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Iridescence

“May rainbow din po ba sa heaven?”

I woke up with a terrible headache, having barely slept that night. It had rained hard all night and dark clouds loomed the horizon that Saturday morning, dispelling all my excitement. The day hasn’t even started, but I felt it was going to be bleak. At 6 am, I groggily set out for my early morning class excursion.

I stood beside a puddle of rain water at the side of the road. I looked down at my muddy red sneakers and noticed the rainbow-like effect created from the thin film of oil on the puddle, which probably leaked from the trucks that came and went through that narrow road leading to the dump site at Pier 18. I dipped the tip of my shoes in the puddle and watched the ripple spread, my mind dreaming of hot chocolate and pancakes.

“May rainbow din po ba sa heaven?” Her tiny voice jolted me from my daydream. I lifted my gaze upward and saw her looking at the iridescent oil slick. She wore a shabby shirt and shorts, a frail body underneath. Her slippers needed replacement, her feet were covered with mud and dirt. Her eyes were wide with amazement at the rainbow. She looked at me with tired, sad eyes and smiled. I smiled back and nodded my answer. Then, she ran off before I even got a chance to ask her name.

On our way back to the university, I thought of that little girl again. Her sad smile haunted me. Young as she was, I felt that she was already exhausted and tired of life. I prayed that she would find hope in that seemingly hopeless place, even in simple things such as that rainbow in the puddle.

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The vicious cycle of poverty traps many poor families and pulls them deeper and deeper into a world of helplessness. If people in dire conditions lose all hope that they may one day be able to break out of poverty, the next generations are the ones who will truly suffer. Seeds of hope, such as what rainbows after a rain create, can be seeds of dreams and seeds of a better life. Let’s all try to plant seeds of hope and dreams. Let’s not get tired to do so, even when we feel nothing is getting better. Let’s not forget to hope and hopefully, one day, our world will truly be filled with joy and life.

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