Explosions shook my little hometown while war tanks thundered around as I ran across the street towards the concrete fence of our rich neighbor. I was following my mother and my siblings to where we would huddle for safety while the military attacked the lairs of the rebels in the adjacent town. With one sudden explosion I lost my grip to the kettle I was holding. As I ran after the kettle that was rolling to the roadside canal, the big chunk of hard rice was thrown aside. I picked up our precious staple food, and as I turned to go I glanced up at my father squatting on top of our nipa roof, carrying two big twigs, one in each hand, ever watchful in case a burning debris might drop any time and burn our wooden house. My father was looking at me, and I saw tears falling down his eyes! I was eleven, and at that instant, I wished I were ten years older! I knew then I will take command of my life and lead my beloved family to a better world.
My people’s taxes sent me to school, and I made sure my siblings would follow my footsteps. That is, pursue higher education through scholarship grants, since education was something my parents could ill-afford. We were trapped in a civil war and poverty, and I was convinced it was our only way out … and up.
I struggled my way into the greener pastures and joined the corporate world early in my career. And although I was actively participating in the early movements on gender sensitivity and women empowerment, I could not quite see the significance, because my old hometown managed to keep pace with the times.
Not until this past decade when my career path led me to the peace process in my own homeland was I able to confront the past I was running away from. One day I found myself from one evacuation center to another. As I confront hunger, homelessness, helplessness and powerlessness in the faces of the wives, mothers, sisters and children of combatants, I felt a sense of responsibility to care and to share.
I have survived in good shape, but how about the rest? How many millions of little girls have lived and are reliving my miserable past everyday to this day – in some troubled parts of this world? Somehow I know I can speak and they will listen. They can speak and I will listen. And in one great voice I’m sure we will echo each other’s heartbeat.
One instant I opened a mail that led me to Pulseworld. It would seem that my journey to Pulsewire was an accident, but deep in my heart I know destiny led me here! I am meant to be here ... a speck of salt and a drop of water in the great ocean of womanhood. I am a woman growing into my bigger self.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision.