Monday, November 10, 2008
"Since he was six years old, Lucio had lived alone on the streets of Manila, Philippines. He looked after himself the best way that he could, sleeping in doorways at night, and working Smokey Hill during the day.
On occasion he could gather enough scrap metal to sell for food if he spent the day rummaging at the huge dump that smoldered continuously on the outskirts of the city. He taught himself how to turn old computer parts into colorful jewelry, and succeeded in selling some of it to the naive wives of rural farmers and tourists at the Manila marketplace. On a good day he could afford a meal from a roadside stall. Sometimes to quench the burning hunger in his stomach he would eat discarded food scraps, competing for them against the skinny cats and rats in the back alleyways of the restaurants and taverns." (Quoted from my next book, A Silent Violence)
One of the characters in my next book comes from Smokey Mountain, a real place in Manila, Philippines. He's a twelve year old boy who has lost his mother to AIDS. For six years he has been living on the streets. He could be one of the kids in the video above.