I was in the bus on my way home yesterday when a girl distributed a white envelope to all the bus passengers. The message “puwede po ba makahingi ng tulong para lang sa pasukan” was written in front of the envelope. My eyes lingered on those words for a while, and then I looked for the girl who was then busy collecting the envelopes from my co-passengers.

When it was my turn, I handed her the envelope – empty! I handed her the empty envelope with a bleeding heart. I never ever gave even a single cent to children like her.

I cannot help them that way. I am not sure if I put a coin or a hundred or a ‘ninoy’ in that envelope, it will change their lives. It may make their situation even worst, for all I know. I am not sure If they will really use the money for their education.

What if they are victims of syndicates? What if they are exploited children who are used by their parents or a syndicate to earn money?

The children should be enjoying their childhood. They should be receiving decent education.

I may not be able to help that poor child. But my encounter with her strengthens my will to send incapable, willing children to school in my own ways.

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