First of all, I want to make it clear that this article that I’m writing is going to be a little strange to the American crowd. I am from the Philippines and I’m going to describe the best way I can how a typical impoverished student from a province would attend college and the ‘gadgets’ he brings to school to fortify his learning. Yes, Filipinos have somehow adapted to the ‘Internet Age’, learning has become wireless and hi-tech without leaving the comforts of one’s home. But the lone facet does not speak for the majority who still lives in the outskirts of remote provinces.
You see, the Philippines is comprised of 7,107 islands; during high tide and low tide, this number fluctuates. People live in hill sides and mountain tops; with roads too narrow and rocky for vehicles to utilize, too far-flung for a DSL or even a TV network to reach and too distant for education too be upheld. Filipino students from well to do family are sent to study in prominent cities and are housed in dormitories just like the norm; but for the poor students in the provinces, to live in a dormitory will be like living in a mansion because for them, education is not a right but a privilege. They live to work in their farms or scour the seas to make a living; pursuing education to them can oftentimes be viewed as an endeavor, or a farce.
Here are the essential ‘gadgets’ that a student from the province can live without in going to school, putting fun to them is all up to his personal outlook:
Bolo Knife – this is not brought to wreak havoc and violence but a tool to use in clearing the path in thickets should a student need to change course to make a shortcut on his way to school. This could also be of help just in case wild animals and snakes come his way.
Cloth or Handkerchief – this is important in wiping sweat off his face or cover his head from the blistering heat of the sun so he’d still look fresh after 5 kilometers of walking.
Slippers – these are not your typical Havaianas slippers that you ignore just because they don’t look trendy. For him, this might be a worn-out pair he got as a gift for his birthday a year ago or could be anything made for such purpose just so his feet will be protected from his dusty and pebbly trudge to a college.
Banana Leaf – when the going gets tougher during rainy season, this could come in handy from keeping you soaking wet; and the good thing is, you don’t need to find it! It’s so abundant in tropical places, it finds you! And when the sun is up, presto, he has for himself an alternative to wrap his break-time snack. Eat your heart out Reynolds Wrap!
Wooden Stick – this is an essential balance support in walking through terrains and jagged pathways. And if the student has got books and other school supplies to carry, he can use gadget No.2 to wrap/stack them and mount it on stick for ease of carry and thereby making his own improvised bag.
Bamboo Container – After a long journey from home to school, one could really use a drink for refreshment. This container that he brings can carry water or even his energy drink to perk up the student’s mind for a long school day ahead.