Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Legacy of Mariannet

Today, the story of a little girl from Davao who hanged herself because of her family's poverty made the headlines. Twelve-year old Mariannet Amper was the sixth of seven children of a poor couple from the slums. She could hardly make it to school everyday because she didn't even have the money for transportation fare or food. Apparently however, this girl was very smart, sensitive and introspective that she was able to chronicle her family's suffering in a diary. The following is an entry she made just last October 5:

Parang isang buwan na kaming absent. Hindi na kasi nakin (sic) binibilang ang absent ko. Hindi ko namalayan na malapit na pala ang Pasko." [It feels as if we’ve been absent for a month. They’re not counting my absences anymore. I just realized that Christmas is just around the corner.]

Mariannet, innocent and young as she was, put a human face to another disquieting news item today, where allegedly around 11 million Filipinos live on less than a dollar a day. Indeed, despite the MACRO-economic achievements being trumpeted noisily by the government, the tragic thing here is, until now--and yes, in spite of the hike in the EVAT (now RVAT)-- the bulk of the population continues to live in subhuman conditions. No wonder so many have already lost all hope--like this little girl. No wonder so many, (around three thousand Filipinos daily last I heard)--continue to leave for foreign shores.

After all this time and seven years into Pres. Arroyo's leadership, I wonder where all these economic gains are being channeled to. Evidently, not to those who are in need of them the most. A nation that could not even send its young citizens to school is hardly a strong republic. A nation that causes its children to choose death than to endure a lifetime of despair is certainly not a nation at all.


  1. This is a heart-breaking story, wyanah. I am from Davao myself. May I know kung kelan nangyari ito? Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Hi Marlene, this happened the other day ata, not quite certain, very recently lang. But it surely made the news...very heartbreaking indeed.

  3. very sad story, you have very intersting articles here. can we exchange links?

  4. Unless society will get its act together, poverty will not be addressed. In my opinion,

    The RC Church must cooperate in population management. Preventing the sperm from meeting the egg, whether natural or not, is not abortion. But messing it up after the union is already a crime.

    The rich in society to act like a big brother to the poor ones

    Employers to give and do more, when capable, i.e
    The rich barangay for a poor barangay
    In our own little way, we can share our time. resources, talents to educate, assist and help the less privilege get out of their situation.

    Citizens action, political will to rid our society of the corrupt and cheaters.

    More budget for education, health and other public services.

  5. Hit the nail right on the head there Sonnie, thanks for this input...

  6. It's a shame that even the thought of Christmas wasn't able to give hope to this 12-year old girl. Christmas is just around the corner and I'm sure our politicians will be handing out money and gifts once again to show how much they care for the poor.

    We don't need your dole-outs! They probably come from taxpayers' money anyway. We need public service. We need you to do your job!