Wearing a pink shirt, a girl who looked like she was five years old was skipping a few steps ahead of me and curling her dark hair with her fingers. Startled, she stopped when she saw me. Deciding whether to talk to me or not, she carelessly mumbled something and unaffectedly whipped out her empty hand towards me, already knowing that a stranger will not give her a few pesos. She already knew what to do and say, as if friends around her were already doing the same thing.
A boy who looked around eight years old stood with another boy under a yellow awning next to the building where my friend was staying. He approached me, mumbled something and whipped out an empty hand.
The only ones whom I couldn’t understand (because they weren’t speaking English) were the children wandering the streets and poking my bare arm with their empty hands. Carrying a few pesos, I already understood what they were saying.
A young girl was sitting on a stool at one of the outdoor shoe stands in the outdoor market. I was about to buy a pair of shoes from her, when I realized that the shoes made in Korea were too small. A lot of the shoes and bootlegged items were from Korea and other parts of East Asia, and a few of those selling bananas, corn, and trinkets during my brief stay in and around Metro Manila were children.
4 buy 3, 3 buy 3, buy 1 song get 1 free / Maybe me, a bootleg CD colour TV or DVD / We got barrels in the sea / It’s big enough to take a whole family… / Come sit by me, let me tell you we / Don’t do bling but we do white tee…
Hussel by M.I.A. feat. Afrikan Boy