Selling, Former Student, and Survival
I saw her sitting on a small chair near the public market. Her hair was tied in a bun and she wore a loose fitting shirt and baggy shorts. When she saw me, she looked the other way-thinking that I will not notice her.
She got surprised when I pulled the other chair and sat beside her. I said to her, “Mylene, I want to buy the sweet rice that you’re selling. Can I have one of each please?” She got surprised and can barely say a word. She replied, ” Ma’am, my mother is sick, I have to sell sweet rice so we can eat.”
She was a former student from a college that I used to teach. That institution has free college education for poor but deserving students. It was not surprising to see students attending class, who have not eaten breakfast yet. Nor see students walking 2 km just so they can save P8 for a jeepney fare.
I looked at this former student of mine and said to her, “You know I used to sell fish in Malabon and as a kid, my brothers and I sold boiled peanuts. Didn’t you remember that I mentioned that in class often?”She smiled and there were tears in her eyes. She finally said, “Yes ma’am, I remembered that. I will no longer feel ashamed seeing my classmates and professors while selling my goods. Thank you for reminding me!”
I got my three pieces of sweet rice and gave her P100. She thank me profusely and smiled her sweetest smile. I am glad to have seen her once again, after a year of me being out of the academe.
One should never be ashamed of selling in the public markets for survival. that’s not stealing nor is it a crime to be poor. Some of her schoolmates who have triumphed over adversity follows:
Dennis Magallanes, 10th Placer in CPA Board Exam (now with SGV Auditing Firm)
Dennis Gutierrez, CPA Passer (now with Isla Lipana Auditing firm