posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 11:12 PM
So there i am sitting in the relative comfort of a Toyota pick up truck, windows down peering out from a side curtain so as not to draw attention to
my foreign eyes,As the driver navigates his way through the organised chaos that is Manila.So much to look at, so much despair and hope visible
through a haze of diesel fumes that spew out from forty year old jeepneys and blue smoke from overloaded motorcycles with whole families and the
bedroom cupboard hanging off the back all fighting for position on a three lane road that is now six.
We grind to a halt as the traffic overwhelms the available space and i see on the corner amidst the junk shop's ,auto repair and dog and cat bite
clinic, a man possibly mid thirties lying on a trolley made of scrap timber,cardboard, shopping cart wheels and a blanket of plastic from an election
candidate's promo sign.Lying next to this man is a small baby,naked and about six months old with its head resting on his leg looking around
,learning the survival skills needed when he learns to walk.The scene disappears as a bus pulls up belching black smoke over this family and as the
traffic starts to crawl forward another sad tale comes to close ,but this picture stays with me as we make our way passed more scenes of
I can only imagine what led to the mans grim situation,did his wife die at childbirth and now he has another mouth to feed when he cant even eat
himself? Is the mother of the baby walking the street looking for a shiny Peso in the gutter?Did he find the baby abandoned in an alleyway and kept
him for company or out of compassion? Did he have a future and wife but threw it all away on cheap liquor and gambling ?Did the mother find a wealthy
old westerner who promised her a life in a far away country?So many questions that have no answers.It's all speculation on my behalf for i only knew
them for a minute.
What choices does this man have now?He cannot find work with a young baby relying on him all day and night,How can he get money to buy some powered
milk and a bottle ?There is no government handout or benefits ,its the law of the jungle and only the strong survive.
It's easy for me to write about them on my shiny new laptop, the price of which would pay for a new beginning ,a roof and walls ,food for a year, but
the opportunity to help was gone as quick as it came and just thinking how to help was to long as the scene faded into another.So i will return to my
country with fresh water and open spaces where my children can run and play in the clean air and file this memory in the corner of my mind,maybe let
it out now and then to remind myself to appreciate what i have.