Scavenging at the Felisa Dumpsite


BY ROBERT OWEN BAYOG
Contributed to Bulatlat
Volume VIII, Number 30, August 31 – September 6, 2008

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PROBING THE GROUND. Like a water diviner, a scavenger scans the ground, stick in hand, looking for things that can be sold.

THE SCAVENGER. A pair of boots, pants worn for days on end, a stick and sack. These are the essentials in the hunt for “valuables” in heaps of garbage.

GAZING at an approaching dump truck, a scavenger waits for the opportunity.

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VISIONS OF A BYGONE ERA. This is but a glimpse of the past. Back to the days when people earn a living by scrounging in a hill of garbage. That is if the government’s pronouncements that we are now progressing into the new millenium. But no, this is the dumps

WHERE CAN YOU FIND HONESTY? Is it in the dumps like this where people get to eat the hard way, braving the stench or down the Pasig River where the halls of a hallowed Palace stench?

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THIS MOUND IS MINE, the garbage truck gave this to me. A scavenger claims the top of the garbage pile that was just unloaded by a DPS truck.

GARBAGE, GARBAGE everywhere and no relief in sight yet for these scavengers who daily have to contend with the stench but without it they cannot ease the rumblings of their stomachs.

DECONSTRUCTING THE CITY. A posh restaurant’s take out styro, an empty biscuits’ plastic pack, detergent containers, the remains of what used to be junk food. These are part of the city’s daily garbage.

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HE’S NOT A ROBBER, he’s my brother. Hooded and ready to pounce, this scavenger awaits his turn.

MUSCLES RIPPLING, this scavenger could have been well an Olympiad what with his speed, power and efficiency in combing through the garbage. He is content, however, with hurdling the daily obstacles of life.

THE TRUCK COMETH. Nowhere in the world is a dump truck more welcome than here in barangay Felisa where the dumps teem with life.

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WITH SICKLES RAISED, these scavengers would like to have first pickings at the garbage even before these are dumped.

UNLOADING VALUABLE CARGO. Stinking for many but valuable for some. A DPS cargo truck unloading garbage at the dump site.

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