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 like to complain:
WiFi is not fast enough.
I have “nothing” to wear.I have too many shopping bags to carry.
I am running out of space of my iPhone!
All free parking places are full!
Manila is a cool city. Part of it is very modern with skyscrapers, part of it is only overcrowded with the population. By some statistic, the population of Manila is 20 million people. And most of them are not living in modern skyscrapers but in very bad housing. For a lot of tourists, Manila is the place they never step in. For me wandering on this streets was something amazing. After some time I took a courage and went to the Smokey Mountain – one of the poorest slums.
Smokey Mountain is the settlement on the landfill, where people create their houses from the garbage and earn their money by selecting garbages. Daily profit of the people living there is around 1 $ per day. It is just enough to afford money for food so they can survive until tomorrow. And tomorrow? Tomorrow they will select the garbage to earn enough money to survive day after tomorrow. So they will be able to select the garbage day after. Caught forever in the circle they cannot escape with anything but death. 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.
Date of travel: November 2016
Location: Manila, Philippines
Key words: Slums,
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.