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[#TatagPinoy] This Basurera Will Now Become a Teacher

Updated: Aug 31, 2022

by Israelbelle Ferolino

While other girls are busy doing their makeup, Aiza Gutierrez is busy picking trash. Wearing her school uniform, she would pick plastic bottles, tin cans, metals, and glass-anything that she could sell at a junk shop. Aiza would gather the trash in a tricycle and pedal her way home, heedless of the afternoon heat and the stench of her baggage.

Her schoolmates would pass by and some would mock her, " Eww, basurera! Ang baho mo."

It was embarrassing but Aiza had to endure it because the meager amount of money she will earn from this trash will be used to buy rice and viand. Better to be embarrassed than to be hungry, right?

Aiza just ignored her schoolmates, she is used to this situation. Even in elementary, she would already accompany her mom whose job is to weigh and buy the recyclable scraps from people. They would roam all over Cebu City, carrying heavy scraps in their bags. The money that her parents earn as a scrap dealer is barely enough to support all 9 of them in the family. That’s why she had to do her fair share of struggle.

Aiza is lost in her thoughts but as she pedaled, she suddenly noticed a police car tailing her. She pedaled some more but it kept following her.

"Did I do something wrong?" She thought to herself. "I am only collecting trash, I did not steal anything."

Aiza stopped her tricycle bike and the police car caught up with her. Sweat dripped from her forehead from nervousness as the policeman rolled his window down.

"Good job, bata!" The policeman said with a thumbs-up gesture.

Aiza sighed from relief, she thought she was in trouble. She smiled awkwardly at the policeman and went on her merry way.

A decade later, as Aiza receives her diploma in Bachelor of Elementary Education, she would remember that scene.

"The policeman was right, even though I had to pick trash to survive, there was nothing to be ashamed of. What I did was a good job."

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