I grew up in the Philippines, a third world country.
The Philippines is an archipelago which means a chain of islands – 7,641 islands. I grew up on a larger island called Luzon in a small town named Nasugbu in the province of Batangas. I graduated in a small rural high school and lived with several of my uncles/aunts and their families to study in Manila.
Life was hard. I worked a full time job to support myself to have a university education. Only the affluent have private vehicles, so I rode public transportation to work, then to a university and then back to my uncle’s home.
My uncle rented an apartment in a tenement. He has 5 children and could barely make both ends meet. Altogether, 15 people lived in less than a 1000 sq.ft. apartment with 2 bedrooms and a bath. There were times when we would just eat rice to keep our bellies full and we would share a small dried fish and some tomatoes to satisfy our hunger; canned sardines would be a treat! I remember, when my uncle scolded me when I ate the last piece of bread for breakfast; not his fault but I should have shared part of it with my cousins. We were not starving but we definitely did not have enough food for everyone to keep us from being hungry.
I know how it is to be hungry; not by choice. When I was a little boy, I remember my great grand mother would be satisfied after eating a large portion of rice flavored with soy sauce and some tomatoes. She was illiterate but she had a lot of wisdom. She lived for more than 100 years.
Throughout those years in the Philippines, God taught me what I needed to live in the US – the greatest country in the world. A rich country but surprisingly, 1 out of 5 people are food insecure. It’s unfathomable! Why?
So what’s your story or what have you heard from others who experienced hunger? Please Share your story by replying to this Post. It’s about awareness, it’s about facing the reality that is upon us. It’s about the people you come in contact with and not knowing they are in need of assistance. It’s about real people with real needs next door, right here in our own backyard. I was hungry and…