Saturday, February 20, 2010

BASURERO by Jay Taruc


Imelda and Jennifer - they are the batchoy collectors.
Together with their family living in overpass, they collect leftover foods.

Tambakeros- the group of scavengers in pier 18 in Tondo, Manila.

Jessie de Guzman - a handicap tambakero known as "putol"

JR Baloran -a young tambakero who was accidentally killed by a bulldozer while searching for plastics and cans.

Adoracion and fabian Baloran - parents of Jr Baloran. Former tambakeros.

Ronald - a teenager tambakero and a rugby user.

Proceso dela Cruz - a veteran tambakero

Angela villacoria - a former scavenger of Smokey Mountain but now she spends her time in helping her family in planting and recycling plastics to make a souvenir to sell.

Father Benigno Beliran - a missionary who help the Smokey Mountain recover. He initiated different livelihood programs in Smokey Mountain


The "Basurero" is an i Witness documentary telling the story of its case studies.
The first part of the documentary begins in a family living in an overpass in Cubao also known as "barangay overpass". During the day, the family begs from the people passing the overpass, and during night they collect leftover foods that they called "batchoy". They collect batchoy from garbage cans of fastfood restaurants but they also asked permission first before they start collecting batchoy such as leftover vegetables, fish and meat.
One member of the family living in barangay overpass is Jennifer who believes that collecting batchoy to feed their hunger is better than to live in marinduque wherein the only food that she can eat all day are just boiled bananas.
After collecting enough batchoy for the family, they take it to the overpass and recook it so that the germs are somehow killed. And the batchoy they collected become their meal for the night.
The second part of the story focuses on the "tambakeros", the term calles to a group of scavengers that live in the dumpsite of pier 18 in Tondo, Manila.
One of the tambakeros is Jessie de Guzman who is popularly called "putol" by his co-scavengers due to his incomplete number of fingers. Two of his fingers were cut off while he was searching for scrops.
Another tragic experience made by being tambakero is the event that even the life of a young child was taken. Jr Baloran is the name of the child who was accidentally killed by a bulldozer while he was searching fore some plastics and cans. Adoracion and Fabian Baloran are the parents of the innocent child. They decided to stop their activity as tambakeros because it just reminds them of the painful accident happened to their son who was the only boy of the family.
Jay Taruc, the reporter of the documentary also try to be a tambakero for almost two hours but unfortunately being tambakero is a very difficult job so he only earned 7 pesos from collecting plastic and cans and according to the tambakeros by that amout you can buy icewater.
There are also other tambakeros in the dumpsite like Proceso dela Cruz a veteran tambakero, Ronald a teenager that only works to support his vices which is rugby. According to Ronald, most of the kids and teenagers tambakeros aging 10 to 16 years old use the money they earned to buy rugby amounting 5 pesos per plastic. According to him there is a place in the dumpsite where they do their vices, they called the place "sirang bahay" or an abandoned house.
The third case study discusses the new face of Smokey Mountain which is formerly a big dumpsite and eventually rehabitalized. There are now building established in the place to serve as a shelter for the former scavengers of the Smokey Mountain. They planted vegetables and recycled the garbage into fertilizers to earn money rather than being scavengers again. The children are now spending their time through studying and developing their talents like dancing. Angela Villacoria who was a former scavenger is now a helper of her family in planting and making new products like souvenir from recycled plastics. These total changes in Smokey Mountain were brought about through the help of a person of a kind heart and artistic mind named Fr. Benigno Beliran. He is a missionary who headed the different livelihood programs in the Smokey Mountain.

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