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Daughter of Jeepney Driver Studying in ADMU Shares Transport Strike Story

"Nakakalungkot. Ang sakit sa puso."
IMAGE pixabay.com

Most students (if not all) rejoice at the news of a transport strike because it means that classes will be suspended, and in effect, exams will be postponed and deadlines will be extended.

But like all stories, there are two sides to it. And we thank Hya Bendana, a student of Ateneo de Manila University and a daughter of a jeepney driver, for enlightening us and making us realize that there's so much more to these transport strikes than class suspensions or the hassle of being stuck in traffic or having nothing to ride. 

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Umiiyak ako ngayon sa sobrang disappointment on how my school reacts to tomorrow's transportation strike. Ang sakit.

Hindi lang 'to simply about [class] suspension o kung paano makakarating ang mga mag-aaral sa Ateneo de Manila.

This is about BEING in SOLIDARITY [with] those who are willing to sacrifice one day of their earnings to make a statement, para mapakinggan, kasi lagi nalang silang isinasantabi.

Ako po si Hya Bendana, working student nung high school sa Ateneo de Naga at ngayo'y nag-aaral sa Ateneo de Manila bilang full scholar. Jeepney driver po ang tatay ko at siya ang PINAKAMASIPAG na taong kilala ko.

Alam niyo ba, para may ipadala siya saming allowance sa probinsya starting when I was 1st year high school, he gave up the small apartment he was renting for 1500 pesos and slept in the jeepney? Nandun siya, nilalamok, nilalamig. Pwede maholdap anytime. At gabi-gabi akong nag-aalala at nagdadasal na sana, sa gabing yun, ligtas ulit ang tatay ko.

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Araw-araw, 3 am siya nagsisimula bumiyahe at gagarahe ng 12 midnight. TATLONG oras na tulog para sa MAGHAPO'T MAGDAMAG NA PAMAMASADA SA KALSADA.

When it's finally time for him to rest, he doesn't sleep with comfortable cushions. He sleeps on the jeepney floor. Oo, yung tinatapakan natin, dun siya natutulog. Nakabanig, o kaya naman duyan. My dad is a very big man. He usually has backaches dahil sa sitwasyon niya. Pero kinabukasan, papasada ulit siya. Maghahanap ng mga pasahero so he can send money to his family in the province.

Minsan tinatawagan niya ako asking if I have eaten."Opo, nakakain na ako. Ikaw Dada?" And he says bbayahe muna siya for another round bago siya kumain kahit 3 pm na nun at hindi pa siya nag-aalmusal. Malalaman ko nalang, sasakit na naman ang ulo ng tatay ko dahil nalipasan na naman ng gutom. Minsan nga, hindi na siya kumakain eh. The money he'll spend to buy food, ipapadala niya na lang sa amin para may makain kami.

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Ganyan po kasipag ang tatay ko. Wala siyang sakripisyong hindi gagawin para sa pamilya niya. At maraming Renato Bendana bukas na magststrike upang MAPAKINGGAN ang kanilang hinaing. MINSAN lang, minsan lang sila magsalita. Makinig naman tayo. Makiisa naman tayo. Kahit isang araw lang.

Nakakalungkot. Ang sakit sa puso. Sa totoo lang, nahihiya ako satatay ko dahil suspension at traffic lang ang turing natin sa pinaglalaban nila.

Schoolmates, Ateneo de Manila, everyone, hindi lang po ito tungkol sa suspension o traffic. This is about being in solidarity with those who have the courage to speak for themselves.

Do you have your own story to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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Mara Agner
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