One bright Saturday in October, hubby and I travelled early to Manila and then to Divisoria.  We promised to do our Christmas shopping early, a change to our ways.  We hopped on a bus to Taft to get on an FX to Divisoria.  While waiting for the FX, we noticed a commotion about 15 meters away from where we stood.  A woman was shouting and crying…wailing in fact is the best word.  A man was quietly determined to pull a kariton or a wooden cart, while several men in matching t-shirts tried to confiscate it from him.  As they were getting near us, I could by then understand what the lady was wailing “Wag po Kuya, maawa naman kayo!”.  The lady was clutching a puppy to her heart, while the mother dog jumped on top of the kariton, barked at the men who were trying to take away their home in an attempt to protect her master’s property.  The man of the kariton was trying to pull but was failing miserably; he was so composed, so controlled.  I bet he was angry as hell.  The lady was loosing it, cursing and pleading in one breath. 


I soon realized that the kariton is their home.  Their only worldly possession for that matter.  They were an odd couple actually, the woman didn’t have teeth, looked haggard and tired. The man was muscular, looked younger and strong.  They were said to be garbage scavengers, taking whatever is in the garbage that can be sold. 


The men in matching t-shirts were Pasay City employees.  Told to free the streets of people who don’t belong to the streets.  I can see that they really take their job seriously.  And I agree that the streets should be free of people living on it.  But I totally disagree with the way it was done. 


Heart-wrenching.  That’s all I can of the situation.  It was hard to see, hard to believe that people can do such things to fellow humans.  I couldn’t shake off the feeling of helplessness, of hopelessness.  That certainly was a big emotional moment for everyone standing by.  All I could do as we finally grabbed our ride was say a silent prayer for the couple and their dogs.


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