Letter For That Boy in Mindanao Avenue

{photo credit to owner}

Dear Little Boy,

I bet you've forgotten about me but I can never forget you. My heart will not allow me to.

Two weeks ago, I met you in a jeepney during my morning ride home. As we pass through Mindanao Avenue, my head was down while I read the climax of Inheritance. Suddenly, there's these tiny hands that got into my line of sight. Hands not much different from my daughter Mila, except it's black with dirt. You handed me a small envelop, expecting that I'll give it back with some change.

You got my attention and I forgot about my fantasy world. I was stunned by how tiny you are. The jeep was moving too fast and you can barely stand up. I can't help but stare at you. I looked in your eyes and I can see your pain and sadness. Maybe it's been hours since your last proper meal. I bet you are cold without a shirt nor slippers under your feet. You got this badly infected wound on your forehead that flies are attracted to. That must have been from a bad fall. As I looked more deeply, I felt your innocence too. I don't think you know what begging is. For you, it's your way of life. Maybe it's a game for you, this is how you play. Maybe this is your normal. But honey, it's not.

It hadn't been a minute when all of a sudden, there's a voice shouting at you to jump off the moving vehicle. I had to look and it's from another kid. A boy not older than 6. He was so mad at you because you would not move. As I looked away from him, he suddenly yanked you and ready to jump off. NO! I would not let him. You will get hurt. I fear the worst. Sorry if I hurt you when I held on your other arm and pulled you back to me. I may have shouted back. I think I told that older boy to just jump off himself and leave you to me. During this struggle, you were just stoic. I was crying. It took a few moments and loud shouts from other passengers before the driver decided to slow down and stop. Then you let go of my arms and went with him. I hope you didn't so he would not have gotten the chance to hit you on your head. I saw that too as we drove away and I had to leave you.

Little Boy, I badly wanted to hug you and take you home with me right that moment. If no one will care for you, I will. Mila would love to have you as her Kuya. We can adopt you. My parents and sisters will help take care of you too. But I was too afraid. I did not have the right to take you away. Maybe that older boy was your brother. Maybe you have parents waiting for you. If you we're part of a syndicate, they might do very bad things to you, to us.

I should had been braver though. I should have fought for you. Sorry I hesitated. I tried to go back to the same place to look for you. Even now as I pass the same place everyday, I wish I could see you alone and you could come with me. I know you are better off with us and we can hide you if needed. We can make everything legal and we can be your real parents. Then you will know what real love is. You can play and be happy and you will know how to be a kid.

Even if we do not see each other again, know that someone cares for you. I pray that you will have a good life. Maybe another braver good soul will give you the life you deserve. And if not, I wish you will keep your innocence and grow up with a good heart. Your life is hard now but do not let it define your future and what type of man you will be. Please tell the older boy with you that I'm also sorry for what I said. I know he's also young and he should not be in the situation you are in now. I will never wish him ill. I pray that he will be with you to protect you and never hurt you again.

My heart bleeds for you and for all the little ones who are forced to suffer to live. I want to blame someone, everyone. The parents who should have known better. The government who could have given more. The community who tolerated and kept their eyes closed. But what good would that do? The blame game will not get you off the streets.

My dear, you will always be a reminder for me that I am a parent and I am responsible for my daughter. I wish every parent will pledge to care for their own child and help them grow to be a better person who will also care for children of their own. I promise you I will do my best to be to bring up Mila to be that person. I want to give my daughter a better world to live in. I too, want to leave the world with better people to care for it. Even if that's just one person at a time. Maybe this way, we can all have a world where no other kid like you will have to beg and suffer.

Little boy, stay strong and grow up to be the best person you can be! The best is yet to come.



16 comments:

  1. I can't help but cry at this story. Grabe, ang sakit sa ulo ng mga magulang ng batang yun. But if anything, it made me realize how fortunate our children are because we love them so much. Poverty and injustice are really the realities of this world. And though we cannot completely eradicate them, we can at least help by not contributing to it. One person at a time.

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  2. Aawww.. :( This is so sad. Me too, everytime I'd see a kid na ganyan..I can't help but think sana pwedeng kunin ko nalang sila. Para alagaan at mahalin. Pero tama ka. May mga basis yung fear mo eh. Pag kinuha mo baka pagkamalan ka pang kidnapper. Baka connected sa sindikato tapos pati kayo ng family mo ma-peligro. I hate it that we live in a world where we have to think twice in doing good. Because of fear. Ako, kahit na may nanlilimos..nanghihingi ng pampalibing..hindi ako nagbibigay kahit gusto ko minsan. Kasi may mga mandurugas ganyan ang modus hay!

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  3. Aww, that's awful.. how a young child's being treated and looked. It broke my heart too, just by reading this post. you are such a good person paulline. but you can only do so much.

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  4. :( sensya sis, yan lang kaya i comment for now :(

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  5. Okay I'm crying, Paulline. I couldn't help but imagine my own little boy. I've had that thoughts, too, when I see very young street children. Can I keep them instead? Do I know someone who could? Unfortunately, it's not easy. Your post reminds me of my lifelong dream to build an orphanage. Maybe you can do it, too.

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  6. :( Napaka maawain ko pa naman. Di ko kayang tingnan yung mga ganyang bata kasi talagang mapapaluha ako. Sabi nga ni Ian pusong bulak daw ako. Pero let's pray nalang na hindi sya kasama sa mga sindikato.

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  7. :( Ms. Pauline you're such good-hearted momma. Always be one :)
    Hoping for the better if not brighter future for the boy.

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  8. May De Jesus-PalacpacFebruary 25, 2015 at 7:37 AM

    I was stunned upon reading this. Bless you for your good heart. May that child find his way to the better things that you hope to come for him.

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  9. Hay, I just don't understand why parents such as theirs exist in this world. They permit their children to wander the streets for them instead of working for a better life for their kids. T_T

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  10. Sakit sa dibdib! If only our government have facilities to take care of them. Still thankful for private orgs that do their share in helping the children.

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  11. I have a soft spot for kids. And nakakaawa talaga since they never wanted to live in such condition. Why do they have to suffer? I just hope something can be done to help street children.

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  12. I always see kids like that boy almost everyday and I wonder where their parents are. The government should do something to be able to care for them properly.

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  13. Oh I am reading this with a lump on my throat! It is definitely heart-wrenching to see small kids on the streets when they should be in school learning. The government should do something about this. I don't mean cleaning the streets and putting them somewhere else. I mean real, life time help like education for the kids, work for the parents.

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  14. Aww... This is really touching. And just like you, I feel guilty too for not being brave enough to Help and to care, to extend a helping hand. I know I can still do much better, but was not able to so... Hesitant to do so... Really wish that little boy well...

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  15. This is such a sweet letter. I wish you would've have been able to do more for the young boy. Just know that in that moment you did the best that you could. You saved him from getting hurt.

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