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Kreole

A Deeply Emotional Experience

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rainymike

Some nuclear families are in a mess in this country for many reasons. The extended family has not always been able to pick up the slack. And of course, the children are the sad victims. My partner was such a single mom with kids in dire straits - abandoned by their dad. The immediate extended family usually looked at the kids as a way to get money off the wealthy foreigner and exploited the kids in very terrible ways. 

 

The story is very true for the poor. But it's also true for many middle class families that have broken down for any number of reasons. We keep our social circle tight and sometimes help our friends. Most never ask for any help. But it is a common story far too often. I don't see these women as dead weight or scammers or persistent borrowers. Just women struggling on their own to support their families under very difficult circumstances. 

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shadow

Kudos! Life can be very cruel here, especially if you are poor.

 

There is this girl. I have known her about 3 years, she works at a local native resto I frequent. She is a very happy, smiling, petite, girl, she reminds me of the girl I married all those years ago. Her husband works as maintenance in a local hotel. Both are hardworking good people struggling to make ends meet. I don't know what he makes, I would guess around P300 per day, she makes P180. She spends P60 getting back and forth to work as they live about 50 km south. He works days, she works nights. Other than a short absence when she had her first (and only) baby a year ago, she works 7 days a week, 10 hours per day. I don't think she has ever missed a day of work.

 

Two weeks ago Monday she was absent, I was surprised but kind of happy as I had told her she needed to take some time off, everyone needs a day off once in a while. When she was absent again on Tuesday I asked the manager, she told me the baby was in the provincial hospital with a high fever. I was not really concerned yet, but the provincial hospital here is not even a fitting place to die.

 

Wednesday she was back to work. They moved the baby to an even worse hospital (Siaton) so that the family could help with the baby and the two of them could go back to work. Long story short, the baby is not doing well, after two weeks in the hospital has pneumonia, and is not responding to treatment. I am fearful the baby is not receiving adequate care, and will likely not make it. You would never know it if you saw her, even though her baby is fighting for his life, she is her normal smiling self, trying her best to make customers happy. The meds alone are exceeding what the two of them are making per day, yet they trudge on. She gets to eat at the resto, one meal per shift, but she worries about her husband, because he is sacrificing his lunch money for the baby's meds.

 

I want nothing more than to help them, and have given tidbits to her, even sacrificing my own beer money to give to her. But we don't have it to give right now either, times are tough for us right now too. If anyone is deserving of a break it is these two, but I am unable to help them, as much as I would like to do so.

 

Not a unique story, pretty common here. Being poor really sucks.

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Benny Z

in the Philippines life is very very cheap. Appear at a hospital with no money and they will let a child,adult or anyone, just die on the steps of the hospital. For that very reason I find the country despicable.

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Bill H

I want nothing more than to help them, and have given tidbits to her, even sacrificing my own beer money to give to her. But we don't have it to give right now either, times are tough for us right now too. If anyone is deserving of a break it is these two, but I am unable to help them, as much as I would like to do so.

[/quote']

 

How do you spell the LINC Sick Children's Fund?

 

Seriously, isn't this why we have it?

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rainymike

 

 

I want nothing more than to help them, and have given tidbits to her, even sacrificing my own beer money to give to her. But we don't have it to give right now either, times are tough for us right now too. If anyone is deserving of a break it is these two, but I am unable to help them, as much as I would like to do so.

 

I think this is something that anyone living in the Philippines must deal with at one time or another. The reality probably is that we all have limits. The government sets limits. The Church sets limits. Charities set limits. It's probably good enough to do what we can, when we can. And it's probably not productive to burden yourself with tons of guilt because you couldn't do enough. Enough is all a bit relative anyway. Bill Gates can drop a million bucks without blinking. For some expats dropping a thousand pesos may be a dangerous cut into their budgets. So who is the most humane?

 

I personally like to keep charity at home ... close to my family and our circle of friends. That's where I feel I get the most out of giving. I don't beat myself up if I can't solve every problem, nor do I put my family at risk by trying to solve every problem either. And it's not about giving money entirely anyway. Sometimes giving time, attention, help, and emotional support is really what's needed.

 

This time of the year we often get into endless debates about helping street kids, trying to determine what is the most humane thing to do. And we often try to pigeon hole other expats into where we have drawn the lines for ourselves. In the end, I find it's a useless exercise in guilt. We do what we can, when we can within our limitations and abilities. That's probably good enough for you and your maker. It's not a frigging contest after all.

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Kreole

 

 

Appear at a hospital with no money and they will let a child,adult or anyone, just die on the steps of the hospital.

 

Are the hospitals really allowed to reject a poor patient, especially one in need of emergency care?  Is this actually a common practice?  Or, is it against the law, but still persists?

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shadow

Are the hospitals really allowed to reject a poor patient, especially one in need of emergency care?  Is this actually a common practice?  Or, is it against the law, but still persists?

Whether or not it is legal/moral does not concern them, what concerns them is that the bill would be paid.

 

At a private hospital here this would be a big issue. The cost of healthcare in the US is astronomical and unaffordable to most, due in part from those who can not pay, and that legally they must treat them anyway. The loss gets passed on to everyone else. Imagine the losses a private hospital would incur here if they let everyone in, most being unable to pay...

 

Yes, you can die on the steps, or in the hallway, or scratching at the emergency room window. My MIL died in the hallway of the provincial hospital here (Before I was in the picture), the hallway being shared by 300 other patients at the time. She drowned in her own phlegm, because nobody informed my wife to be that she should roll her on her side so she could breathe. The best doctor I know in Dumaguete is a veterinarian. At least he knows how to look things up on the internet!

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