Walang hirap walang ligaya

Translation: No pain no game


My informant says this was something her mom would often say to her while growing up. Due to a lack of affluence while growing up, her mom had to make a living in the city working several jobs while caring for six children. Her mom’s and dad’s family was also not very rich, so they had to toil in order to get to where they were in the world. This was a similar experience for my informant and her brothers, who had to balance both school and work in order to encounter success after graduation. Eventually, most of them were able to move to America and make a living there, which shows how hard work can pay off at the end of the day.

I believe the proverb has an important place in this family, as it recalls the youth of my informant and also reflects the past which the family had to overcome in order to reach success in America.  It also comments on the belief of the American Dream, and how social mobility can positively benefit people through hard work.