“Many speak the truth when they say that they despise riches, but they mean the riches possessed by other men.”
– Charles Caleb Colton
Sometimes I walk by the most beautiful malls and shopping centers in the Philippines, like Greenbelt, SM Aura, Bonifacio High Street, and several others. Everywhere I look there are rich people eating at restaurants where each dish costs more than a worker’s daily pay, dressed in the finest clothes that costs more than an average employee’s monthly salary, and buying gadgets that would take most of us a few years to save up for.
On the other side of the city, a few miles from those areas of luxury are entire communities who can’t afford a decent lifestyle. According to ABS-CBN’s report on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)’s Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) last 2014, around one in every four Filipinos live in poverty. Without a good source of income, many are forced to scavenge dumpsters and trash cans for food, sleep in cardboard boxes every night, and are forced to beg for a few coins to survive.
While some children play in the streets wearing dirty rags on weekdays because their families can’t afford to send them to school (a key to moving up in society), the children of wealthy parents have everything handed to them on a silver platter: the latest toys and gadgets, nutritious food, the best education, and far more.