"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Food, Blog Action Day 2011

Today 16th of October is the World Food Day and Pedestrian Observer GB in solidarity with bloggers the world over joins BAD (Blog Action Day) in focusing on FOOD.
I am proud to take part in Blog Action Day Oct 16, 2011 www.blogactionday.org

Food in the Filipino culture is seen by some to be of superstitious sacredness meant to be consumed without waste or be damned to suffer from want resulting in its scarcity.

There are parts of the world that are suffering famine and this attitude can be seen as positive in terms of consuming what needs to be consumed minimizing the waste where others don’t even have the luxury of having food in itself.

Consuming without waste is a good thing until the Philippines became part of a globalized market where fast food became almost the staple food for most of its population. The undesirable result is the problem of obesity unheard of before in a country where most of the people has ideal weight and build. The problem is exacerbated when fast food chains in their intense competition outdo each other in serving super-size foods and drink. Coupled with a mindset that food should not go to waste, obesity suddenly becomes a Philippine version reality show of the Biggest Loser with an equally big host that has a problem losing her extra weight while the contestants successfully loses it.

One may argue that fast food is not readily available to most of the Philippine population since a big portion of the population are marginalized and subsist on less than US$2.00 a day. This is true but this blog post that we did July 27, 2008 on the subject of poverty for the Blog Action Day will explain the extent that fast food creeps into even the marginalized in a different way…….
Pagpag, A disgusting Glimpse on Poverty

There is no question that poverty has existed in Philippine cities since its inception, nothing new or nothing unusual about that. Crowding, congestion, low level of living standards and desperation are so common that it has numbed people of its existence especially the leaders and the shrinking middle class.

Rapid urbanization in the midst of development brings along increase in high cost of living. Despite the advent of technology, poverty still persist in massive proportion and the potential to increase rapidly should have alarmed the nations’ leaders. if indeed they truly care you would have seen some semblance of effort to improve their lot but it seems greed and corruption prevails over the welfare of its suffering people. Instead of improving or at the least prevent the rapid increase in the marginalization of people, the government would rather promote and encourage people to seek greener pastures in distant lands unaware of their rights or if they even have one in those strange places.

The video on Pagpag is a testament or an exclamation point to the stark reality of massive poverty in the urban jungle of the
Philippines. Pagpag is a verb in Filipino language meaning an act of shaking the object to rid it of dust and "germs." Pagpag, a disgusting glimpse on poverty as seen up close, documented on the TV screen is one revolting scene that will be etched in one’s consciousness to hopefully compel people to do something concrete to rid society of this stark reality

The extreme poverty in the Philippines means a surge in urban population coming from the influx of migrants escaping poverty in the countryside seeking better opportunities only to end up trapped in misery and desolation. You would think finding themselves in such dire consequences they would have opted to return to the villages they left behind, easier said than done. When you are poor with virtually no possession except perhaps the cloth on your back going back is not an option. With the influx of more people comes the proliferation of shanties and squatter colonies transforming the city they migrated into an urban jungle where survival of the fittest dictates the quality of life if ever we can even use that term for the poorest of the poor in the Philippines.

In order to survive in a city that can employ and accommodate only so much there are some among the poorest of the poor resorting to the grossest gut wrenching indescribable scavenging like bottom dwellers to fill their hungry stomach eating food leftovers from restaurants' trash bins, recycled, washed, and re-cooked.

The disturbing video shows a scavenger gathering recyclables in restaurant trash bins looking for plastics, glass, papers and anything they can sell to recycling plants. Part of the hunt was leftover food thrown in the trash which a scavenger collects and once back home with the help of the whole family sort and separate the trash to be sold.

Most of these leftover food came from junk fast food restaurants as if eating them is not bad enough the same refuse and leftover is then sold to a local Carinderia (eatery) which the cook then washes three times in hot water and then cooked and sold at a “bargain” to regular loyal customers.

The sight is just so disgusting enough to make one squeamishly nauseated that will shock even the most boldest of the bold viewer. I am so dumbfounded not really sure how to react at this indescribable existence and wondering how can we allow people to live such miserable life. What is so amazing is that these people who eat this junk they call food are able to rationalize and even joke about it. I can understand people in the streets doing this out of desperation but what I fail to understand is how and what kind of enterprising people can make a living out of garbage serving them for profit? Is this an indication of the bleak future of Philippine society?

Philippine leaders especially the corrupt which comprises the majority of the politicians should see this and maybe just maybe they still have a sliver of conscience to change the course and destiny of the nation. It makes you wonder if these people will be included in the dole out program of Gloria Arroyo's anti-poverty program........ but then again will the dole out solve the problem?

Warning the video contains extremely disgusting materials!

From the gross to the macabre the stark reality of poverty in the urban jungle, this video shows an alarming shortage of housing transforming the cemetery into a village.

While the praise brigade errr press are busy trivializing the upcoming Screw Our Nation Again errr State of the Ration errrr State of the Nation better known as SONA for another bola bola (ball ball errr lies) with speculations and description of her designer "Maria Clara" gown for the event poor people in the Philippines are literally eating garbage and living with the dead......................

Blog Action Day on October 15. The launching of Blog Action Day-Poverty
is where bloggers all over the world will discuss the same topic on that day in hopes of triggering global change. If you have not registered your blog for this event please register here or check them out here.
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