April 22, 2017

I just turned on my WeChat account on my way to my classroom when I saw a message on our WeChat group here in China called “Familia Igorota Montanosa”.

The translation of the message goes this way (The message was originally in Kankana-ey dialect)

Image Source: http://mortalengines.wikia.com

May dalawang pamilya, si Family A at Family B.

Si Family A ay lagi na lang nakaasa kay Family B. Lahat nalang inuutang kay Family B including ang pangmatrikula ng anak at kung anu-ano pang pangangailangang pinansyal. Pati bigas na iluluto ay mukha pa atang uutangin kay Family B. Ang masaklap pa nito ay hindi nagbabayad si Family A ng kanilang utang. Lahat ng pangako ay lagi na lang napapako.

Kaya isang araw, nagdecide si Family B na hinding-hindi na pauutangin ng pera si Family A kahit ano pang mangyari para turuan sila ng lesson dahil sobra na ang pamimihasa sa kanila ni Family A.

Isang araw, kumatok sa pinto ni Family B ang mag-asawang Family A na nagmamakaawa. Nakikiusap na pautangin muli sila dahil dadalhin nila sa hospital ang kanilang anak na nagkasakit. Ngunit dahil nangako na si Family B na hindi na magpapautang kay Family A, tuluyan nilang tinanggihan ang pakisuap ng mag-asawa.

Makalipas ang ilang araw, namatay ang anak ni Family A dahil hindi nila ito nadala sa pagamutan.

Nagpunta sa burol si Family B upang makiramay at mag-abot ng kaunting tulong ngunit hindi tinanggap ni Family A ang iniaabot na pera at sinabi, “Aanhin pa namin yang pera, patay na sya. Kung noon nyo pa sana ibinigay yan sana hindi ganito ang sinapit nya.”

The story ended with the question: Sino ang may kasalanan sa pagkamatay ng anak ni Family A?

Image Source: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/-guilty-as-charged/

Some group members expressed their opinions saying it’s Family B’s fault. Others say, it’s no one’s fault dahil hindi natin hawak ang ating buhay. Others say, the blame goes on to Family A.

Though this is a fictional story, my co-members at Familia Igorota Montanosa called it, “Pagsarmingan”, a story that we can learn from as it mirrors realities in life.

As for me, both Family A and B have its own share on the fate of the child.

Family A lives on debts. They spend money that they do not have and keep accumulating debts until they can no longer manage to pay and they couldn’t stop asking for loans until there’s someone who’s willing to lend.  Family A is on a haciendero mindset.

Long time ago during the Spanish time, vast areas of land were owned by the hacienderos and the farmers keep going back to the land owner to ask for money every time they are in need. They become dependent on the hacienderos and keep spending money that they still haven’t earned.

Family A has no sense of living within their means by cutting down expenses, saving up for emergencies, boosting their income and making it grow.

Family B on the other hand tolerated Family A for a very long time. At first, Family B might have expected higher returns of the money he lent because of the interest it accumulates. Family B encouraged Family A to be dependent on lenders like them by continuously granting them loans even though they are aware that Family A is already drowning in debts and can no longer pay them without probably selling off their properties.

Family B continuously make Family A slaves. So, when Family B decided to say no to the other family’s request of an additional loan, it was already too late for Family A.

Would the child have lived if they had the money? I cannot tell, but the chance could have been there.

In Real Life

How many of us today live like Family A? Do you also love spending money that you still don’t have? Do you forget your debts and you even keep asking for more? Are you living above your means? Do you also blame others if your life goes wrong?

Or are you living your life like Family B? You cannot say no to friends or family and tolerate them to become dependent on you. You allow others become dependent on debts. You take advantage of those who are in need by indulging them to borrow more in exchange of higher interests.

Going back to the story, para sa ‘yo, sino ang may sala?

Finally, let us once again be reminded that God helps those who help themselves. Also, remember that giving a man a fish will only let him live for a day. But, teaching him how to fish will let him live a lifetime.

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