For the first day of SOP, I’ve had a good share of eye-openers, good and bad alike. Me and my mentoring group (lead by Ms. Bermejo) headed to the residential area of Barangay Salapan in San Juan where we met the families we will be staying with. As we entered the residential area, one by one we broke off from the main group to meet our families.

That day, I met Maria Galve, a 75 year old woman living with her children. She was very kind and open with me during our conversation. She, along with her children, lived in a small, second floor room in Barangay Salapan. While her children work for their income, Maria stays within the residential area cleaning clothes. She originally lived in the province, but she moved here to find work. Sadly, her husband died (I didn’t want to go into detail because I was afraid I might hurt her), and she has been living with her children in Barangay Salapan for over thirty years.

I felt depressed when hearing her situation, and it truly opened my eyes to what the poor are going through. When I think that she and her family live in such a small room, and I get a room thrice that size, makes me feel as if I am unfair and unworthy of it. Added that others could be living the same situation all over the Philippines only worsens the feeling. I showed me how blessed and lucky I am to be born in a family like mine. It also gave me a drive to truly be a good person for them during my stay in Barangay Salapan. When I return next Saturday.