The disturbing truths found in the Philippines, seen in ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’

The disturbing truths found in the Philippines, seen in ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’

- The Philippines is considered as a developing country, however, the marginalized sector of the country still faced a life full of burden and miseries

- The Cinemalaya entry ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’ revealed a lot of realities in the country’s poor sector

- The film earned the respect of a lot of film critics and received many awards during the 2016 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival

It is not a secret that there are many Filipino families are suffering from poverty which sometimes make them do illegal act such as stealing to fill their stomachs and survive the day. However, it may be unclear to some of us on how these people really get through their daily lives to survive the cruel realities they have to face every day.

The disturbing truths found in the Philippines, seen in ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’

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In the movie, Pamilya Ordinaryo, it portrays the lives of a teenage couple living on the streets of Metro Manila – Aries and Jane Ordinaryo. Through these two powerful characters, people are able to see ten heartbreaking realities of the Philippines.

The movie clearly shows this cycle of poverty, as the Jane and Aries steal from passersby just to have something to feed their child and to survive throughout the day. Both of them grew up on the streets which made them accustomed to such illegal doing. This sad reality has made many citizens in Manila to fear those who live on the streets because they might be victims of pickpockets or snatchers. Sometimes, there are people who resort to violence just to be able to get something valuable.

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Everywhere you go in Metro Manila, there will be families living on the streets- some choose to stay outside abandoned buildings and establishments while some living in ‘karitons’. The sad reality in this one is that some families have no one to work for the needs of the family so they resort to begging or sometimes stealing. However, the question is: Who is at fault for their misery? Is it their own fault because they did not strive enough to have a good life? Or is it the Philippine government’s fault for not providing enough opportunities for them?

The Philippine government has programs that aim to help Filipino families who live on the streets by providing them houses. However, there are still some who would oppose this and would prefer to live on the streets. Metro Manila has a lot of squatter’s area and often times we would hear news about a demolition project that resulted into violence between the families and the police officers. The government has housing projects for these families, however, they say that it is too far from the city where endless opportunities await them. Yet, they are still stuck in poverty and it seems that they are not going to escape from it anytime soon.

The disturbing truths found in the Philippines, seen in ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’

(Photo from: pop.inquirer)

This is not new for every Filipino. Every day we go out, we can easily spot these children walking barefooted on the streets, sleeping on boxes or even begging for some spare change. They did not choose to be there, but some of them were born on the streets and now their lives revolve around it. They are mostly uneducated because their major concern is what they will put in their stomachs. However, the sad reality is that without an education they are stuck in this cycle of poverty.  How can they escape from poverty when all they know is to live in the streets without an education to break them out?

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The Philippines has a high fertility rate. Nowadays, teenagers engage in premarital sex which leads to pregnancy out of marriage. In the film, Jane and Aries had a baby named Arjan. The problem with this kind of situation is that both parents are teenagers and are street dwellers. It is indeed difficult to raise a child if no one in the family has a stable job that would provide for the needs of the family. The sad truth is that baby Arjan is just another child born on the streets with parents who also grew on the streets. It is indeed an endless cycle for poor street dwellers.

The disturbing truths found in the Philippines, seen in ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’

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It is shameful to admit, but many people look down at the poor and those who pity them usually do nothing to improve their conditions. In the film, it was clearly shown that Aries and Jane were taken advantage of when they lost their child. Instead of doing their duty to help those who are in need, the police officers whom they asked for help to find their lost child wanted Jane’s dignity in exchange for the aid. Not only is taking advantage of the poor, but also an exploitation of a vulnerable mother who wanted nothing but to be reunited with her child. Indeed, a man in a suit will get more assistance from anyone compared to a child in rags.

In the movie you can clearly see that most of the people who helped Aries and Jane asked for something in exchange rather than helping them voluntarily or out of pity. They did it to either get money, fame, publicity or pleasure. The police officers helped them in exchange of Jane’s body in return and the radio and TV stations did it for good publicity. This is not only seen in the movie, but in our daily lives. Everything has a price. It is either you pay or you get nothing.

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The Philippines is a family-oriented country. Most families here look out for one another, regardless of class. In the film, it was clearly shown how a mother will go beyond every limit to have her child again. Jane and Arjan used the ‘skills’ so that they could earn money to have Arjan back. She broke laws and even chose to lose her dignity for the sake of her child. Her love for her child was what motivated her. No matter what obstacle that was placed in front of her, she overcame it.

The disturbing truths found in the Philippines, seen in ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’

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We have been stuck in this unfortunate condition and there seems to be no way out. The Philippines is a poverty-stricken country and ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’ perfectly depicted this reality. The sad reality that more and more families are dwelling on the streets; crimes are increasing because they have nothing to resort to just to provide the needs of their families. Many administrations have passed but the problem is still here- haunting us everyday.

We are indeed still far from solving poverty in the country and the consequences that come with it. The government has been continuously focusing its efforts to aid the marginalized sector of the country, however, there must be a cooperation between the government and these poor families. We cannot fully rely on the government for our everyday needs. We have to work for it. If we all work together in addressing such pressing issue in the country, only then will we be able to solve it. ­ - Kami Media



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