Badjao Beggars: The Art of Begging

               Beggars scattered around Metro Manila. We will feel their presence in every corner of the street. It seems that extreme poverty is very rampant in our society. They don’t have an opportunity to get decent jobs or let us say that they already made this as a career. They knew that the Filipino people have a kindred spirit and a merciful heart. Just lay your hands in the street and there is someone would give them alms.

                Nowadays, it is very noticeable that Badjaos are begging for money. In previous years, they only travel to Metro Manila during Christmas season. But now, they already stayed here. Maybe because they found out a livelihood here. According to the story of other people they only used boat when they traveled to Luzon. Badjao are known as a sea dweller because their house was built over the water.

                Like typical beggar, they are entering on a jeepney and they give envelop. There is a message there written there introducing that they are Badjao and they ask for help. So, if you give money they can buy it food. Some of them have an instrument made in can that gives an eerie sound. While they are singing to their dialect. 
                Public have different reactions to the activities of our Badjao brothers and sisters. Some of them gives sympathy with them. That’s why, if they have only an extra money they don’t have a second thought to give it. As what they believed, it is better to give than to receive. They are very thankful because they are not with their situations. But of course, there are also individuals who are annoying to the Badjao beggars. Some of them are snatching food if you don’t give them money. For them, they don’t want to give them attention to any beggar, Badjao or not. Because when you give alms, you’re not helping them. Nut you only teach them how to become lazy. As what the adage said, “Teach them how to fish...” It means that give them a livelihood rather than giving alms.

                But if we would study the law, there is already an Anti-Mendicancy Law. It created during the Marcos Regime. The law stated that giving or receiving alms is prohibited because it only destruct the dignity of a person. Despite of this, there are still so many beggars in our country. Who can blame from this kind of situation- the beggar, the giver or the government? Or just let them to continue their activities; for that is the only job they knew. In the end, it is still up to you if you will give them alms or not. Well, sometimes it is not bad to give them money. We feel good when we give our little help to someone. But if you give alms to all beggars that approaching you; you will lose all of your money. Why? You can’t count them how many their numbers. Remember that you’re not a philanthropy nor a worker of DSWD.