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Can you believe the Manila Bulletin or any form of Media?

Recently I ran across this post from the Manila Bulletin. It is about a Japanese boy who came to Payatas to “study” the people and found out because some children were smiling that the people at the dumpsite had a wonderful life.

That was a bit sarcastic but read the story and you will see what he said. Then read my reply which I posted twice but never showed up even though I personally emailed the paper to ask why yet they never responded to me:

The teacher from Japan who learns from Payatas
THE RIGHT SIDE
By EMANUEL D. BAGUAL
February 1, 2011, 12:10pm
JAPANESE educator, Shinichiro Matsuguma (in yellow) with Efren Peñaflorida and Kariton volunteer teacher Randolf during a visit in Cavite.
JAPANESE educator, Shinichiro Matsuguma (in yellow) with Efren Peñaflorida and Kariton volunteer teacher Randolf during a visit in Cavite.

MANILA, Philippines — Shinichiro Matsuguma, or Shin to his friends, has worked hard all his life just to achieve his purpose in life — to be an educator.

Shin belongs to an average Japanese family. When he was 18, he left his hometown to study and work at the same time, and live independently. He knew competition in school was tough, as he was raised in a culture that to be able to survive, one needs to be more competitive and cognizant of opportunities.

But then he realized that there was something wrong with his fellow youth.

“Because of the recession and what happened to our economy, the Japanese tend to be self-minded. Most of the children lose their direction and hardly find the purpose to live. There are those who commit suicide because of too much pressure from their parents or sometimes, from the society,” Shin says.

At present, Shin is spending time here in the Philippines to witness how Filipinos live. He goes to the depressed areas, cemeteries, and dumpsites to see for himself how Filipinos survive a life full of hardships and challenges amid poverty and corruption.
* * *
Hero from the rising sun
Em: What can you say about the Philippines?
Shin: Filipinos are known for being hospitable. I also know Philippine tourist places. I saw Boracay, the beaches of Cebu and Samar because I always see it on TV.

Em: Are you here for vacation or for business?
Shin: One place that caught my attention is Payatas, it is famous in Japan. We see it in TV programs in Japan and many Japanese are aware about what’s happening in Payatas. I visited Payatas, and also a dumpsite in Cavite with the pushcart of Kuya Efren.

Em: What’s with Payatas that caught your attention?
Shin: The poor families and children living in the garbage dump. I want to know what those people feel and experience, and also learn the principles of those who are helping them.

Em: What did you feel when you were in Payatas?
Shin: It was like a dream; I couldn’t believe that I was there. There were people who burn tires and garbage at night. Many houses were made of trash and I pity them. But at some point, I didn’t really felt sorry because I see the children playing and smiling and it seemed they were having fun. I haven’t seen those smiles in Japan, those smiles are like a delightful sun and they looked strong and could bear hardship.

I noticed what true happiness was, it was with their smile. I don’t see that in Japanese teenagers.

There are many suicides cases even though they have their own houses, they have enough food unlike those living in Payatas. Some of them commit suicide because they have no purpose to live. What I am trying to say is they see life in a stereotypical way, following what the society dictates, studying and working. If you fail, you are a disgrace and it’s a shame.

Here, the children need help because of the situation but they do not give up and that is very inspiring. I want to know how they do that so that I teach my students to be like that and lessen the cases of suicides.

Em: So you wanted to be a teacher; did you finish your studies?
Shin: Yes, yes. I graduated last March. I just worked for a year to save money to visit the Philippines. I work as a sales person but I resigned before I came here.
* * *
Last December Shin resigned from his work when he earned enough for his tour to the Philippines. He was formerly working with Keyence Company — one of the leading companies in Japan. But he never regretted resigning because it is really his desire to teach and help prevent teenage suicide by teaching them to become a better person. He was inspired by some Filipinos who do advocacy and serve others.

Shin believes that the people here in the Philippines are very selfless and have a purpose in life. He wanted to find out how they make it happen.

This man’s dedication to learn and do positive change is so inspiring. He is not just rationalizing things, he think of ways to help his people and how he can give back to his society. In his very own way, Shin is unleashing the hero in him.

(Emanuel Bagual is a freshman college at UP Diliman taking up Community Development. He was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2009.)

Here is one of the quotes from the article:

“Em: What’s with Payatas that caught your attention?
Shin: The poor families and children living in the garbage dump. I want to know what those people feel and experience, and also learn the principles of those who are helping them.”

Well Shim, let me teach you. Here is my reply:

I read all the time how people come to Payatas and learn from the poor and it changes their lives and ways of thinking.
How about showing your gratitude by helping financially to improve the lot of the Payatas children and telling your friends about it.

It’s nice to see you go on with your studies and hopefully your life will be great but the pain in this place goes on forever. Do you think because the constitution of the Filipino children is strong and they try to smile in the midst of their pain. Try going into the homes where they have no food or are sick without medical attention or watch them die. I am glad you were able to see some smiles so that it made you feel better about forgetting the children. Try going to sleep on a dirt floor and having a rat scurry across your face while you are sleeping. 
PLEASE! HELP PAYATAS!  http://www.payatas.org  http://www.payatasmissionoutreach.org    http://www.1ph.org  http://www.savepayatas.org       http://www.payatasbaptistchurch.org

Put your money where your mouth is —-PLEASE!Click here to donate:http://www.payatasmissionoutreach.org  /donation.asp

I hope shim can see this and get the real insight into Payatas but what bothers me is the fact that the Manila Bulletin would not publish my response although they published two other responses which thought it was a lovely story. It makes me think that the media in this Country will tell you what they want you to think and if you oppose them they will shut you out.

By the way, this is not the first time that the Manila Bulletin shut me out. I wrote about the politicians breaking the law by putting their political banners up on the main highways but the Manila Bulletin would nor publish it. Hmmmm? Do you think they are controlled by the politicians? That will be for another story.

 

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