now is my impatience. I know that really good things are coming but it’s hard to wait. Patience is not my greatest virtue.
I was born into a poor family near a small village in a rural area in the southernmost island of the Philippines. I managed to live a normal childhood through the warm support of my loving parents and family. My father is a poor rice farmer and part-time minister of the gospel. Many times we didn’t have much to eat and when it rained the thatched roof of our small nipa hut leaked and we all got wet. Fortunately, it never gets cold there.
Finished School Years with Flying Colors
At an early age, I had already learned how to be frugal. It was a necessity of life there for almost everyone. In 1987, I attended my first grade at the public school. Every day my mother gave me a half of a peso (1 penny) for snacks. For that, I could buy a banana barbecue on a stick. Sometimes I bought paper when I forgot to ask for more from my mother. When we were financially tight, I didn’t get any allowance at all. On top of that, every day I walked with other kids about four miles round trip from our house to school.
My father and mother encouraged me to study hard and at the end of the year I always ended up in the top six of my class. As a reward for my hard work, I would receive new clothes sewn by my mother or presents like toys. It made my parents proud when I would get up on stage and received an honor ribbon. Fortunately, God has blessed me with enough wit to make them happy and proud of me. Overall, I did not disappoint them during my elementary and high school days. I always finished my school years with flying colors.
Because of poverty I sometimes picked guavas in our yard to exchange for papers to do my school work or sold them so I could buy snacks. Looking back on the hardships that I experienced in my early years, I realize that I was really lucky because of the support of my family, I didn’t really feel poor.