Document Type

Undergraduate Student Scholarship

Publication Date



George Faithful, PhD

Course Number

Hono 3190

Course Name

Honors World Religions


“Never waste your food,” my parents recited again at the dinner table. They continued, “If we had this much food growing up in the Philippines, we’d be so blessed. Please don’t take it for granted.” Throughout my childhood, nearly every family meal consisted of this conversation. My parents seized every opportunity to remind me of their early impoverished life in the Philippines. Their stories increasingly strengthened my gratitude for the life my brother and I were born into. Having back aches from stiff bamboo beds, depending on conveniently-priced junk food as nutrition, and rationing small portions among large families—these circumstances generated the everyday reality for my parents growing up in the province of Ilocos Sur. Still, the most difficult part for me is openly accepting that this reality isn’t only their past, but it is many people’s present.