Today marks the 17th year after the tragedy happened in the place where I grew up: Brgy. Corazon de Jesus, San Juan city. Our sari-sari store (mini-grocery) was affected and totally burned. The thing is, it’s where our income is coming. Because of this, my schooling was stopped for a year. I’m in my 2nd year taking up an engineering course when this happens. And because the Estrada government allowed all residents to re-construct the house, we grab the chance and use whatever we have to build a new house and start over again. It was very hard from the start. I worked as bus boy in The Landmark food center in Makati to help generate income and use my earnings as capital in our new sari-sari store. My younger brother and eldest sister did the same thing.
Looking back today, after 17 years I realized problems and trials are really a part of “growing up”. Big problems we’ve gone through seem so far away. I was just laughing when I think about them today. I realized problems make my family stronger and taught us a lot of lessons. I won’t be like this today if I didn’t gone through those obstacles that made me strong and explore other opportunities that life can offer.