In the Philippines, 21.6% of the population lives below the national poverty line in 2015. There are 3.1 million homeless people living in Manila. The city has the highest homeless population of any in the world. In the Philippines, more than 1.2 million children are homeless and over half of these are found in Manila. One-tenth of slum dwellers live in the capital of Manila.
Meet the poor boy Rommel. He is a homeless child, wandering on the streets for about a year. He was left alone because his mother and father had find their own ways. He has a sister who works in a factory and does not earn enough money to take care of his little brother too. His mother had left him and his older sister for her drunkard boyfriend and their father left them for the household help he worked with, leaving them to live on their own and face the bitter realities of life.
Rommel adopted a stray dog named Badgi, who was the only hope in his life. It was his protector from anyone who tries to tease him. His dog serves as a best companion to him. Rommel can be found wandering the streets of Quezon city with his furry friend. He begs on the streets and tries to convince people for giving him some money or food. His sad story was first shared by Maria Kabs who came across Rommel at a street in 2015. She was inspired by the boy’s struggle and his miserable condition, so she interviewed him and took a few pictures, sharing them on social media. His story went viral, people have been playing their part to help the poor boy and his furry friend. Due to their support, the boy is now able to go to school and does well in studies. He is living a quite better life.
Rommel’s only hope was a stray pup he had named Badgi and they have become good friends.
He is saving each penny order to go to school and continue it.
Now, Rommel has been sent back to his home in Bulacan and is currently attending school.
Although education in the Philippines isn’t free, all the support and kindness he has received from strangers has allowed him to attend school.
Watch the feature Coconuts Manila did on the pair below: