Poverty is indeed the one topic everyone’s talking about. It’s like a day doesn’t go by without even thinking about it because of the poor people rampantly existing everywhere you look. Alleviating poverty is a never ending puzzle everybody is trying to solve and get through. The economic growth and development does not go parallel with booming population which makes it even harder to lessen poverty in the world.
It scares me a lot to think that with the increasing number of the poor and those with nothing, more and more crimes will occur. They feel like there’s nothing else left for them and the only way out of famine is to go against what is moral and lawful. Even before I started college, I saw the many sidecar drivers lurking in Taft Avenue and around De La Salle University itself. When I moved here from Bicol, I feared for my belongings and my life every time I walked past them even though the sun was still high up. It’s very important to be very alert and vigilant of things around you. My parents always told me (and until now are still telling me) to bring my teargas at all times and have it at hand before entering my condo unit. I feel that no one can be trusted anymore and it’s always about the money.
For me, it’s never true to say “money doesn’t buy you happiness” because it does. Take for example family bonding and reunions: a member of the family at that moment can tell the others that just their presence makes the best form of happiness for each one of them, when in fact it is money that brought them all there in a nice beach resort with a lot of food. The way I see it, money gives you access to be fulfilled and satisfied though it may be indirectly done; it’s up to those in poverty or have very limited resources where they will be getting their happiness from amidst the sorrow they feel because they don’t have any.
When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a newscaster, if not one of the executives in a multinational company. I was also planning to take up AB Communication Arts in La Salle and it was my first choice when I took the entrance exam. I love taking risks but if that risk is too much to actually kill you, it feared me. When Ces Drilon was taken into captivity by rebel groups and when I kept hearing of consecutive media people killings, I realized it’s not what I wanted and I was not ready for that kind of risk.
Media is everywhere. It is what we’re born with, what we’re living into and what will be left and will keep going when we die. There’s news happening every minute for media to send out to the public. With the subjects I’m taking in school and my time allotted for watching current events, I get my daily dose of fresh news from integrated media schemes. I am used to and passionate about watching ANC, CNN, Al Jazeera and many other news channels. I even listen to news on radio stations when in the car instead of listening to songs. It is so vital for each one of us to listen and know about the latest happenings because what happens in the other part of the world affects us in many ways. It’s just hard to get the real deal when the news and information we gather are biased and fabricated. A small hint of bias affects the whole issue which is the one spread all over the world and without us knowing it, we are taking sides which sometimes is more on the biased side.
Before graduating high school, the question of where to study college and what course to take is faced every day, may it be personally or in written information sheets and self assessments. I remember putting “I’m still undecided as to what I want to do after graduating college but it all boils down to working in a big company or putting up my own business”. So then, I decided to take up Marketing Management in De La Salle University to be a part of one of the best business schools in the country. I have always dreamed of working in multinational companies (or be a newscaster) and actually have a high position there, well, since it is a fact that graduates of DLSU and ADMU have an edge and tend to get chosen over others.
However, now that I’m about to graduate from college and finally entering the real world, I am again confused as to what to do with my life. I am now considering putting up businesses instead of putting all my time and effort into a company I don’t own because mainly, the difference is that, being your own boss doesn’t require your full time to earn money and you actually earn more. You get to do what you want and be where you please and still have the business rolling on its own. I don’t mind working for someone who sits behind a bigger desk than me as long as I’m happy with what I do but now the thought of leaving the walls of my alma mater and doing things without getting spoon fed by my parents fears me because this is really it and life starts that instant. Now, I’m planning to do both things at the same time. Let’s just see how that goes..
I was browsing through the internet and found this which I think is accurate and true in some parts of the world especially Middle East and North Africa
Here are ten of the most extreme examples of gender inequality you can find currently practiced, often state-sanctioned, in the world today.
In Saudi Arabia, women aren’t allowed to drive, or even ride bikes, and men aren’t allowed to drive women they’re not closely related to. The kingdom is currently dealing with the dilemma of how to get 367,000 girls to school on buses that can only be driven by men. The logical question at this point is this: If no men are allowed to come in contact with schoolgirls, and women aren’t allowed to drive, who will be driving the school buses? The Ministry of Education is currently recruiting “Al-Ameen” or trustworthy men for this initiative. It may be hard for some to take this term seriously considering the way Saudi Arabia’s religious police infamously broke the trust of 15 girls’ parents in 2002 when a girls’ school was on fire. The police forbade them from leaving the building, and in some cases beat them to keep them from leaving, because the girls’ heads weren’t properly veiled. The girls all died in the fire. One has to wonder how the Ministry of Education plans to handle school-bus breakdowns near similarly inclined men.
In 2001 a militant group called Lashkar-e-Jabar demanded that Muslim women in Kashmir wear burqas, head to toe garments that cover their clothes, or risk being attacked. Men threw acid in the faces of two women for not covering up in public. The group also demanded that Hindu and Sikh women dress so as to identify themselves: they said that Hindu women should wear a bindi (the traditional colored dot) on their foreheads, and Sikh women should cover their heads with saffron-colored cloth.
In many countries, while husbands can divorce their spouses easily (often instantaneously through oral repudiation), wives’ access to divorce is often extremely limited, and they frequently confront near insurmountable legal and financial obstacles. In Lebanon, battered women cannot file for divorce on the basis of abuse without the testimony of an eyewitness. A medical certificate from a doctor documenting physical abuse is simply not good enough. Although women in Egypt can now legally initiate a divorce without cause, they must agree not only to renounce all rights to the couple’s finances, but must also repay their dowries. Essentially, they have to buy their freedom. In Israel, a man must grant his wife a get, a Jewish divorce writ that can only be given by a man to his wife – never the other way around.
In many areas of Afghanistan, girls are often taken out of school when they hit puberty. Cultural factors related to the ‘correctness’ of sending girls to school, reluctance to send girls and boys to the same school after third grade, as well as the perceived and real security threats related to girls walking to school and attending classes all contribute to slowing down the enrollment of girls in schools. Likewise, the enormous lack of female teachers, who are fundamental in a country where girls cannot be taught by a man after a certain age, is having a negative impact on girls’ education. While progress has been made since the fall of the Taliban, women are still struggling to see their rights fulfilled. Literacy rates among young Afghan women are disturbingly low: only 18 per cent of women between 15 and 24 can read. While the total number of children enrolled in primary schools is increasing tremendously, the percentage of female students is not.
Husbands in Egypt and Bahrain can file an official complaint at the airport to forbid their wives from leaving the country for any reason. In Syria, a husband can prevent his wife from leaving the country. In Iraq, Libya, Jordan, Morocco, Oman and Yemen, married women must have their husband’s written permission to travel abroad, and they may be prevented from doing so for any reason. In Saudi Arabia, women must obtain written permission from their closest male relative to leave the country or travel on public transportation between different parts of the kingdom.
Women’s unequal legal rights increase their vulnerability to violence. In many countries in the region, no specific laws or provisions exist to penalize domestic violence, even though domestic violence is a widespread problem. Domestic violence is generally considered to be a private matter outside the state’s jurisdiction. Battered women are told to go home if they attempt to file a complaint with the police. Few shelters exist to protect women who fear for their lives. Spousal rape has not been criminalized; husbands have an absolute right to their wives’ bodies at all times. Penal codes in several countries in the region also contain provisions that authorize the police and judges to drop charges against a rapist if he agrees to marry his victim.
In Bahrain, where family law is not codified, judges have complete power to deny women custody of their children for the most arbitrary reasons. Bahraini women who have been courageous enough to expose and challenge these violations in 2003 were sued for slander by eleven family court judges.
Most countries in the region-with the exception of Iran, Tunisia, Israel, and to a limited extent Egypt-have permitted only fathers to pass citizenship on to their children. Women married to non-nationals are denied this fundamental right.
Many countries criminalize adult, consensual sex outside of marriage. In Morocco, women are much more likely to be charged with having violated penal code prohibitions on sexual relations outside of marriage than men. Unmarried pregnant women are particularly at risk of prosecution. The Moroccan penal code also considers the rape of a virgin as an aggravating circumstance of assault. The message is clear: the degree of punishment of the perpetrator is determined by the sexual experience of the victim.
China’s one child policy has heightened the disdain for female infants; abortion, neglect, abandonment, and infanticide have been known to occur to female infants. The result of such family planning has been the disparate ratio of 114 males for every 100 females among babies from birth through children four years of age. Normally, 105 males are naturally born for every 100 females.
Similarly, the number of girls born and surviving in India is significantly less compared with the number of boys, due to the disproportionate numbers of female fetuses being aborted and baby girls deliberately neglected and left to die. The normal ratio of births should be 950 girls for every 1000 boys, however in some regions the number is as low as 300.
Racism has been one of the many problems people face in every part of the world. It makes one lose self-confidence, lack self-esteem, which prevents him from attaining self-fulfillment.
As a developing, low-income economy and a third world country, Filipinos around the world continue to experience racism in many ways possible. These discriminatory remarks and downgrading notions about us emerge from those coming from developed countries which are superior in nature. In spite our people’s skills and capabilities, they make us feel our inferiority by thinking that Filipino men are suited to blue-collar jobs; and our women are born to be domestic helpers who just wait in line to be married to a foreign man who will make her and her family rise from poverty. With this kind of treatment, our Overseas Filipino Workers are finding it much harder to survive the unceasing longing for their families and emptiness in their hearts as they strive to give them a better life and secure a better future.
I went to Singapore with my classmates and friends for our Retail Marketing class last July. Apparently, there, Filipinos weren’t the ones (or not the only ones) looked down on. The Indians took majority of the blue-collar jobs everywhere and they can be seen working really hard. They take the backseats in buses and they stand inside the trains, giving the seats to the Singaporeans and/or Chinese locals. I was guilty of being a racist then when I saw a “terrorist-looking” man and laughed to my friends about it. I felt bad about it after a while. I don’t know how to call it though but I felt kind of relieved that Filipinos weren’t that inferior in Singapore compared to other countries our people are now at.
I myself have experienced racism. I was born here in Manila but we moved to Legazpi City, my dad’s hometown, when I was 7. My dad’s family has been one of the elites there, not to mention being a political clan. I studied elementary and high school at St. Agnes’ Academy, St. Scholastica’s College’s sister school, which was actually one of the best schools in my province. I had to move back here in Manila with just a helper to study college and get a degree in Marketing Management at De Le Salle University.
Since the LPEP or the orientation day before classes finally resumed on my first year, I noticed how some of the girls from good and exclusive schools here would react whenever I mentioned that I was from Bicol. I can never forget one of my blockmates asking me “Bakit ang puti mo? Diba taga-province ka?”. That really shook me. I was like “Bakit, bawal ba maging maputi pag galing doon?”. I wanted to tell her straight to her face “Eh ikaw nga di naman halatang galing Poveda. Di ka nga maputi, at lalong di ka maganda”. Of course, I didn’t tell her that because I wanted to be in good terms with my classmates, after all, they were one of the first few I met in La Salle. Hearing that from her and getting “Saan yung Bicol?” from people made me more homesick than I was then since I was away from my family and friends (I was the only one in our barkada and we were 5 from St. Agnes’ who studied in DLSU). Honestly, I was shocked at how my social status changed: I was one of the top students in our batch in high school and people saw me as the girl who had poise while accomplishing my achievements. Lately did I realize that back then, I was the one who was kind of the racist, but in my first year in college, I was the one getting “racist-ed”. Now, it seems like it doesn’t matter anymore, or maybe, I just got proud of the fact that I’m from Bicol plus I’m getting high grades from tough subjects in my academic life, doing really good in extracurricular activities, and will be graduating on time which will be on October 2012.
I guess, everywhere we go, racism is present and it’s never going to disappear. In our own ways of thinking, we become racists and we don’t even realize it. As educated people, we should think of what we do, be careful with our choice of words and make sure we are not hurting anyone with what we say because what goes around, comes around.