By Jude Sia

Every Filipino family desires a simple life. Every one of us, especially for a father or a mother, dreams of having a house which he can call truly his own.

But it seems that this dream is very elusive to many Filipinos.

Join me in this special report brought to you by Center for Peoples Media, together with Kilos Maralita and Center for Power Issues and Initiatives about the lives and experiences of our fellow urban poor here in Caloocan and their struggle to have a house of their own.

This is Fely… 68 years old.

All her life, she dreams of having a house that is her own.

FELY ARROYO, beneficiary:
“We have no permanent house, we always move from one place to another. We used to live in Sucat… Sucat Paranaque. After that, we transferred here. We have been here for ten years already. My husband seldom comes home, he sleeps in his workplace. Here, I am by myself. Ther’s a lot of burglars here, especially when there’s a brownout. It’s scary.”

According to Fely, her husband’s salary as a construction worker is so measly that it hardly covers their daily expenses.

Especially their monthly rent, bills on water and electricity.

Something she has no access to unless connected illegally due to the absence of power supply.

FELY ARROYO, beneficiary:
“If we’re disconnected, we hook up to our landlord for electricity. We just pay him for it. We always settle our rent and water consumption. Sometimes we cannot cope up with our expenses. I’m trying hard to make ends meet especially that my kids do not support us.”

Flood is also a concern not only for Fely and her family but also to her neighbors especially when there is a disaster like a typhoon.

FELY ARROYO, beneficiary:
“When it rains the water gets into our kitchen floor. The most devastating is the typhoon Ondoy. The flood water roses as high as the rooftop, all residents were vacated into safety. I stayed to my neighbors’ place to spent the night. My husband is not here. He is at work in the construction at that time. I was able to save some of our belongings but most of our things were washed away. This place was like a vast ocean.”

More than becoming the usual victim of calamities, Fely is also a victim of a situation more serious and long enduring… poverty.

The absence of housing and opportunities to make a decent living is a manifestation that, like Fely, a great number of Filipinos are in poverty.

What’s in it for Fely to have her own house?

Who should help her and the others as well?

Will their dreams come into a reality?

We will give you more of the stories of the urban poor and their experiences.

This is Jude Sia. Thank you. CPM

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