Last Monday, Aly and I rushed to CCP after class to get tickets for this year’s Cinemalaya. We randomly chose films whose time slot fit with our schedule and where student discounts are allowed. Apparently, one out of the three tickets we got was for a screening of two documentaries.
Wednesday came and we watched the two documentaries, Dungkoy and Ulilang Lubos. Dungkoy tells a story of a 9-year old, parentless boy who lives with his grandmother who suffered a stroke and can now barely move or talk. Dunkgoy and Lola Nonita were relocated from Pasig because their area was flooded for two months because of the super typhoon Ondoy two years ago. When they were relocated in Laguna, her mother left him and his lola with only 50 pesos in his pocket. His mother told him that she will be back at the end of the week. Until weeks, became months, and months became years. Lola Nonita is now Dungkoy’s sole responsibility, he feeds her, bathes her, removes her lice, and even cleans her excrements. Lola Nonita can barely sit herself up, so there was a time where Dungkoy came home to excrements on their mattress. They survive through their neighbours who give them food, and through feeding programs in their province.
Ulilang Lubos tells the story of four siblings who were fathered by different men and whose mother abandoned them in an apartment, left to live by themselves. The only time their mother went back to their place was to give birth to their fourth sibling. I still am appalled of how certain people get to sleep soundly at night. These children earn money buy asking every house they pass by for plastic bottles or tin cans, which they sell to a junk shop. A day’s earnings can range from 20-50 pesos, which would not suffice for feeding four mouths three meals. Some people freely give them food, some give them chores to do like sweeping the floor before they give them food and sometimes money. The food that they eat lack nutrition – they eat so much rice with only chicharon and gravy as their viand. There are even times where they don’t get to eat at all. The line that struck me the most was:
8-year old: Ate, gutom ako.
10-year old: Tiisin mo na lang.
These two documentaries, incited my anger towards these irresponsible parents. Children should go to school and learn; go to the playground and have fun; have a place they call home that’s as warm as hearth. Instead these children are stripped off of these rights, and are left to fend for themselves. These documentaries made me realize what I have been taking for granted my whole life. I never knew that a lunch for me is a luxury to others.