Most of my blog posts on my webpage are very romantic. This one is not. It is about social inequality and poverty. Traveling can give you a lot. But if you go to nice and expensive places, it can make you feel empty. There are plenty of things you could do, but you can not afford them. With visiting the places that are not nice and away from all tourism you start to appreciate more what you have.

We all like to complain:

A WiFi is not fast enough. I have “nothing” to wear.

I am running out of space on my iPhone!

All the free parking places are full!

Manila is a great city. Part of it is very modern with high skyscrapers and shiny shopping malls and the other part is poor and mostly overcrowded. The official statistics show that Manilla has 20 million people; most of them are not living in modern skyscrapers though. My curiosity made me explore what most of tourists don’t.

Date of travel: November 2016

Location: Manila, Philippines

Key words: slums, Manila life, smokey mountain

I took courage and went to the Smokey Mountain, one of the poorest slums. This experience affected me a lot and changed my view of this world. I tried to capture the moments and daily life.

Smokey Mountain is a settlement on the dumpsite.

People are living there and earning their money by picking up the garbage. They collect any recyclable stuff like plastic or iron and earn a bit more than 1 $ a day. It is just enough to afford money to survive until tomorrow. They are caught in the circle they cannot afford to escape. Guess what? You can see more smiles on the faces than in Western world and they never complain that they have to carry too many shopping bags.

When you complain next time remember this little guy showing you middle fingers. Probably he will never be able to finish primary school since his parents won’t able to afford it. He will be lucky the lucky one only if he will be able to escape this circle of garage life.