The Streets of Metro Manila, The Smoke-Filled Harbinger of Education and Self-Care Reality

From what I’ve observed in the years of my life, a lot of Filipinos, especially the ones from the provinces, think that life is way better out in the National Capital Region, a.k.a. Metro Manila.

Unfortunately, a better life isn’t just about having a job that pays a worker a lot of cash. I feel like many Filipinos these days don’t see much value in proper formal education. And I feel like many of us Filipinos equate a happy life with truckloads of cash as well. Sure, we need cash, but only enough.

Thing is, we Filipinos seem to be worrying about money too much lately.

For example, I remember a dominant reaction to the newly implemented K to 12 education program in my country, where the years of basic education will go from 10 years to 12 years, putting a middle school level into the mix. Said dominant reaction can be summarized with the sentence “We’ll have to spend money for school again, damn it.” Another are the various plunder cases in the government caused by families of politicians who managed to take advantage of the Filipino masses’ lack of proper formal education. And then there’s that one incident that my dad and I managed to get out of safely, which involved a traffic enforcer trying to fine my dad for illegal swerving. From what my dad told me, “pagbabalagbag” is one way to call illegal swerving, and Dad was on lanes with broken lines in between, which meant that he was allowed to switch lanes (politely, of course). Long story short, the traffic enforcer was attempting to extort from Dad, the traffic enforcer didn’t really understand the rules that he was supposed to enforce, and Dad managed to get out safely after the traffic enforcer let Dad go and refused to give his name out when Dad said that he’d surrender his license only if the traffic enforcer gave his name (which would lead to Dad being able to report said enforcer more easily).

Those problems are like the smoke circulating around the building-stuffed and automobile-filled streets of Metro Manila, and said problems are the most noticeable in that area. On one hand, they make Metro Manila repulsive. On another, they inspire me to freaking beat the crap out of those problems.

But as Dad reminded me after we got away safely from that pitiful traffic enforcer (I pray that the traffic enforcer would learn better ways to live), I have to train myself and equip myself with the right tools. Right now, I have the will to be a hero, but I don’t think I have enough knowledge. Despite being of legal age already, I still need to learn a lot more about stuff like properly getting myself a worthwhile job with a stable income, how to get into certain jobs, how to do certain chores, and so much more. To summarize, I’m still pretty much a manchild with the will to be a hero, which means that if I stay a manchild, I’d end up being more of a villain than a hero.

So, right now, learning how to maintain myself in society takes higher priority. I can’t try to help other people all the time, but it’s not like I should stop trying to be friendly and helpful to others. Yeah, it’s painful to keep on walking through streets with people in rags sleeping there, it’s painful to know about news of people doing horrible things to other people, but the best I can do right now is pray for true happiness to come upon them in some way while I try to improve myself and whoever I can help around me with my always-in-training abilities. I have to learn from the mature nutshellcrackers, the ones who know so many more good ways to be a hero than I do. I must learn awesome stuff, and then teach the awesome stuff that I learned to those who need to learn about the awesome stuff that I learned.

Speaking of caring for the self, I’d like to say that friendship is important in that as well. Dying with so much loneliness and lack of true friendship is way more painful than dying with a friend watching over them by their side. I haven’t experienced death, but I sure hate dying with no one considering me a friend. Of course, we gotta remember that friendship is not letting evil acts slide, but making sure that we grow into people who would lead humanity to true happiness. Hurt a person, and you hurt others as well, and then you take yourself farther away from true happiness. With our imperfection, though, we will end up hurting someone one way or another sometimes, but that does not mean that we cannot fight against stupidity and evil. I’ve met kind people before (for example: my parents, who cared for me so much ever since my birth), and humans hate being stupid, too. So yeah, do your best. Look at the bright side. Friendship for the win, yo. And see you again in the den, too, nutshellcrackers. I’ll try to have more awesomeness when I post again. Oh, and if you want to say something about how to improve myself in stuff like writing stories and living life, feel free to tell me. 🙂

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