The Streets of Manila

Essay by ladychris17 December 2007

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I was told that the streets of Manila represent dreams, ambitions, and success. A lot of people from different corners of the country come to the city with the hope that they will find success and live their dreams to life. I peek through the window of my house, and I see what they get instead. Just about every corner, there lies a beggar asking desperately for money, and whenever I go out and walk a little further, I see people, mostly women who walk naked, driven into madness by the bitterness of poverty. There are also children sniffing rugby as you walk by the streets, and at nightfall, there are the homeless who sleep in the “banketa” which is used to describe places near the marketplace where beggars usually beg for food, although the word literally translates to ‘bench’ and is derived from the spanish word ‘bancheta’. I guess that’s because the impoverished people usually sleep on benches that they may see since it’s slightly better than the ground, or the street itself.

My family and I eat 2 times a day, and fortunately, we always have rice. Usually, we eat salt with rice, but whenever my inay gets lucky and sells more than usual, we eat rice with “bagoong”. I, and my siblings are usually happier whenever it’s warm and sunny than on rainy days, it makes work for inay easier and the buko juice that she sells is more in demand during humid days, meaning, more food for us. She promised to cook some chicken for Christmas if ever she sells well. We only taste chicken once every two years and to us, it tastes like heaven. Given our situation, I consider myself lucky as compared to the penniless orphans who go by the streets walking without...