Now, for the first time, the host who entered the garbage hill was nauseated. Every inch of her skin was soaked in Manilas largest slum: Its terrible. Few people can stay in this environment for a day, let alone work. The grey-black dung, cockroaches and insect repellents on the ground would act like guards, driving away unfamiliar visitors.
The people who can accompany these guards day and night and stay together for ten years like one day are all residents from Tangdu District.
In the most prosperous northern Manila Metropolitan Complex in the Philippines, it is divided into 16 administrative districts, and Tongdu District is one of them. Close to the 400-year-old Chinatown, Manila is the most densely populated and chaotic area. In fact, this is Manilas slum, Tongdu District.
Garbage Hill in Tangdu District
Half of the 640,000 people living in Tangdu District cant support themselves and have enough food and clothing for three meals. Manilas largest garbage mountain is in Tangdu District, where many poor people live by picking up waste. The food they live on is to pick up waste from kitchen waste, which is actually picking up swill water. These discarded foods are often spoiled, maggot-ridden and stinky. Locals call them pagpag.
Josie, 45, is one of the garbage collectors.
Fingers after Scrapping
Nineteen years ago (2017), Josie, 26, lost her job as a cleaner because she was pregnant. In order to have three meals a day for her newborn baby and the whole family, she had to live by picking up waste. According to Josie, she earns about 30 to 40 yuan a day. Ordinary people who want to try this job are often suffocated by the stench, not to mention picking with their bare hands like Josie. Its not hard to see from Josies hands that the years of picking up waste have erased the original color of her nails.
PS: The following is a multi-map warning. If you have any discomfort, please skip it as soon as possible. Vomiting and nausea are not responsible for it.
Garbage collection (garbage is called pagpag)
Around Josies work were the shacks built by the poor, which grew like tinea patches in the open space of the garbage dump. Privately connected wires on the roof, like a network, cover their forcing shelter. Look carefully, there is a layer of moving dressing on each wire. It is actually dense flies, temporarily resting on the cable. If you go up to drive them, the flies almost cover the clouds, and the sunlight can only struggle out of the gap where they fly.
The host covers his nose
Contrast the emcees expression with Josies
The host was intolerable
By contrast, Josies husband is much luckier. He works as a security guard in a company, and his salary is not high. Fortunately, they dont have to worry about the rent, because the landlord has transferred the house to Josies family.
The landlords kindness gave Josie more possibilities for charity. Although there is only one child, the Josies have four children to raise. One was an uneconomical niece, the other was a boy whose mother died and father suffered a stroke and whose family had no income. Although the latter had no blood relationship with Josie, the Josies decided to accept him.
One scene at home
Even if you are busy with garbage dumps all day, your meager income often makes your family unable to open the pot. Just a staple meal for a family of six, you have to spend 7 yuan. Children have their own expenses to pay, such as going to school and so on. The family often cant make ends meet. So Josie tried to be frugal, but he also had to go hungry: When we have no money, we have to borrow it from others. If we cant borrow it, we have to go hungry. When the children were young, we went hungry and had no food all day.
Middle school tyrants
Joshur and her mother Evelyn are also residents of Tongdu District. Ten of them live in a small building built by the government, which is less than 26 feet in size. The sanitary condition of their family is slightly better than that of Josies shantytown, but because of the high population density, the facilities here are not perfect enough.
Daughters and motherstime together
My daughter, Joshua, has achieved very good results. Among the seven children, Joshua is the most outstanding one. She can get scholarships to go to college on her own ability. When talking about her college life, the host can always see the sparkling stars in her eyes. The plight of her family does not shake her daughters hope for the future. During the conversation, Joshul always smiles: I want to achieve goals and dreams that most people cant achieve. I think I can help people here in the future.
Mother Evelyn is a primary school teacher. Unlike her daughters optimism and cheerfulness, smiles are not so common on her face. Financial distress has put a lot of pressure on her. Although my monthly salary is about 3,500 yuan, but I have a lot of loans, plus tax, take home only about 700 yuan.
All luxury cars are classmates.
From a slightly shady and narrow home, back to schools all over the business district, facing the invitation from the top food chain, how to learn to refuse has become an essential social skill of Joshuar: Sometimes students will invite me out for coffee, but the price is too expensive, I have no money, they will say its okay, they treat. At that moment, I really felt both happiness and self-pity. As a peer, the academic gap is not much, but the balance of bank cards and the difference of consumption ability vividly divide Joshuar into another world.
According to data from the Philippine Statistical Office in 2018, the domestic unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.1% compared with 2017, with 2.2 million people unemployed. Of all the young people in the Philippines, 19.9% still had neither employment nor education in 2018. They are young and middle-aged workers, but they have no financial resources. They do nothing on the street all day, which leads to the high crime rate. According to the Labor Force Survey, about 826,000 jobs were created in 2018, which is below the governments target of 900,000 to 1.1 million jobs per year.
Lack of enough jobs, more and more workers choose to go abroad to find employment opportunities. With the help of spoken English, the service industry in developed areas such as Hong Kong and Singapore has flooded into a large number of Filipinos. Filipino domestic helpers are one of the most distinctive industries. Even Joshua, who attends elite schools, made it clear that if she had the right opportunity, she would not rule out working abroad.
Young Filipinos with higher education like Joshuar may also be able to find jobs abroad, while male workers like Jayne, who only have professional skills, are mostly trapped at home. Once the employment environment is tense, they are very easy to be idle at home.
The living environment of Jeds family
Jayne used to be an electronic technician, but he has been idle for two years, and his familys living expenses depend entirely on his wife. Im really depressed that my family can only be supported by my wife, but I can only stay at home and do nothing. Im afraid I cant support my family.
I have tried to find many times myself, but its not so easy to find a job. After every interview, there is no context. From 27 years old to 29 years old, Jay has transformed from a major source of income at home to a full-time dad. He has already been able to change diapers and milk powder for his children skillfully. During the conversation with the host, he could feel the weight of the burden on his shoulders.
Although unemployed, Jayne is different from those young people who have no job and go astray in crime. In addition to taking care of the children, Jayne took time to work as a community fire volunteer. My father is the first fire volunteer here, and so are my brother and nephew.
Arrangement of fire fighting equipment
Because of the disorderly construction of shantytowns everywhere in Tangdu District, the phenomenon of private connection and transformation of cables has caused frequent fires. So Jayne and other volunteers go to the fire every few days to help their neighbors solve their problems. In unpaid work, he and a group of brothers realize their other personal value: Its a happy thing to help others.
However, not every volunteer firefighter is as lucky as Jayne and is recognized by others. During the filming of the documentary, he also introduced the story of the killing of two former fire volunteers: Before, in a fire, my friend was stabbed to death because he failed to rescue some residentshouses first.
Philippine Basketball Atmosphere
Violence and anger permeate the community in paradise all the time. In order to alleviate the contradiction between neighbors and neighbors, Jayne organized Basketball Championships for the community. Basketball (as opposed to football) is more popular here, and many residents are more likely to participate in and accept it. At the same time, as a sport, basketball can keep teenagers away from drugs and other bad habits. Such meaningful basketball matches have also been supported by the local government, which then spent money to help operate, including medals, trophies and about 700 yuan of championship bonuses.
The basketball tournament has brought the relationship of community residents closer. The community atmosphere which used to be full of violence has gradually become harmonious. The residents who were not familiar with the tournament have also opened the topic through basketball. Even so, Jay cant find a job.
Whether its Josie who picks up scraps, Joshua who is eager to make progress or the outstanding firefighter volunteers, they have undoubtedly suffered from the employment problem. This is a personal problem, but also a social problem. For the Philippines, which has been suffering from employment problems for a long time, the World Bank has also analyzed the reasons: Because the pillar industries in the Philippines are mostly duopoly or oligopoly. Head monopoly, such a structure can easily lead some enterprises to abuse the dominant power of the market, and suppress the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, thus making them completely lose market competition. The bankruptcy of small and medium-sized enterprises means the loss of more jobs, which in turn leads to the emergence of more people like Josie.
The Singaporean documentary entitled The Dividing Line between Two Worlds takes more than 40 minutes to record the stories of three low-level figures in Manila. They all bear the same symbols - poverty, but the lack of material has not eroded the inner purity of ordinary people, but optimism, progress, kindness and dedication.
There is a line in Melting Furnace: We fight together not to change the world, but not to be changed by the world. Perhaps for ordinary Filipinos, this is also the meaning of their desperate living.