As a second generation Filipina-American, I kind of take for granted the struggle that my parents have gone through. My father went from dodging bullets and the Japanese as a child during World War II, to having Glidden Paint create a job position for him so as not to lose his valuable input as a chemical engineer. My mom went from an elementary school teacher to a kick ass team member at Levi Strauss & Co’s corporate office. They made something out of nothing and turned their struggle into success as they bought a home, put my brother and I through private school, high school, and college, bought our first cars and have made it possible for us to have everything they didnt.
I kind of forget that life wasnt always like it is. I forget that my dad had to walk 5 miles to school everyday carrying his desk. (i swear i hear this story everytime i’m in trouble). I kind of neglect that my grandma never got a chance to become literate because she had to work to support her large family. I kind of become.. ungrateful.
I hear a phone call between my mom and my cousin who lives in Makati just to make sure that they’re ok. Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) has devastated Metro Manila and its surrounding neighborhoods as the count for dead or missing reaches 284 and continues to rise. All of a sudden, it hits me. They’re still IN the struggle. and the struggle for their friends and family has just become intensified.. there are people who make no more than $20/day and they have lost everything.
My heart hurts. My selfish heart bleeds, actually. I look around at the things I take for granted everyday and praise God for my blessings… for my parents.. for their vision… and their relentless pursuit for a better life.
I am grateful. And regardless of my current financial situation, regardless of this stupid recession and the layoffs and the cutbacks, there is always something to share. Food, clothing, money, or even a prayer. Anything helps.
Please join me in trying to make a difference and donate to Unicef for the Philippines.