A Call to “Public”: Be the Change

Photo belongs to Hands On Manila Foundation, Inc.

Photo belongs to Hands On Manila Foundation, Inc.

Maybe I am just trying to open up myself to more people the way I normally don’t. But I think of joining Hands on Manila (http://www.handsonmanila.org.ph/volunteerprograms/activities), an organization which utilizes the power of volunteerism from people willing to help others. Beneficiaries are usually schoolchildren, senior citizens and mothers or even the environment by people who are willing to commit themselves to give time and share talents.

I thought of entering their Saturday Academy Volunteer Program since I have work on weekdays and I am trying to reserve my Sundays for family day and attending Mass. I noticed from their website that many activities are -mainly from the Education and Enrichment programs- are done during weekdays when students also have class schedules at school. Makes sense to me since the students got to have their day off from studying too.

Having attended public schools since Kindergarden to college, I know what it’s like to be on their shoes. I am not saying they are less fortunate than those who attended private schools in terms of the quality of education they get. Believe me it would be an endless, complicated debate. I just recognize the fact that generally, students in public schools need more help both from the government and private sector. Public education in a country such as ours needs extensive collaboration from anyone who could help.

Corruption aside, I feel happy paying taxes if only with the thought that taxpayers send scholars to public schools. I received scholarship from the Provincial Capitol of Bulacan each semester of my five-year course in college. Even then, I know I am never a scholar of the governor( I’m not questioning their efficiency or integrity for all their educational efforts during their term). I knew very well that I was a scholar of the people who believed in my potential to accomplish something good someday. I recognize the fact that it is the government itself who invested on me.

As a result, I understand the need to pay high taxes because I experienced the need and lack thereof for enough and quality school facilities. I know there is a need for the educational system itself to be upgraded. We are wise, diligent people and who knows what great things each one of us could accomplish if given the right training and exposure? Our “best” universities rank so low in world ranking of top universities. We can only do so much. So far, though it is sad reality, I have to say that our best efforts are still not enugh. That is not to say we should stop trying.

I’m still waiting for Hands on Manila for more specific instructions on how I can volunteer. For the meantime, I’ll get my little cousins (also studying on public elementary schools) to learn how to count form 1-20. From here on, we will move forward.


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