On August 15th, I will go on a first time vacation to the Philippines and I am excited to return to the Asian continent. It wasn’t even until this year that I started to have an interest in getting to know the country but I think it will be an experience for myself. I joined this site today to gain insightful knowledge on what’s to come and I am glad to have read up on a lot of things.
I saw a recently posted article titled “Surviving on Pag Pag in Manila” and this absolutely stunned me. I’m a pilot (captain) in the U.S. Air Force, deployed 6 times, flown several missions over the Middle East, but what I saw here is something I did not expect. During my times in Iraq and Afghanistan, the memories remained in my mind when we were out on patrol and handing candy out to local children. While back on base, it was sad to see children on the other side of the barbed wire asking us for more candy or anything else we had. This is truly what humanitarian relief efforts is all about and I was honored to have taken part in it.
In the video, the lady selling the bags of garbage chicken straps for $0.50 a bag is just shocking to me. Also, seeing the little boy begging his mother for a piece of the pag pag was even more of a tremor. How can anyone survive on 20 pesos per day and I am curious to know what the Philippine government is doing to resolve this problem?
I have always been active in community involvement and in my spare time, myself and Ed have helped out with DAV (Disabled American Veterans). We currently participate in soup kitchens and I enjoy making/serving meals to the poor. I have also coached in the Special Olympics and loved seeing the reaction of the participating athletes. In retrospect, I saw the comments some users have left on the video and how it is dangerous in the city of Tondo. How I looked at it is that I have already been in more than enough hostile environments and situations in my career but I really want to know how I can assist those little kids.
When it comes to the beleaguered, I have a melting pot for them and do what I can to assist. This video has truly taught me at how blessed I am to be able to go out to eat when and where I want compared to these people. If there’s a way that some of you are familiar with to help out, let me know and I’ll see what I can make happen on my end because this is just absolutely disturbing. Thanks.