A lot of things go on during these shows, but ultimately they address the number one reason for Filipinos to watch tv, to have fun. Various entertainment segments (dancing, singing, etc.) are what you get to see in these. Ratings war between the two biggest television networks in the Philippines (ABS-CBN and GMA) always involve these two shows. And I’m not about to rant about which I prefer or which one I detest.
It just so happened that while I was watching these two shows, a recurring (disturbing) topic keep popping up. Young, teenage mothers who gave birth to their babies and now find themselves with no steady income to support their young family. I noticed this immediately because, well the topic sort-of pisses me off.
The Philippines is a 3rd world country. There is a very small portion of the society that are the “Rich”, a slightly bigger portion called the “Middle Class”, but majority of the people are those classified as the “Poor”. This equates, primarily, to the level of income a household earns. To get a feel for this, see the Philippine government’s suggested complete meal for every Filipino family and compare it to that of the USA and you’ll get how small incomes most of the families her in our country get.
But that’s just it. These kids (well they are still) are part of those classified in the poor section of our society have no real means (currently) on how to improve their lives. They haven’t even gone to college yet. Yes high school graduates can get jobs here, as sales front liners in the many malls, service crew for the many fast food restaurants, but these are not steady jobs. These are contractual jobs wherein contracts expire within months and they have no assurance that their contracts would be renewed. I’m not entirely heartless, I feel the hardship that these kids are going through but the fact that they did that without thinking of what would happen in the future PISSES-ME-OFF!
Adding to this is the fact that they now have to ask help from their parents, who already found it hard to raise them in the first place, to take care of their children! But just does not apply to those who are deemed poor. A former colleague of mine, from my previous work, posted on her Facebook that she was pregnant. Both she and her boyfriend (yes they are not yet married) both work for the same company. One of the reasons I left that company was because I found the compensation to be too low for the work they were asking from me. At the time I left that company, I was earning more than my colleague and her boyfriend was just earning more than me by a small margin (I believe my current salary now is higher than his and he has been working way before I graduated from college).
Both of them are excited. They don’t care because despite having relatively small salaries, their parents (especially the boy) are well-to-do. Lucky. But these two have a very rocky relationship together, with numerous splits during the course of their relationship. One can only think of what would happen when the pressure of taking-care of a kid enters into the foray with the father’s notorious “philandering” ways. Also, the help of parents can only go so far.
Yes, having babies can be very fun. Making them sure is. But at the end of the day, who will have a hard time? The parents, yes (especially the mother), but ultimately if they have not the proper means (be it money or maturity, or worse both) then the child would have a hard life. It pisses me off because they just thought of their own pleasure and themselves thinking that they can do this, but they never thought of what their kid would have to go through growing up. More often than not, these kids get to be idiots that would just continue their parent’s stupidity.
You say the government needs to make a stand to improve this, government officials themselves go about their “philandering” ways. It’s a vicious cycle but what can we do? What can we do?
(I do not own the picture).
On a related note, I googled “Street Children” and the number one suggestion was “Street Children in the Philippines”. Oh my god! Really?! It’s that bad?