The Real Definition Of Patay Gutom


The first time I’ve heard of that word was when I was 14. I asked my Mom what it meant and she said that Patay Gutom are those people who are deprived of one thing… FOOD! As I grew older, I became fully aware of why these people exist.
It is not because of lack of food & resources, nor our lack of government support but because it all boils down to one thing…. their CHOICE! The absurdly wrong choice!

Patay (Dead) and Gutom (Hunger) is not an admirable word to hear. Our country is not starving like some troubled countries in Africa. After all, The Philippines is an agricultural country with a land area of 30 million hectares (47% of which is for agricultural purposes).
We are abundant with main agricultural crops such as rice, corn, coconut, sugarcane, bananas, pineapple, coffee, mangoes, tobacco, and cacao (special mention to chocolate lovers out there).

So why do people still get hungry? Like I said, it’s their choice. Choice of leaving from their world of abundance. Those who are living with hunger in the streets of big cities like Manila & Cebu are not really from that place. They came from their province hoping for a better life.
Little did they know that they were doing fine in the province that they are staying in. A little work here, some selling there, a little planting here, and some patience there would provide them and their families not only the basic needs like shelter and food but to what the city dwellers deeply crave… a PEACE OF MIND!
Living a “Buhay Probinisiya” is a dream for most urban people.

It’s not that I’m discouraging people not to live and work in big cities. As long as they earn a good living, then by all means proceed. But if they can’t, they should go back to their province and do something on their land.
They can be better off planting bananas, then processed it as banana chips, and selling them than those people who are working in the office of Makati.
In the province, they can be business owners. It only takes 1-2 years for them to do it and a lifetime for the middle-income workers in the city.

I don’t want to share and expose this, but for the sake of this topic, I might as well tell it that whenever I have money to spare, I buy a bucket of Jollibee’s Chickenjoy or a box of Dunkin Donuts.
Then I look for a random PG (Patay Gutom) and give the food to them. I also make sure that the recipient is not part of an organized syndicate of some sort.
I rather give them food than money so I know that it will nourish their stomach and not their bad vices. Whenever I’m with them, I reach out and try to convince them to go back to their province. Most of them have idle lands (surprisingly) and all that they need is a little bit of education and they will be much better off than you and me.

Roughly 10 million Filipino families rate themselves poor. They may be Poor in Manila but Prosperous in their Province. If only 1/2 of that number goes back and convert themselves into farmers and entrepreneurs, our country’s economy will be in a better position.
The problem with the Philippines is we are so fixated in Manila when there are so many rich lands in other areas in Luzon, Visayas, and especially in Mindanao.
Why are we so zeroed in on city living when a forgotten division like Agriculture is up to 4 times more effective than other sectors in reducing poverty.

I love my country so much! And as much as possible I want to help the Patay Gutom. But I can not do it alone. Those Chickenjoys and Donuts would not even make a dent. I need your help (about 14 million of you).
Like me, you are also a Filipino. Let’s help our countrymen. Our government can only do so much. If we do this. Not only we will improve our economy but also lessen our crime rate.

We won’t be also needing a lot of Overseas Foreign Workers being separated from their families if there will be opportunities in their provinces. There are so much do to do in our land. We are just not looking hard enough.

Skills are what we need. And lots of good education. If our country gets that… we will see less hunger and starvation in the city.
Let’s convert the Patay Gutom to “Goodbye Gutom”. Food is a basic necessity of life. It is everybody’s rights as human beings.
Let’s nourish our country….. If we give, the more that we will receive.

Written on August 24, 2018