Thwarted Ambitions
1:44 AM | Author: Conrado Abrugar Macapulay Jr.



Ssshh…listen.

He was there, lurking in the darkest pitch of coagulated blood that supplies the freshest offers of life. His resounding heartbeat signifies his immense propensity towards grasping life like no one did. He surely loves to live.

He was there, stretching those tiny emaciated legs in what his mother felt like a little kick in her stomach. Those infantile legs could perhaps belong to a great athlete someday, someone who could be a source of pride and honor of his country many years hence. But it wouldn’t be long enough when he would be taking his first few steps, and soon he would be playing with other kids in nearby playgrounds, go biking with his brothers and friends, and stroll in famous theme parks.

Soon, he would be hopping in to his country’s unchartered islands and swim in its unexplored depths. He could be a warrior of the wild, penetrating the jungles to take care of the extinct animals. At night, he would be hearing a chorale of crickets while being chased by a throng of fireflies. All things bright and beautiful, so goes the famous children’s poem that he would be whispering as he takes a grasp on the beauty of the world that awaits him.

Most of all, he could use those legs to walk for school and learn all things he needs to survive. He would be having the most of it, while he wanders around the classroom, mingle with his classmates, and be loved by everybody for his innate kindness.

The unborn aspires to be the most useful citizen of his country.

As a boy, he could help his mother clean the backyards and water the plants. He could help his father fix the broken shingles and scrub the cedar sidings. He could pick up those candy wrappers on the streets and throw them in the garbage everytime he sees one. At night, he could read his favorite books and study his lessons.

As he grow up, he could find a good paying job that best suits his interests and skills, so that he could pay his taxes and vote for the rightful public official who will craft laws he would obey without hesitation.

Perhaps he could be that public servant to emulate or a philanthropist who would always reach out to those who are shackled in extreme poverty.

Perhaps he could be a chemical engineer, turning raw materials into useful products, so that he could build an industry and provide jobs for his fellowmen.

Or perhaps he could be a writer.

First, he would be a student journalist, who breathes life into words that cause ripples to stir in the placid lives of his fellow students, crumbling the towers of apathy. Then he progresses into a prolific writer, who would sent those string-puppet tyrants shivering in their toilet thrones everytime his felt-tip pen inscribes truth.

Yes, the unborn was there, yearning for things he wishes might be, brooding for malevolent things he wishes might never be.

Ssshh…listen. He is telling a story.

Often times, the unborn would hear, not only the screeching sounds of his mother’s growling stomach, but also her urgent tones whenever she demands her husband’s meager salary. Although the sounds might only appear to him gibberish, he could fully sense its meaning. He could foretell what will happen next.

And he was right. His mother would muster up all her strength to owe at least a kilo of rice and a can of sardines from nearby stores. He would always hear the ranting of the store owner, who, instead of handling the commodities, would brag about their long list of debts.

Debts, the unborn wondered, would probably be passed on to him the time he was born. Little did he know that aside from those that are already jotted down on his family’s
debt list, he will automatically incur P43,649.57 amount of debt courtesy of his country’s external debts.

Back to their shanty, he would hear the cries of his hungry young siblings.

From somewhere in his subconscious depths, the unborn remembered the word rice. Everybody was talking about it. He would hear it from his siblings’ cravings. He would hear it from a talking machine that describes the long lines of people buying it in cheaper price, since the price of its commercial version escalates with the price of oil. He would hear his neighbors forcing their kids to fall in line and bear the scorching heat of the sun, so that they could purchase more kilos.

Having twelve out-of-school siblings, the unborn thought, his family has an advantage in the situation. Yes, if they got the bucks. However, they don’t have any. And for their altanghap (breakfast, lunch and supper combined), they would be feasting, not on rice, but on crackers – their daily makeshift meal.

Ssshh…listen. He is scared

Often times, he would hear his mother expressing her regrets for another pregnancy, blaming his father for using the same condom that broke in attrition on one of their intercourse. His conception was unplanned, and he is now bearing that obnoxious feeling his mother carries throughout her pregnancy.

His heartbeat grew increasingly fidgety, as he envisions that horrendous scenario of scattered medical tools while a quack doctor pricks his soft baby scalp with large needles, draining all the life in him.

No, he will not die in the hands of an abortionist because before it happened, the lethal brew of myriad of microbes was already consuming his helpless body, an indictment of his mother’s lack of access to health services.

Ssshh…listen. Listen if you have ears. He asks for help.

And if the unborn could only speak…

He would demand for his mother’s reproductive health. His mother is in dire need of prompt treatment and adequate education on safe motherhood, so that he would survive that nine crucial months alive and healthy, a bubbly cuddle in his mother’s arms.

He would demand for the upholding of his mother’s right as a woman who plays a crucial role in the development of every society. It is a fact that when a woman receives better care, education and equal opportunities, her children will grow into better individuals. Eventually, it leads to the enrichment of the society where individuals enjoy greater rights.

He would demand for a good paying job for his father because he knows that they would be forever shackled in extreme poverty if they will only rely on government subsidies, which only serves as an immediate solution to a public enraged of unabated commodity price hike. Such mechanism, which experts called economic populism, is not the very idea of sustainable development that every growing nation sought for.

He would demand his parents of family planning and responsible parenthood, which are very essential in raising a family where every member is ensured of enough resources to prosper and thrive. Family planning, as a right, gives every couple an opportunity to choose the number, timing and spacing of their children. It is an indispensable tool to destroy the bad cycles of poverty and to eliminate all of the misguided policies that promote only natural methods of family planning, which in the long haul might pose serious problems on food security, environmental, social, and political stability.

Finally, he would call for a conviction that will secure a brighter future for every unborn like him, a conviction that will protect their ambitions from the vicious fangs of poverty, so that he could live out all his aspirations in life, fully human, fully alive.
He is calling for a conviction for upholding family planning as a right.

Ssshh…listen. He needs you.■


1st Place, 1st UNFPA World Population Day National Essay Writing Contest, July 10, 2008, Edsa Shangri-La Hotel
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2 comments:

On April 26, 2009 at 7:26 PM , RCYAN said...

Thanks for believing in me. Had I not known that we really exerted effort in order to join the Blas Ople tilt, I would have chosen to not pursue with my entry.

You insisted that I should push through with it. Therefore, I give all the glory and honor to you.

Thanks for believing in me, Mr. Macapulay.

--Raphaelle I.N.J.

 
On August 9, 2010 at 8:55 PM , Rcyan M. said...

Thanks Conrad for always believing in me. I miss you so much.