Illiterate Street Children In Cebu

 "Hindi ko maintindihan (I don't understand)"
Last September’s a pretty boring month, no? Don’t get me wrong: I knew about Rolando Mendoza and the things that we were told weren’t done. I heard of dengue, September 11, Ondoy, the mainstream trade of kidneys downtown and knew what they weren’t about.
I even half-pretended to be shocked when I heard of the recent gang rape with a nurse. Or that bombing incident post-bar exams. And you’re probably not the only one who saw that girl playing dead in one of the streets you pass by when riding a 10M and reaching that part near SM that’s clearly straight out of a Lino Brocka film. But come on, do we really care? Do these even make for a good story in a tagay? How could you possibly say that these illiterate street children in Cebu are better and more entertaining to our literally flooded lives than Charice on Glee? How is talking about them cooler than the new phone I’m seeing in front of me along with the rest of the probably six more smart phones this girl owns and is that a Pokedex?

How is the rising number of inveterately illiterate kids more useful to our need for art than Sam Milby’s singing in this Mall Sale (aptly titled “Bear Sale”, which meant it was for SeptemBER, the first month in the Christian calendar that has the suffix BER in its name, which was/is pronounced “Bear” in cebuano) we’re definitely going to visit twice? Why worry about the kind of systemic graft you only see in your family and friends when there’s always a Sam Milby movie to watch and European films like “The Robber” and “An Education” to ignore, even if they were screened for free weeks ago and made at least one person happy and sad?
Of course Sam Milby is better than this guy right here!
Why read books and learn what that TSINELAS group means when you can sprawl Starbucks and be prideful you’re stupid? And why even care when there’s clearly a saviour for all? Speaking of saviours and movies, here’s a good idea that we should instead be more concerned about: iPads. Which are great.

And I’m only saying this because I have proof, which is the man I saw using an iPad for at least three hours in a cafe in this city where the power supply could barely even power mine. More than irking me for the competition that I shouldn’t even be forced to attend to, his iPad made me think: if the very thing that supplies us the chance of happiness we both need is limited, who’s going to have the last say? Trick question: of course it’s me. Anyway, part of you still wants you to do to people who own things like iPad what you most instinctively do to cockroach, but a part of you still feels sorry about that for reasons you know not exactly what. But here’s the certain sad catch: everything’s still democratic and you can pretty much do whatever you want. Especially on Septembers, where illiterate street children in Cebu run the streets like never before.

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