Wednesday, November 24, 2004

no title

The fiscal crisis is taking its toll on me. Never mind if GMA said the Philippines is now past the crisis though still has a 'problem'. Some two weeks back I read in the newspapers that households using 500 kwh of electricity would have to shell out extra 600+ pesos for the monthly bills; not to mention the increase in water rates. At home we don’t consume that much electricity (272 kwh as stated in my most recent electric bill), but already my bill rose up to P2000 from the average P1,300.00 a month. My water bill rose from P150 to P400. I had to increase my son's school allowance from P80 to P100 a day. Budget for groceries had to be upped from P5000 to almost P10,000 a month in order to meet daily needs. It's good I don't do the marketing anymore or I'll have to add escalating prices of vegetables, fish, chicken, eggs, etc. to my list too. Not that I don't buy from the market but I have someone else to do it for me and so I don't quite feel the burden. My taxi days are over, it's one luxury I had to give up because I have to pay extra 20 pesos if I take a cab from office to my apartment. Now I also have to limit shopping for clothes and shoes . I had to rummage through my cabinet for old clothes and salvage those that have not gone out of fashion yet.

I know I'm not alone in this dire predicament. A colleague of mine lamented that her expenditures are much higher than mine and already I am complaining. But who cannot complain? And why should I not complain? I know (again) that I'm still much better off compared to so many others who, as the survey on hunger showed over a month ago, barely have three square meals nowadays. But hey, I work hard. I work hard to enjoy my life and it's exactly what I am missing. To enjoy life is exactly what I cannot afford these days.

The material things are actually immaterial. I can have delight in squid balls for snacks instead of mango crepe and puttanesca. I can just take a nap instead of going to the malls. I can sketch instead of watch movies. There are other ways I can do to unwind and refresh my physical body if it's all I wanted. But then again, it's not just physical. The flesh may be able to recover but the mental agony is still draining me. To go for squid ball instead of puttanesca is not a matter of choice, not a matter of cravings, but it's become a necessity to cut back on expenses, and to save myself from anxiety of not having a penny left. I have to do that to keep my sanity. Thinking about how much deeper the economy can plunge into causes me stress that a nap or sketching cannot ease off.

I need not be reminded that millions more of Filipinos are in worse situation than I am. And that adds to my ordeal. If I can feel the brunt of this fiscal crisis how much more can the other people who have less or nothing to spend, but with more mouths to feed? (That's the quandary of an NGO worker like me.) How can I complain when I have got a job and I'm still able to eat and send my child to school? The thing is that to complain is all that I am left with now. The very optimistic people would probably tell me it's not spiritually healthy. The heck with being spiritually healthy, maybe one reason why suicide cases have gone up about the same time that the economy worsened is that people can't have even a moment to express their anguish because they're too busy making ends meet or worse, looking for ends that would meet.

So, why should I not complain?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

buhay mental....

dugtungan ko na nga ang kwento ng buhay sa mental bago pa maputol ang buhay ng mga kakilala ko don. three weeks ago, binalita ng mommy ko na patay na si Marikita... pasyente na sya sa mental nun pang mga bata ko na lang na old age din ang kinamatay nya tulad ni papaw belen. last year ko huling nakita si marikita nung dumalaw ako sa mental. andon pa rin sya sa selda, hubo't hubad. sya ang mas nakarecognize sakin kesa sa narecognize ko sya (kasi mas kabisado ko lang ang matinis nyang boses kesa sa mukha nya). last year, naiinggit sya na ibang pasyente ang pinansin ko at pinuring maganda. sabi nya sya din naman daw maganda...naiinis daw sya na walang nagsasabing maganda sya kaya kumakain daw sya ng t_ _ (bleep!) para mapansin sya.