Tanong: Anong pangalan mo?
Tanong: Anong Apelyido?
Sagot: Umm, Kapitan ng barko.
Tanong: Yong apelyido?
Tanong: Saan ang Tatay mo?
Sagot: Dyan sa Cabildo, namatay, sakit sa puso.
Tanong: Saan ang Nanay mo?
Tanong: Saan ang mga kapatid mo?
Sagot: Sa Makati, dalaga na sya.
That was how I engaged Mario in a short conversation a couple of weeks ago. I found him again today (most times he is found at the corner of Magallanes Drive and the foot of Jones Bridge, Manila), and I shot a short video of him:
On the south side of Magallanes are vendors (mostly offering food) and one of them (whose name I should have asked) offered me more information about Mario. He said Mario was a mental case. A special child, I thought, which was pretty obvious from the first sight of him.
“Since when,” I asked.
“Since birth,” he said.
“Maraming pera yan. Pinupuntahan yan ng kapatid nya. Kung minsan naman binibigyan namin ng pagkain. Kilala na yan dito sa port area. Taga Delpan yan.”
He went on: “An Nanay niya katulong ng isang Intsik dyan sa Binondo. Na-anakan ng Instsik at si Mario ang anak. Yong mga kapatid nya sa ina may kaya sa buhay.”
I thought (rather unfairly and certainly without basis) maybe the parents tried to abort him with pills, and so Mario suffered from such factory defects.
Quote of the day:
It is a great poverty that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.
— Mother Teresa