Wednesday, November 18, 2009



Last last time, I was stopped in a ghetto-like community in Manila, and that place somehow shows the life wherein stereotypically depicted in every movie or in a television scene. That place also shows that most people seemed doing what seemed more like of a tradition as some may hath expect-for this community we may think of is simple: of calling them as squatters.

Coming from different provinces in search of work and for a better life, these people tried much in ways in order to make their stay in Manila as good unlike those in the provinces coming from. Just like the family whose roots traced from the sugarlandia (Negros), they seemingly doing anything fine despite the tragedies most of them faced, especially financial problems and even crime due to the community's appearance as suitable for a den of thieves or something for delinquents.

And as I wander every scene in that community in Oroquieta st. in Manila, I even think of meeting young people and due to my attempt, it end up I enjoying chatting with them, and most of them despite their appearances spoke different as I may expect-friendly, nice and helpful, these young people I have met there somehow giving me a good idea wherein I made this kind of writeup; otherwise it could be a series of photos and even a drawing too! Since some, as they look at my drawings wanted me to draw one of them-especially of a girl whose appearance reminds of those girls in their friendster sites, trying to copy chicanas and of female gangsters of some sort; but still they act nicely and thus enjoying company with them despite different genres (since I am a metal lover while they are mostly listening to gangsta rappers).

In that community at least they had a basketball court in order for the youth enjoy playing basketball same as other sports despite being called as "squatters". People in the outside world usually called them generally as "lumpen", others called them as "scum of the earth" or anything that degrade their integrity, but how come you called these people like that while you haven't met one of them or went to their place and see how enjoying? Some seamen and other skilled professionals came from these places wherein the government tried much in evicting then scattering them away; only to end up returning to the same place and live together again. Well... that is a ghetto-and ghetto people are usually close to each other!

People like I went to that kind of community not just to serve, but of course to learn regarding life in general. And being a man whose background came from upper class roots show how these people, despite poverty and difficulty around Manila chose to stay and despite trying to be evicted preferred to stay together; since these people are indeed people, of choosing that area which is near to school, to church, to work, to hospital and other sorts, why not accept them as part of the community and help in their plight?


And just like the Black Panthers who organize black "ghettos" years ago in America, these places we called as squatters are in need to be given focus and improvement as part of the greater community, and not all "gangsters" living in that area, same as in other areas, are not those of mere "gangsters" but of course as law abiding citizens that due to vices having their cause lost, and needs to be recovered. The Crips and Bloods somehow shared some ideas despite having a battle with each other, and Crips or rather say in its real meaning "Community Revolution In Progress" tried much to uplift the black ghetto community simply by reviving community policing just like those of the Black Panthers, same as the idea wherein change in a community is needed not just for the black minority but of course the white, the Asian and of the native; so why not here in the Philippines through the simple task of "going to the people?" Somehow the progressive block and progressive-leaning individuals like I joined with them in improving lives and bringing closer to each other-even they move to another place and building another one-that may consider permanent to stay.

Well, as what Mao said "The masses are the creators of history," and these masses also includes the urban poor who live in these places-who are mistaken generally for a lumpen but difficult to distinguish who are lumpen ad who are not; but still-they created history also out of their skilled hands.