Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hopeless

please

Children are the hope of the world. Supposedly. Lately, I’ve been hearing news items that in one way or another broke my spirit. Do these children really deserve to experience the harsh reality of life? I have my answer, and perhaps you have yours too.

Last Saturday, I stumbled upon Missing Child a thread in PinoyExchange. A young girl was reportedly missing for days and the thread starter is asking for help if anyone had hints or information about her whereabouts. As I followed the replies, the location of the child was revealed. And it is a place where no parents would want their child to be discovered in. She was found lifeless and in a state of decomposition already. Everyone is crying for justice. But justice nowadays is very elusive. Hopefully the government can take necessary measures to make our environment a more child-friendly one.

This is not the first case. Similar cases had been reported already countless of times. Some were resolved, others remained unresolved. A few years ago, this crime pushed me to pen down a poem. I really condemn any form of child abuse. But how can we control that? We can only hope and pray for the betterment of the innocents.

Discovering My Sister, Gretel

Longest night ever, I pray
for her safe return;
can't blink
or she'll be missed.

Behind poker-faced searchers,
I bite my lips,
open my eyes wide,
and push aside brambles.
Did she lose the breadcrumb trail?

Then – a banshee wail,
confused stillness,
echo of palpitations
and a bloody shoe offered
up for inspection.

All eyes follow a trail
of dark pebbles
from shoe
to confirmation.

/totomai

Later that night, I watched an episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya about the life story of a child pimp. Its pretty scary to think that its actually happening. Sometimes, you can’t believe that real-life stories are more complicated and harsher than fictional ones. Children like them continue to struggle in finding ways to fill their empty stomachs. Others, instead of going to school, went to vend flower leis, or worse, their bodies for a peso or two.

A line in No Doubt’s Sixteen
“These children, they’re really not bad most of them. Just products of rotten neighborhood and bad family situation”,
aptly summarizes the plight of these juveniles.

Of course, just like us, they also desire for a better life. They have dreams too. But life isn’t always fair.


homeless

Dream House

I can make my own ---
not the houses sketched by architects
and arranged by interior designers.

I do not need a thermal roof,
a couple of rusty GI sheets
with used rubber tires as weights would do.

I care less about marble floors,
French windows and sliding doors;
I'll use smoked plywood
and discarded hollow blocks.

This is the dream I have every night
as I curl like a fetus,
in the careless womb of the city
wrapped in a blanket of newspapers.

/totomai

These scenarios are not only seen and felt in third-world countries. Here in Japan, in a span of two weeks, I’ve been reading killings of innocent ones, but what I find strange is that they are killed by their own parents. Check this case and this one. Totally unacceptable and unforgivable, in my opinion.

Children all over the world deserve a place for them to play, be safe and savor the goodness of the world, if an ounce of it is still left. Remember, we were young once too.

/totomai
10/07/08

15 comments:

  1. napanood namin ni ai un, maalaala mo kaya... mai tatakbo ka bang pulitiko? nice blog hehe.

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  2. sadly john, child opression and abuse exist, and like what you said, it is all over the world and not even the 1st world countries are spared of. there are a lot of measures done to help stop this, but if we only take out the children and shelter them, without going deeper into the root cause, we would still find children being abused (that is why we still hear abuses in first world countries because of a lot of sick minds not being addressed or helped at all). like what you said, children deserve to play in a safer place, but if we have not gotten rid of sick minds, they would still pursue these children. some of them sick adults were also the product of sick childhood that were not addressed, kids that had suffered abuse also must be provided with therapeutic care in all aspects, to avoid repeating the cycle, we could not neglect that and shove that away. for usually it is the state of mind that results to these horrible acts. you go to very rural places, they don't have school not even church, they would have to walk kilometers or miles and miles, maybe for half a day or more to reach a church or a school, would you be surprised to hear that the kids were sexually abused by their fathers or thir relatives? of course it is not right, it is not acceptable, but did we also do our part to reach out to bring education and awareness to these group of peole? we spend billions of dollars to support space travel research and etc., yet we forget that reaching out to these group of people won't probably take that amount. And they exist in rich families too, spares no one, for some, though how rich they may be, they still have that cloudy past that remained not treated in their lives.

    Our world is such a complex place, hard to simplify, it's more complex than a giant biochemical reactor, for we deal with too many, but we can look at the postive side too, that we have good hearts like you, that cares enough to even bring this to attention, and help in whatever way we could, in our own little way.

    very striking poems by the way, and the pictures, very apt.

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  3. Da, haha, di ako mananalo. Wala sa pamilya namin ang nananalo sa pulitika (mga 3 out of 20 lang) haha. Salamat.


    Thanks Ms Beth. You are right, our world is more complex than a giant biochemical reactor. I know its difficult to answer this issue, like what you’ve mentioned, it’s a sort or cyclic phenomenon. We can do our parts in our own little way to minimize these oppression, crimes and abuse of innocents. I think all countries our doing their best to fight this but these actions are not highlighted as much as researches and other explorations. Thanks again Ms Beth, and yeah, NO TO CHILD ABUSE.

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  4. nakaka touch nman yung blog mo mai pero totoo lahat... kahit saan totomai mapa blog, photograpiya at tula magaling ka. taas ang kamay ko sayo mai... hihihi

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  5. haha at lumabas na naman yung mahiwagang hihihihi :-) lav ikaw ba to o si rey? hehe

    salamat :-)

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  6. We must remember that harming or abusing children is an act of aggression to the future of everyone.
    Just because we didn't realise our dreams, we can't blame those who were never a part of them.
    Strong messages here.

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  7. This is a powerful message and along with the good poetry and pics it speaks volumes!

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  8. Thanks Stan and STG for dropping by and for your messages.

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  9. Powerful piece. We seem to be short of action...it's a sorry state.

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  10. i know.. but solutions will come up soon i believe ;-)

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  11. It's abuse of power, and the worst abuse is always directed toward the least among us - the young, the old, the wretchedly poor. Good poem, it's a mirror held up to a nature we'd rather not visit, but all too real.

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  12. it's so great to know that you have thoughts like this ....
    it's not only in our country but also here in japan, almost every week,there are heartbreaking news on tv about children missing/killed and or abused. What shocks more, their own parents/relatives and even school teachers did this to them.

    Totoo din kaya iyung mga missing children, ibinebenta ang mga body parts nila? (nakakapanginig nang balahibo)

    By the way, can't help to notice your literary creation. Galing talaga! ~idol~

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  13. thanks Richard :-)

    hi te, oo nga, kakaiba dito sa japan. katakot. by the way, nice meeting you finally. :-)

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  14. indeed. it's terrible. the vulnerable are subject to so much abuse.

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  15. @kouji, yup, i know... hope the world's be a better place to all innocents

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any thoughts to distill?

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