It wasn’t part of the plan to take this photo especially not with my foot in it. However, there was something about this photo which I took after a long walk around the island.
This was taken in an island I have visited for the first time where there was no electricity and had a community where kids don’t have proper nutrition nor hygiene. The main livelihood of each family living here was fishing.
In one day of staying in a secret spot of this island where I found serenity within myself away from the bustling city, I also went around the central part of the island where I have also seen how some of our fellow Cebuanos live. They had to go to the mainland to buy water for cooking and taking a bath. Most families will have to buy mineral water from their local stores for P60/gallon. They also don’t have a health center within the island which for me is the very least thing our local government could do to make sure their health are in good condition. But no, they don’t have one. The kids walk around with no slippers, not even proper clothes to protect them.
Most of the kids I saw have distended abdomen and may have been infected with intestinal worms. What really broke my heart was the grandchild of the woman who took care of us during our stay. Her granddaughter only wore a shirt that was exposing her bloated tummy, not even wearing shorts nor a pair slippers. Then I asked the grandmother how old the baby is and she told me she’s about to turn 2 years old this November. I asked when because my son too is turning the same on November. She told me it’s going to be this November 22. Right there and then, my heart was crushed because my son’s birthday is every 23rd of November.
I felt like if this was my own kid, I would never allow her to get intestinal worms, that I would do everything to protect my own child from any sort of sickness as much as I could. If this was a better place, no kid should have any sickness. Their needs should be taken care of by their own parents with the help of the government. But we couldn’t blame their parents who could only do so much with their little means of livelihood. However, for the less fortunate people, our government should have done something to help them. But our cries fall into deaf ears. Our high taxes go nowhere.
This is one of the reasons why we were there – to check on the community for a feeding program that we were planning to do with a group of friends and volunteers. However, I believe they need much more help in terms of their health and proper hygiene.
And I really hope we can help them even in our own little ways.
I will be posting the details of our outreach activity soon!