This trouble is probably throughout the Philippines. I’d be surprised if is not widespread. Of course the first troubling thing is that they are on the streets. They are just children. Problem is they are often very irritating. I had a self-made rule for years. Don’t give near the place that you live and certainly don’t give to those people that go begging at my front door. It is hard though, to see them one the streets and I know they really are living on the streets because I see them sleeping on the street. I see it almost every night. Also, the trouble certainly does not end with the kids. The adults get in on the action as well.
Sometimes trying to get a taxi in Cebu City is a dreaded thing to do. At other times, the nearly pull you into their taxies because they are having such a hard time getting a fare. Rarely is there middle ground. Once you are in them, sometimes there are taxi driver games to play if they think you are new. Even though I am not new, if I take my camera they are more likely to take the “scenic route.”
I am becoming increasingly aware of a different type of human trafficking in the Philippines. Perhaps what I’m going to discuss doesn’t fall under human trafficking but maybe it should. I’m doubt it is exclusive to the Philippines but this is where I’m at so this is where I see it. I feel like the term human trafficking is being overused. Any time money changes hand in adult related activities it seems like someone wants to sensationalize that and call it human trafficking. Human trafficking has nothing to do with transporting humans in most cases. It is our modern word for slavery. Slavery is where one person has no choice, they are owned. Recently I have noted several times with poorer but working Filipinas are being treated like slaves. Well, at least in my mind. It appears to be human trafficking of Filipinos by Filipino’s. My guess is that Filipinos know more about this than I do, I hope you’ll speak up about it in the comments.
I have heard horror stories where Filipinas worked as domestic servants in the homes of other Filipinos. They are often locked in, subject to beatings, very low and sometimes no pay as the employer falls behind in their wages. Now I have met people that this is happening too. This may not run afoul of the human tracking laws. The reason is that they were written for sexual situations. Sometimes men that hire maids try to get more than their houses cleaned and that would be different. Maybe the laws should be changed to specifically include these kind of abuses. In my mind, it is just as morally wrong as human trafficking that involve adult activities.
Even when life gets a little bit hard, I love living in the Philippines. Really, it’s been a little difficult lately but when people say I should go home, my answer is always the same, “I am home”. No matter how hard things get, they are better for me here. I could likely get better medical care in the USA but other than that, pretty much everything seems better to me here.
A huge part of that is the women that are attracted to me here, whatever the reason. The other major part is that I can live here cheaply. I’ve run into a rough patch financially. A month or two in a boarding house with air con for $50 could turn that all around for me. That won’t happen in the USA.
In the Philippines, 7-Eleven’s are a bit of a social gathering place. There are a good number of tables and chairs where you can sit and be seen. The college kids seem to love them, especially the one in Downtown Cebu City as there are several colleges in the area.
The 7-Eleven is located at the corner of Osmena and Colon Streets. It’s a busy intersection with lots of foot traffic in the area. It’s surrounded by a little bit of everything, drug stores, street vendors, banks, Internet cafes and clothing stores.
I recently had dinner at the Golden Courie at SM Mall. SM mall serves as a good place for people to meet in the city, especially if they don’t know exactly where you are. A text mate and I decided to meet there for a first date. There is a bench outside of Golden Courie and I need a
place to rest my aching back. So I sat down to rest and wait for her to arrive at the mall.
As I reached for my phone she asked where I was so I told her at SM. She let me know she was already there too. Later I found out that we both arrived at the same time and she saw me enter the mall. Took her a lot longer to get to me than it took me to get down there. Filipina’s are
shy. I was afraid she got a long distance look, turned around and went away haha.
In many areas of Cebu City, finding a place to get your clothes washed is not difficult. There are people willing to do it by hand all over the place. And often you can also find laundries. I’m currently living in a hotel, the CebuView Tourist Inn in an older area of Cebu City on Sanciangko Street. The area is called “Downtown” and it’s a very old area. In this area, it is difficult to find a Cebu City laundry.
Colon Street is the oldest street in the Philippines and is just a block away from Sanciangko Street where my hotel is. Colon Street is known for other things too, mostly that you shouldn’t wear jewelry on that street and pick pockets just might come to visit. My advice is to keep your money and cell phone out of your pocket or you’re asking for trouble.
I have been very quiet lately I know. I have been working on some things. For the last month, I have been busying raising funds for a project called “Rebuild the Philippines”. This project is part of Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to build homes for those that need it. This organization does this throughout the world and they have responded first to the massive earthquake in Bohol and now to the Typhoon Haiyan victims in Tacloban.
I have a webpage setup that was provided by Habitat for Humanity. Anyone can do this if they desire. On this page, I am collecting donations that goes direct to Habitat for Humanity.
My first requirement for any aid organization is that it distributes their aid directly. That greatly reduces the opportunities for the aid getting misdirected into the pockets of a few wealthy and uncaring people. Nothing will eliminate all bad deeds by humans any place in the world but we can take precautions. Supporting organizations that distribute aid themselves is the way to do this.
On my return to Bogo City things are about what I expected them to be. Except the air conditioner is broke, it is in the shop right now costing close to $100 to get repaired. The anticipated problems with my Internet connection are one minor irritation that get larger because being alone, I have nothing to do when there is no Internet. I had hopped to see more of Jessie than I use to at home but she’d rather spend her time with her friend. Her friend that hates me and the P1900 I spent on the Globe Tattoo 7.2 router is all but a complete waste of money. Money I don’t have. I took it outside in hopes that it might work better out there but I could connect to nothing out there as well.
In case you are a new reader, I’ve spent the last five weeks in Cebu City. I went there and lived out of a hotel since a couple of days after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in Bogo City. It was an unbelievable storm and caused major damage in Bogo City and the surrounding areas. I should mention that the damage here was much less than that in Tacloban but still significant damage in this part of the Philippines as well.
Santa Claus is real and I’ve met him and even severed as one of his elves this year while in Cebu City. For a the first few days that I was in Cebu City, I often saw this eccentric looking guy walking around in the Colon and Palez Streets area. I thought to myself, great! He looks more like Santa than I do. Maybe people will stop calling me Santa Claus. They have in fact stopped calling me Santa Claus because now they’ve seen the real one. I got to know him and he’s just an awesome guy. His alias is Roy Shackelford but he rarely uses this. It is fun to hear him use the hotel lobby phone and say “Hello, this is Santa calling.” Santa Clause is in the Philippines spreading love and good cheer to those in need. Let me tell you what I know about Santa.
Santa has been distributing joy and gifts in the Philippines for the last six years. He visits pockets of poverty in the Cebu and other areas of the Philippines. Early this week he also went to Negros Occidental to visit with people in need on that island. I’ve had the joy of going with him on two of his outings. One of the places I joined Santa was a squatters area in Mandaue City, a suburb of Cebu City. You can’t really determine where Cebu City starts and Mandaue City starts. In Mandaue we went to Sitio Aroma which is found in Barangay Subangdako.