I Live in Cubao, by Sunshaine Bujawe

Sunshai Buhawi SIAC Jan 2016

Sometimes students will fall off the path to achieving an education. They become tempted by drugs and easy money from begging. We feel helpless to do anything, especially when we don’t have the cooperation from their parents. (How can we expect parents who didn’t go to school to know its value?) We can’t chase the students down…force them to show up for class…and study.

We can’t make them believe, as much as we want to.

It hurts to watch their innocence, their joy for life and their openness to love, shut down. But we don’t lose hope. When all we can do is pray, we do it with absolute conviction that those students will find their way back…

Lift the Lid’s goal is to guide every student at the schools we sponsor towards a healthy, productive, and meaningful life. If you look back over your own life, you might recall that it only took one word of faith/encouragement from a teacher to steer you in the right direction. For some, it’s the nutrition from a hearty lunch that allows them to rise up and follow their dreams. For others, it’s prayer.

To show our gratitude for an anonymous donation, Sunshaine shares her story. To see how Sunshaine has grown and matured since her first essay in April of 2013, and to see photos of the hardships she’s up against, visit this 2013 post.

Here is Sunshaine’s essay translated from Tagalog and her original writing:
“I live in Cubao.
My brothers, sisters and I were happy when I was younger. Life began to be difficult as I grew older, especially after my Grandma left us. Our lives became miserable. I started begging and jumping into jeepneys with mail envelops (where passengers may put their loose coin to give). My parents turned to and continued taking drugs. That is when our lives became hard.
We were happy when we were still in Sumulong Street. No hardship and were peaceful. My parents and older siblings hardly had vices then until we moved to the sidewalk in front of the Loyola Funeral Parlor. We experienced being flooded with garbage floating. We almost got drowned but Tita (Aunt) Marlyn saved us. It was almost Christmas when we met people from the Department of Social Welfare and Development who provided us with funds to rent a room and buy a few things. We met Ate (big sister) Mardy and Sara and kuya (big brother) Rey. I became happy again and were doing things I want to do for life.
We then met Teacher Nonie and Kuya Iddo (Alfredo) who helped us as and were like second parents to us. We were thankful that they helped our family. We again were able to rent a room. But again went into begging, collecting garbage, selling cigarettes. My older siblings were then sniffing solvent and tried heavier drug stuff.
This is where I am now.”
Sunshine Bujawe My Life in Cubao CM SIAC Jan 2016
Sunshine Bujawe My Life in Cubao CM SIAC Jan 2016