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Helen C fong

Hi Sidney,

This is my first time to encounter your blog since I was searching for pictures of the "smokey mountain". Your article captured the essence of what life is like in those areas where people call "home". I used to work with these people and the agency I worked for have tried to give them a better life. I was one of the social workers who recruited those kids for a child-sponsorhip program. Most of them have graduated in college and are now great pillars of our society working in Manila, Makati, Cavite, Singapore, Dubai, Australia, and even the United States ( just to name a few).

Yes, one couple took notice of this situation in 1974 and they did something about it. They were our Directors of the Norwegian Missionary Alliance. The scene of the smokey mountain tore their hearts out and instead of going to Taiwan to be the missionaries there, they chose to stay in Manila and became the beacon of change for thousands of children and their families. Their work spread to bulacan, Cavite, Muntinglupa, Bagong Barrio, San Juan, Marikina, Quezon City and various parts in Metro Manila.


Phil Morris

Wonderful documentary, you seem to definitely do it the
best in color. Sad to see those bags filled with whatever
is rotting in them, and seem to be prized by the holder.
Wonderful photos.


nice post Sidney! true to it's truest...


Welcome back Sidney. I should thank you for documenting my country. I learn a lot honestly. As a kid growing up in Manila in a middle-class family, I was shielded from all of this. I knew the poor existed, but I had no clue as to what their living conditions were. I knew Smokey Mountain existed, but that's it, a little fact in my head. Thanks for making me and others aware of this.


terribles, ces photos.

luna miranda

it's great to see you back on air, Sidney.
this is a heart-wrenching reality that we (Filipinos) have to live with. i am not hopeful that the disparity between the rich and the poor would change in the next generations to come.


Nice post! A good reminder to the Philippine government on what to be done. Great site!


Hey, I hope you had a great holiday! You came back with a bang I have to say.. look at this. Excellent captures.


Wow! WTH happened to the project and where do the new "refugees" come from?

Welcome back Sidney and as always your photos are excellent! I can't get over the sight of bare-footed children and worry about the diseases that they might get. So sad.


A fascinating account of this place. Nice to see you online and posting again.


just realized that i've never been to tondo.

Wim van der Meij

Hi Sid, I am glad you're back, even with this sad story.
Hope you're fine.


Amazing!..I long awaited this series from you. So sad but this is reality. Excellent coverage!


Beste Sidney,
Hoe is het mogelijk dat deze kinderen niet graatmager zijn en nog kunnen glimlachen? Een onbegrijpelijk contrast tussen hun gelaat en de bodem waarop ze leven.


Many people come to Manille with a dream to work there but there life is worst and your photos describe very well their life among the garbagge and poverty.


AH, te voilà de retour ! Encore un reportage superbe et je suis fan de ta dernière photo avec la gamine qui sourit derrière sa main et cette décharge impressionnante, une photo qui résume tout, une photo-somme, sublime. Welcome back, Sidney. Bisous*


i really don't know what else to say but, this is an interesting country indeed. lol


comment peut-on laisser vivre des gens dans un tel foyer d'infections en tous genres....


Welcome back Sidney and your most interesting and informative photo blog. Some great shots amongst the squalor of people who still have dignity.


Content de te retrouver, mais les retrouvailles ne sont pas très joyeuses avec autant de malheureux...


toujours très riche en informations, Tondo, oui, le quartier surréaliste, tu as de quoi faire! je lis sur ton blog to improve my english! bonne continuation, merci de ta fidelite, me voici de retour sur les blogs apres un break à Bangkok, a bientot


I'm reminded of how the poor will always be with us, Sidney, but I hate it. This kind of post elicits a huge discourse on what should or should not be, what can be done about it or can't, who cares, political corruption at the expense of the people, etc., etc. It breaks my heart.


Good narrative. Sad story. What can be done?

Michael Rawluk

The shame of our world is that the poor are regarded as an inconvenience for the middle class and the rich. They are thought to be disposable.

Traveler on Foot

I always believe that a place like this still has hope to be rehabilitated.

Sidney I did mention you in our year 3 anniversary post. here is the link:

Happy New Year and welcome back Sidney!

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