• Jasmine Mendiola

Between P40 and Poverty


My entry’s title was almost Between P40 and 2pm. Mio’s been up since 11am and he offered to do his E-nopi drills. He averages 3 workbooks a day but now he barely finished his first and is dragging on to his second. He fell asleep aimlessly throwing a tantrum that he doesn’t want to go to school “because the leukemia is making me tired”, he said.

I almost gave up and had to revert our long-term plans. Although we’re thriving on P40 pesos until such time that my checks from work clear by Wednesday, I’m still on the look-out for the best source of education for this smarty one. All kids get tired with school but I am very disappointed that he is right now. I think home-schooling isn’t working even if it meant spending more time with him. I don’t think its one task I’m qualified for. And I don’t want to compromise what he can learn. I just finished drafting a letter to the headmaster of Ateneo Grade School begging them to reconsider if Mio can still go through an application process (and then I’ll worry about the cost of sending him there because P40 can’t cut it right?) I said in the letter that if God will it for him to go to Ateneo like pre-cancer plans were, then He will provide too.

Like yesterday at the hospital. We were discharged at 1130 and I had to rush to billing to make sure that the hospital bills don’t add up from when I last checked because I just had enough cash on hand for THAT. I had to pay the rest in coins and ask my partner to pay P3,000 more through her credit card and ask the doctors (Dr. Racho and Dr. Imelda Luna, the new doctor on board for Pediatric Infectuous Diseases) if we can pay them when Mio comes back on Wednesday to start his Maintenance Chemo for their Professional Fees. Thankfully they obliged. Er go, our last 40 pesos.

Today, I already delegated my shoot to a co-stylist since I prepared for “in case Mio’s still confined” Monday. Now I owe her another day’s salary as well as the assistant’s. I’m just lucky that these people I work with are very understanding and they really do help me get the work done. They always tell me I chew more than what I can swallow but I always say that when work opportunities come along, I am in no position to say no as long as its decent and it pays. For now, managing the cash in is a long road but the universe constantly reassures me that God provides JUST ENOUGH of what we need.

I’m so disappointed today because I do realize that I was more patient with Mio when we were in the hospital. Today, although he’s still in pain because of his mouth sore and he complains every time I try to make him gargle and drink his 6-hour dose of Mycostatin, he can talk gibberish and he whines non-stop! I hate it that he used his “I have leukemia” card when it came down to homework. I literally had to throw back the “i’m spending so much time with you already, I didn’t work today” card.

It’s frustrating and depressing when you don’t have money and yet you’re still worrying about things you need to spend on like his treatment on Wednesday, work and his schooling that we have yet to decide on. My partner said he doesn’t have a hand in the decision regarding his school and cited several of our schoolmates who had to deal with diseases when we were starting out our early years in Miriam. So yeah. Mio should be able to survive big school and he shouldn’t have a choice in it. He’ll thank me for it in the future, right?

Manic Monday on the first day of March. 

Then again I should end this entry with a list of things to be grateful for to offset this depressing mood:

1. Mio’s out of of the hospital and his blood count is back to normal;

2. Mio doesn’t have fever anymore;

3. Working Girls the movie is about to wrap up our shooting so I should have more time for him after this;

4. Agua is gearing up for more shooting days for Andi, which means I have a new project to work on;

5. Wedding Expo is this March too so that hopefully means more bridal bookings = more work;

6. Alessa is working on the Mio Fights Cancer Online Store Launch at Muruve on the 17th;

7. Pino Resto Bar is housing the StART With Mio artworks and there are still prints up for grabs;

8. Mom’s 60th is on the 9th and the family has reasons to celebrate something this month;

The list can go on and on. I hope Mio wakes up from his rare afternoon nap in a better mood. Will you still pray for him even when he’s cranky?


Jasmine Mendiola

+63 939 919 7721

©2019 by Jasmine Mendiola