Yesterday (our first full day) was a day off for us. The girls went out to the spa and I did my rounds with family and old collegues.
Most of my family is in Canada (and the US), but I still have some here. Many of them work as street vendors in Quiapo (if you’ve been around the Raon overpass, you’ve been around them: they’re the ones selling newspapers, smokes, cds/dvds/vcds, electronic odds and ends, etc.)
They were telling me that if only I had been there a day earlier I could have gotten some crazy photos. Apparently this lady and young child were walking around when she suddenly stopped, lifted her skirt, and squatted in the middle of the road. They though she was going to pee, instead she gave birth.
ha! That’s Manila for ya!
I also went up to visit the Children’s Rehabilitation Center who I worked with in 07/08 (where I was greeted with a friendly “hoy alex, ang puti mo, at tumaba ka yata”). The CRC work with child victims of military violence. [I have a photo essay posted on my site: CLICK HERE] They’re still doing their good work, still struggling for funds. They’re off to the province next week to check up on the kids in an area recently attacked by the military and invited me to go with, I wish I could, but Kilusan is my priority this time around. I’ll be back soon though and I definately want to get involved with them again. If you are interested in learning more, and if you are interested in helping with fundraising get in touch!
It was a good simple day. And I’m always happy to be back. This particular trip is a unique one for me. First I’m travelling with people (usually I come alone), and I’m also here on an art mission and hanging with a different class of Filipino (economically and in terms of social status). As a kid used to living a simple life in the Phils, this will be a glimpse at a different world…