During the year of 2001 when I was around 7 years old, my Grandma sadly passed away, so my Mother and I both moved to the Philippines for the winter. It was my 3rd visit, I remember those months being quite a blur, there was a mishmash of both happy and sad experiences that year. Spending Christmas, New Years and celebrating the Sinulog festival without my Grandma was very odd.
I spent my time staying both at my family’s home and in hotels. One of the hotels I stayed in was near the heart of Fuente Osmeña, which is situated uptown in Cebu City. I was heading back in a taxi from doing some late night shopping at Ayala Shopping Centre with my Mum. It was nightime and I was enjoying the solitary air and the delightful lights of signs and stalls scattered around the streets. The beautiful and prestrigious Fuente Osmeña fountain centerpiece exposed itself with illumated jets of water, creating a romantic setting under the mottled shade of narra and mahogany. All of a sudden a enormous swarm of people were coming from all directions, the streets were completely clogged with traffic, I was stuck.
There were groups of very young street children, long-haired and loinclothed, congregating their own circles, sitting on scraps of cardboard playing games. I remember looking over to the other side of the window and seeing a youthful girl, her bruised face was pressed slightly against the window with a handful of little white flowers, her other hand was open in a begging guesture, asking for money and food. I looked back over to my side of the window and a small assembly of street children were chanting tunes about love, hope and Christmas.
290 words = Fail. I tried to keep it as short as possible - sorry!