Mani kayo Dyan!
I have lived in the Philippines for ten years and the last few years I have lived in the capital of Manila. Ermita to be totally precise. Now Ermita is not the best place in the Philippines, but it certainly has places to wine and dine and nearly everything is in walking distance. A major plus if you do NOT have to deal with those nasty Manila taxis in the Philippines.
The other Ermita problem is beggars. I tend to become a little hardened towards them now. I see honest hardworking Filipinos doing their best to make money, whilst overs who are capable never try. A stretched out hand is all they can muster.
I have become a “daddy” to a peanut seller
I had better explain this. As I wine and dine and walk around Ermita I keep coming across a young peanut seller who is always in a rush. He is normally sweating and smiling and almost running to the next street. Unlike most of his counterparts he is determined to rush around and sell as many as he can in one night.
I have purchased nuts off him a few times, mainly as he has a great smile and is working so hard. I rarely eat them; in fact I normally give them away to a child on the street as I walk back home. So, you might say why buy them?
That packet of peanuts has fed a street child and helped towards an income for a very hardworking young man. This young man I nicked named “peanut boy”, and he nicknamed me “daddy”. So if I am in a bar anywhere in Ermita or Malate I will hear this happy shrill from a distance. “DADDDDDEEEEEEE”.
Everyone in the area will turn around as the street seller comes and sits next to me. We shake hands and talk for a couple of minutes and I buy his wares. Amazingly on several occasions bar staff will try and move him away from my table, assuming he is a pest.
He is no pest. He is the guy who lives very harshly. He smiles at all his customers and sells peanuts. He is hard working, determined, and polite and has no chip on his shoulder. He may only make a few pesos every night, but he works for it and has that Filipino pride. I often try and talk to him about his life, but he just smiles and moves on. In another life we would be friends.