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They are looking for anything they might be able to recycle to sell and make a few centavos or pesos. They may be street children (no parents or runaways) or their parents may even send them out everyday to bring something home.
In most cases their home is a squatters shack on government owned land or even a cardboard box on the sidewalk.
The abject poverty of the Philippines can be heartbreaking if you are sensitive.
Street families or just squatter families is my opinion on how to describe these children, they all appeared to be associated with mothers and fathers. I see very few children without parents.
The family is strong here in the Philippines, both a great thing and a horrible thing, the majority of girls in the area selling their bodies want money so they can send back to their families. I blame the family and the church for most of the prostitution in the Philippines. Social pressure is tremendous to earn money in any way possible.
There is about 10 times the street children in Manila than any of the 16 Africa countries I have visited. The whole world migrates to large cities to live a horrible lifestyles, I think the desire for excitement of the city is an addiction.
In the USA, people will spend 70-90 percent of their money to pay rent, just so they can live in New York City.
These people always appear happy, hard for me to feel sad, I value happiness more than money.
Breaks my heart to think people really live this way. I am positive some people would say it is good to grow up with what is called street smarts that it will make these kids strong. BUT my heart longs for children to be children in all ways and to enjoy the sunshine, trees, birds and all the gifts of life we have that has been bestowed on us. I think of my kids playing in a tree house they made, enjoying a game of ball, reading, catching turtles and having a good time on a picnic with a peanut butter sandwich with their dad and mom pushing them on a swing and catching them at the bottom of a slide. This is what a child needs to do to learn how to love and be loved, not these these really sad circumstances.
My wife and I had just seen the film No Counrty for Old Men in the US when we visited Cebu City Philippines.Watching the street children go about their daily routine of scavenging, selling water or trinkets, or begging I said to her,The Philippines is no country for young children.
She got my meaning immediately.