CLEMELLE L. MONTALLANA,DM, CESE
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR III
Until then we will be asking the same questions,
are these folks real or maybe we are just seeing ghosts?
Like the familiar landscapes of the cities in the country , these too are familiar. The decrepit, seemingly invisible people who ply the city streets, in rugged clothes with smog-filled oily bodies. They have survived Covid-19 and without masks, they are spared from the malady, after all, they are invisible. They have dodged the storms of life and survived physical storms .
They sometimes dwell in abandoned buildings, uninhabited apartments, under bridges, at the back of structures and whenever they can partially hide, take shelter and rest their weary bodies to continue their daily sleep walking needlessly dreaming in their walking of begging and scavenging.
One famous babaeng grasa likes to walk full naked in one of our city streets any city for that matter . Still, a mentally challenged gentleman loves to hold his trousers and mumble fear. In one city I visited saw an entire family sleeping on the bare ground , hugging each other on the pavement , oblivious of the people nearby .
For anyone , walking our city streets wherever they are in the country they are familiar with these sights , with these kind of people .
It is a reminder of urban decay and the undeniable inability of the government to take care of the welfare of these people. The reality of mental un-wellness in abundance .
One can just make a round of any city and this sad reality will manifest itself in the open. These are real-time parameters of how effective or downright rickety the programs of the government most particularly the agency tasked to assist these funny, familiar forgotten people.
Its high time we call spade a spade, the undeniable neglect can be confirmed by everyone who is passing through in any city street wherever they may be.
Someday, we will see one of our haughty and great officials become one of these funny, familiar forgotten people, and perhaps we will stop and take a second look.
Until then we will be asking the same questions, are these folks living, or maybe we are just seeing ghosts? Because if these people are alive loitering the streets of Taliban how come they are not given a legally mandated intervention? It was American Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who coined the infamous quote, “Whom the Gods would destroy they first make them mad.” This writer cannot wait when and who can be the fellow.