Another blessing on its way

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She was a mother of five who owned a small library for children located beside the highway in Barangay Mambatad, Miagao, Iloilo. I could not forget her because of her library, something that is out of the ordinary in a place that ranks education somewhere below having to earn for a living. I used to join a Catholic organization in college that taught catechism to young boys in that area which we held every Thursday in their house. Back then, I was already questioning the wisdom behind having a lot of children in such impoverished area of Miagao. That time she was already pregnant with her sixth child. Her husband, a utility worker at the Division of Biological Sciences invited our group to that place as he saw the need of the children for the teachings of the Church.

Our group leader, a Public Health professor and a devout Catholic, did not give the mother a lecture on the use of artificial contraceptives to limit the size of their family, which I think is customary once a public health worker and a woman pregnant with her nth child come face to face. Neither was there a passing mention about family planning. I understood the professor’s dilemma. Can one be a faithful Roman Catholic and a pragmatist at the same time. The response, I gather, is in the negative.

I met her again this morning. After a short ‘how-have-yous’ she mentioned that she is pregnant for three months, ‘another blessing is on the way’ to translate what she said in the vernacular. Her seventh child.

I beggar understanding when it comes to issues such as this. When population issue is pitted against faith I am wont to take the side of the former. Not because I do not have faith but because I can see that rationality of limiting one’s family size to allow children to have maximum care and attention from their parents. To quote a friend and a regular reader of this blog who quoted this from someone else ‘not using condom (or contraception in our case) is so third world’. And indeed it is.

While the rest of the Catholic world is progressively combatting the ills mankind has inflicted on itself, the faithful Catholics in the Philippines remain enmeshed in the Medieval Age-like existence.

And I ask, what does ‘another blessing on its way’ mean?

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Letting go of fatalism: finding a job

I’m on a frenzy now. A mix of emotions that border on the absurd. I just started looking for jobs in the Philippines last night and it’s not easy. I’ve never tried looking for a serious work before. My application as an instructor in the University of the Philippines was not that difficult, at least, because the panel already knew my strengths and weaknesses and that I did not have to sell my self to a certain extent. But for a job in a private corporation in Manila, my credentials may speak for me, but I think it won’t be enough considering the competition in the working world this time.

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I intend to work in Manila after, in case, this will be my first time to work in my country’s capital city and to actually stay there and immerse my self in the hustle and bustle of a big metropolis. I am scared but am even more excited. Bigger world means being able to experience a lot of things that I will otherwise miss if I stay in one place during my entire lifetime.

I am trying to console myself that the economic condition of the world in general and my lack of working experience might delegate me to the lowest position, or worse not being able to find a job at all, but I am trying to be hopeful.

In fact I am considering finding another scholarship for a graduate degree just to postpone my entrance to the working world. I just hate the idea of working. I loved formal learning so much, but this time, I’ve got to choose, and it appears that the best choice is to work.

For most twenty-somethings this part of life is one of the most dreadful. I just can’t imagine being asked about my salary and not being able to answer because it’s dismally low. I can’t imagine being asked about what I do if it’s something I am not happy doing. A lot of things to consider, but at the end of the day it all boils down to a fact that I have to work. I may study forever and reason out that I am learning for learning’s sake, but then again, learning is not an end in itself. I have to apply what I have learned through a job and receive remuneration for doing my job.

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I’ve been quite fatalistic these past few years. If given a chance to choose between a stable job or studying abroad, without any consideration, I’ll choose the former, but as I age I am starting to realize that I can’t think of adventures all the time because travelers also have to take a rest, or that superheroes have Louis or grandma waiting for them after a day of saving the world from all nemeses.

I guess I have to slow down on my fatalism and be more pragmatic and realistic. I have to plan my next action. A new life will greet me a month from now, and I cannot afford to fail.