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Jong: A Life Story

Jong is not his real name. He was born in one of the most noted conflict areas in the country. The youngest of four siblings, two of his older brothers died of illnesses.

The parents of Jong broke up when he was 9 years old. He doesn’t know where his father is and his mother is living with another man. He lives with his mother, stepfather and stepbrother. He had two stepbrothers but one died of illness.

According to Jong, their lives were not as difficult now when his stepfather was able to work. His stepfather was a carpenter, but got a lung-related illness because of drinking too much alcohol. Now that his stepfather is ill, life becomes difficult to describe.

Jong works in one of the hotels in town. He reports on duty from 6 in the morning until 9 in the evening. He is paid 75 pesos with three meals daily. Most of his income he gives to his mother who also does their neighbors’ laundry. Jong doesn’t know how much his mother is earning from doing laundry.

Education is one of the basic needs of a child. Jong wasn’t as lucky to have it in full. He wasn’t even able to finish his first year in high school. He cannot afford it.

To be registered to a government school, one has to pay five hundred pesos. School supplies are another thing. But, these were not Jong’s concern. His biggest problem was his daily transportation allowance to go to school. He needed P80 pesos to pay for his roundtrip fare daily.

The town has another government school. It would only cost Jong P30 pesos roundtrip fare daily. But this school is a trade school. A trade school is noted for extravagant projects. Jong could not afford them.

As Jong narrated his story, I saw his desire for school. He was looking for someone who would want him as working student. But who would accept a working student when there is no night school in town. He can only work on weekends.

I don’t blame life for its ironic tendencies. We are all born with something to work on and challenges to face, but we also have responsibilities to fulfill. I encouraged Jong to continue his schooling. I partly know how difficult it is because I also had my share of hardship finishing high school.

Deep inside I would want to do more than encourage him, but I don’t have the capacity as of the moment. Maybe not now, but I am looking at what tomorrow can offer.


  1. sir, soli ba to? joke!

    seriously, my name has never been included on the dean's list when i was in college kahit na gustong-gusto ko to kahit one sem lang. maybe because, i did part time jobs. burger machine, jollibee, mister donut, giacominos, kfc, even waiter in mandaya hotel. dahil na rin siguro sa pagod kaya di ako makapagconcentrate. but looking back, those experiences made me better and stronger person.

    part time job na rin kayo!

  2. @Julius, hindi yan soli, hehe.. gusto ko talagang tumulong pero ayoko ng tulong na bitin.. pero iniisip ko pa rin kung paano makatulong, pero di natin alam ang bukas, baka makakaya ko na.

    Kaya pala di na natanggap ang iba na nag apply kasi inubos mo na yata lahat.. haha, it's good to be in the deans list but it will not define your future career... tingnan mo ngayon ang sitwasyon mo.. siguro naman mas mabuti pa ang employment mo kaysa mga nasa deans list noon.. :)

  3. hmmmm charity ba ito? cgro balak mo magtayo ng foundation! i can help you with that! chozzz...

    silip lang po .....

  4. sir yong, tulong ha hindi silong. baka one of these days mabalitaan na lang namin na si jong nasa pad mo na nakatira. at kung tatanungin ka kung bakit, sasagutim mo kami ng "hindi respondent ko lang un... wala ng damuhan sa city kaya sa place ko na lang sya tumuloy, hahhahaha!!! :)

  5. @Geisha, ayokong magtayo ng foundation, medyo gasgas na ang strategy na yan.. ginagawang moneymaking na ang gimik na yan, hehe.

    @MrCens, i was totally expecting to receive a comment like yours.. hahahahaha!!! na amuse talaga ako. I have other people in mind kung gusto kung gawin yan, hahaha!

  6. stories like this make me real sad. it's not jong's fault to be poor.but he can't do anything about it for now. i dunno how to react. i just realized that despite of the usual problems i am facing, im still luckier than most people. thanks.

  7. hmmm... magkano matrikula ngayon sa nursing?

  8. @falmindevil, totoo yan, kahit mahirap yong nadaanan ko.. mas marami pa ring mas mahirap ang tinatahak sa buhay. Stories like these made me thank God for all His blessings.

    @Reynaelena, ako gusto ko mag nurse, puede mag apply sayo ng scholarship para doon sa e nurse ko.. hahaha!! kidding..

  9. You know, mas naappreciate ko yung mga taong nag-aral with hardships kaysa sa mga born with a silver spoon kasi they tend to work harder.

    Goodluck to him! God will find a way!

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  11. masyado akong apektado sa sinulat mong ito at salamat sa mga katulad mong may malasakit sa katulad ni jong.


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