I consider myself as one of the many ordinary people around and the same is true when it comes to transportation. I commute everyday using my bike, ride in public utility vehicles and even a bangka.
In Manila, riding a bangka (outrigger canoe) is the shortest way of going to Pandacan from Punta. The bangka fare is very affordable at Php 5 for adults, Php 3 for senior citizens and students and an additional PhP 1 for passengers who bring along a bike.
One fine day, while I was riding the bangka, I saw this man with his bike standing at the edge of the bangka with his statement shirt “Erap para sa mahirap.” This statement made me think about the person behind the slogan, it’s none other than the 74-year old former President Joseph Estrada, who was convicted with plunder, later on pardoned, and tried to regain his seat in 2010, but lost to President Noynoy Aquino.
As for me, the real definition of “mahirap” or poor is in your hands. It could be having not enough economic resources to afford basic needs, lack of education, lack of knowledge, deprived rights, social placements discriminations. It’s too many to mention here to interpret the meaning of being “poor” because we create our lives based on what we think and do.
Being poor is just a state of mind.