Thesis blog 11: Hindi Lahat (Not All)

Posted on: Oct 27, 2009

Below is a reflection poem I wrote last December 2005 during Philippine fieldwork after all the interviews with youth, parents and teachers and focus groups (youth) were done in two case study sites for my istambay thesis. Originally, I wrote this poem in Filipino but I personally translated it into English as this (possibly) would be included in my thesis (also presented here, just scroll down.)

Hindi Lahat
ni Clarence M. Batan

Hindi lahat ng mga kabataan ay
nakapag-aral o nag-aaral.
Hindi lahat ng kabataan na nag-aaral ay
nakakapagtuloy ng pag-aaral.
Hindi lahat nang nagtatrabaho ay nag-aral.

Hindi lahat nang nag-aral ay may trabaho.
Hindi lahat nang nag-aral ay may trabahong
ginagamit ang kanilang pinag-aralan.
Hindi lahat ng istambay ay
tamad at ayaw magtrabaho.
Hindi lahat nang humahanap ng
trabaho ay nakakakita nito.
Hindi lahat ng kabataan ay
gustong umasa sa kanilang mga magulang.
Hindi lahat ng kabataan ay masaya
kapag nakikita nilang nahihirapan
ang kanilang mga magulang.
Hindi lahat ng kabataang nakagawa ng
maling desisyon sa kanilang
buhay ay ayaw ng pagbabago.

Saan, kailan at sa paanong paraan
Mabibigyang-solusyon ang mga
Suliraning transisyon ng
Kabataang Pilipino?

Hindi lamang sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga sarili.
Hindi lamang sa palagiang tulong ng
kanilang mga magulang at mga kapamilya.
Hindi lamang sa pagmamalasakit ng pamayanan.
Hindi lamang sa polisiya at batas.
Subalit higit sa lahat, ang pagtangan ng
Kalidad ng pag-iisip —
Na may kakayahang intindihin ang proseso’t sumuri
Sa mga istrakturang depekto ng mga isyung ito –
Na kung saan ang bukang-liwayway ng perspektibong ito
Ay magsisilang ng bagong henerasyong
Makikipagtulungan sa dating henerasyon

Upang baguhin ang kasalukuyan.
Nang ang di pagkakapantay-pantay sa lipunan
Di man mawala nang tuluyan ay maibsan nang labis –
Upang ang susunod na henerasyon ay
Hindi na magkukwento ng naratibo ng hirap ng Kanilang mga magulang.

Sa halip, ang ibubunyag ay
Kwento ng pag-asa, pagmamahalan at tulungan.
Ang salaysay kung paano ang nakararaming
Karaniwang pamilyang Pilipino ay nakaalpas
Sa tanikala ng kahirapan.

Hindi lahat ng pangarap ay natutupad.
Ngunit sana, ang mga kataga sa tulang ito ay
Hingahan ng Maykapal –
Upang magkabuhay.

***

Not All
By Clarence M. Batan
English translation of “Hindi Lahat”

Not all Filipino youth that I know
Went to school or are studying.
Not all youth who are studying
Are able to finish their education.
Not all Filipino youth who are
currently working were able to go school;
Not all those who went to school have jobs.
Not all working educated Filipino youth
Are able to practice their professions.
Not all istambay youth that I know
Are lazy and not willing to work.
Not all youth who are looking for work
Are able to find them.
No, not all youth that I know
Like to remain dependent on their parents.
Not all want to see their parents
desperate due to their dependence.

Not all Filipino youth who made wrong decisions
do not want meaningful change in their lives.

Where, when, and how could
These transition crises of
Filipino youth be abated?

It ain’t just through personal dispositions to change.
It ain’t just by the charity
Of parents and family’s welfare.
It ain’t just with community’s care.
It ain’t just through policies and law.
But more salient, is having a
Quality of mind –
Able to process and ponder
The structural defects of these issues –
And that this daybreak of perspective would

Give birth to a new generation of Filipinos
willing to work well with the older generation –
To change the present.
That inequalities in our Philippine society
Though persistent, may be mitigated,
So that the future generation will no more
Tell about the poverty narratives
Of their parents.

Instead, the visions that they would share
Are stories of hope, care and reciprocity.
A narrative where the majority of
Ordinary Filipino families would be freed
From the knuckles of poverty.

Not all social ideals come into being,
But who knows, may be,
the words spoken in this poem
May be touched by a Great Spirit
And breathe life.

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