Kids in these pictures are begging for whatever coin drivers or passengers might toss to them. This is at the mountainous barrios of Capoocan, just after Kanga.
I agree they need help. BUT not necessarily because of Yolanda.
They have been doing this for years. I have pics and vids from previous travels about this very same ‘act’. Their story goes something like this…
That stretch of the highway (rather long) have been seeing re-construction of its pavement. And as usual for government entities, said construction does not come in one pass, they do it segment by segment – so there is perennial construction activity in this area.
When a portion is upgraded, only one lane can be used by motorists in these steeply inclined, mostly sharp-winding roads – where people are needed to guide motorists when to proceed or wait. In the past, they would even use colored flags (green and red) to do this. I started shooting every time I pass when there were times mothers did the “guiding”.
Then came the children. No more adults with green or red flags guiding traffic. Only kids with their bare hands – one waving to stop or let vehicles pass, while the other hand signals you, urging you to toss a coin.
After Yolanda (this trip), these ‘creative kids’ now have signs that say “Help Us” or “We Need Food, Water, Shelter” and many others. Some even greeting Manny Pacquiao, asking for his help – since the boxer is supposed to come by this area tomorrow.
Just to set the record straight (since I saw foreign journalists parked nearby) those are not necessarily Yolanda-stricken kids. Well, who knows, they may really be typhoon victims, though not that badly (in their background, everything intact). Just the same, it is obvious they need help as they probably won’t be doing that if they don’t.
They need/ed help even years before Yolanda struck. For now, Yolanda is their 'advertising banner'!
For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these numbers: