Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Culture shock. We have all heard anecdotal stories about third world poverty. Let me tell you, what we hear is the smallest tip of the proverbial iceberg. I have never seen deprivation like this in the States. Sure, we have our run-down neighborhoods and other problems but nothing I have encountered even remotely compares to the state of poverty in the Philippines. I don't know what, if anything, can be done to ameliorate these conditions but it is clear that some new thinking is needed and needed now. In the shots above, you see some of the country's numerous shantytowns. They are literally everywhere, by the dozens if not hundreds, throughout metro Manila and the surrounding countryside. Whole towns appear to be made of corrugated sheet metal, plywood, plastic sheeting and whatever else can be found. The pic below is a shot of someone's shack, again a common site. The low picture quality is not merely the result of the Treo's crappy camera. A big part of the problem is the clouds of smoke all around me from open cooking fires. The people that I was touring the country with had become so used to these sights that they barely seemed to notice them. I couldn't help but stare.

Chickens. It doesn't matter where you are in the Philippines. Somewhere within 100 feet of you, there is a chicken. For whatever else they are worth, they have largely eliminated the need for an alarm clock in this country.


Blogger Wendi said...

Those pictures remind me of when I went to Mexico. There were so many run down "shacks" on the side of the road. The living conditions were (still are) horrible, I cant imagine having to live that way.

Oh I hate hate hate (well more like I am scared to death of )chickens/roosters/ducks/pigeons/any and all types of birds!!

8:32 AM  

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