That Little Badjao Kid
by Richard Joseph H. Bulanhagui
“Oh, My God!” seeing the Badjaos,
In SM Supermall that December afternoon.
With weather that was humid mixed with the polluted atmosphere of the city,
It was the season again of these modern wanderers.
Poorest of the poor. Marginalized. Underprivileged.
Seeking for a better life… “In this City? Oh, No!”
The modern rat race of the suburbs was a proof of a chaotic jungle.
Poor people. Products of a decaying society. Animated street life.
“Without degree or even primary education, How can they survive?”
“Give me money!” the little Badjao kid asked me.
A peso wasn’t enough, he demanded for the orange bill.
Firm not to give the plea, “Never in my dead body!”
Without hesitation the little rascal spit in my left arm,
Like a fugitive he ran to the crowd with a mocking face.
That rascal, little devil! So disgusting, has no breeding!
In the fast food I went, trying to forget the upsetting event.
Staring at the glass window, I saw the group of the mendicants.
Would they demand again for that orange bill?
The greasy streets of the Metro were blatant attractions to the beggars.
Smell of urine was around the vicinity of jeepney terminals illegally parked.
There were culprits around waiting for their next prey.
Shanties beside the mall could be found with dwellers in murky mood.
Men were smoking their cigarettes as if it was their last day in this world.
What was alarming were the children holding a plastic bag full of rugby!
Young addicts. What is happening to the youth of this land?
With my checklist, I went to the supermarket.
Canned Goods section. Frozen Meats. Veggies. Eggs. Beverages.
All checked. Tried to pull cash for the payment, the orange bill again was what I saw.
Dismayed again. Paid the counter and exited to an appliance shop.
LED TV’s in different sizes. How I wish I could own one?
All were synched into a cable channel.
Election time again. Political ads occupying the air time,
Of the stations that were battling for ratings.
A flash report caught my attention.
The Metropolitan mayor interviewed for his anti-poverty campaigns.
Sugar-coating in the highest level! Charismatic Idiot!
So I went out and passed by an escalator.
At last! I could go home after a terrific day.
The orange twenty-peso-bill now can be used for fare.
Fare that was not fair! For me, to the drivers and to a lot of other commuters.
Then there was again the Badjao kid with his comrades.
Alms seeking for their stomachs that were aching.
The lean-looking security guard casted the kids.
Running for their lives, the rogues even forgot the hard-earned bills and coins.
An ear breaking sound screeched in the corner of the avenue.
Everybody shouted. The boy was hit. Blood were scattered in the streets.
A moment of shock. Heart crushing. Is this misfortune?
Or the system’s unsolved mysteries?
While the hypocrites continue to reign;
More and more scavengers would be in pain.
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