My daughter and I did our early routine, walking in our neighborhood early in the morning. When we were almost home a kid showed up on the corner and yelled “Ate you want pandesal? It’s still hot”. I said to Jean we will just buy later at the bakery shop since it’s too early. While following the path of that kid, I told Jean I think we’ll just buy so that the kid will make a little bit of money. So we then called the kid and told him we will buy some. I asked him how much per pandesal? He said it’s 2 pesos each Te (kids here called the older to them female “Ate” or “Te” – short for Ate). So we bought 20 pieces. I gave him 50 pesos and told him to keep the change.
Then I was asking him what’s his name? Where does he live? How old is he? And what school is he attending? He answered my query. His name is Delmer. He lives in Maa, a bit far from us. So I asked him if he walk from Maa to our subdivision? He said yes. Wow, he must starts waking so really early. He said he’s 13 years old. He’s attending public school in Maa. The sad part is he already quit school before and now again because the mom gets mad at him every time he comes home late. He said he comes home late due to he had to stay later in school because the teacher still teaches the slow reader kids. And he is one of them. So to satisfy his mom, he quit school. I guess the mom would rather have Delmer sell pandesal than go to school everyday. Delmer looks like a really good kid and very respectful. He probably thanked me a dozen times.
I was really telling Delmer before we walked separately away from him that he should try to go back to school next year and not stop. I told him if he won’t finish up at least high school he will be continue on getting lower job since he had no education. His mom works as a stay out helper for somebody near their house. The dad’s job was collecting plastic bottles, cardboard and metal stuff (They call it here “bote bakal”). So really they don’t make that much. I think he said he has 2 other siblings.
It really makes me sad that so many kids here have to stop school because they have to help making money for the family at a young age. It’s one of those unending cycles going on here in the Philippines.
I wish those families that struggle to live in the city will go back to the province and try to raise poultry and pigs for meat. And make a small garden for a start then maybe expand later to sell. Sad part for so many of these people they don’t want to live in the farm. Even though they struggle living in the city, still they stay. I know for one family, our laundry lady, they have a farm not far from here in Davao. But she said she doesn’t want to live there because it’s too quiet for her. Her husband and kids said the same thing.
Anyway, I’m really hoping for the best for Delmer. By the way, he is a 5th grade student. I’m really hoping he will continue his studies next year and will continue on until he graduates high school. I’m crossing my fingers for him. So many kids like Delmer here in the Philippines. Hoping for the best to all of them too.