Whenever we hear that there will be transport strike, we always frown and get frustrated because it means that whatever plans you have for the day, you will need to adjust the time or worst cancel because we don’t want to go into the hassle of being stranded in the middle of the road because there’s nothing to ride.

But Hya Bendaña, an Ateneo student and a daughter of jeepney driver, took the time to tell the other side of a transport strike story, a story that’s more often than not is disregarded by mainstream media.

She wrote in vernacular;

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

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

This is about BEING in SOLIDARITY to 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.

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.

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 sa tatay 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.

It always easy to blame others whenever you’re inconvenienced but if a person is sacrificing a day’s worth of income just to send a message and be heard, we just need to be more understanding and supportive.

As of this posting, Ms. Bendaña post have been shared for more than 9k times, more than 100 commenters and got 26k reactions.

Source: Candymag
Image by Jeff Jacinto