A Look Into Their Lives – Summary from “The Philippines – The Slum Episode 3: Storm Rising” – film by Paul Roy, Al Jaazera

Dear readers,

This is the third summary for the six-part film series, “The Slum”.

In Ulingan, Manila, Bebe and her husband, Judy have operated a charcoal pit for the last nine years. They scavenge for wood all over the city. The wood is then stacked, covered and set alight. The process takes three days and one mistake can ruin the whole batch. They receive unfortunate news that their charcoal factory will have to be cleared. With savings, they open a toy shop.

A single dad, Frank looks after his ten-year old daughter, Princess. His life changed when he came third in the TV show, Pilipinas Got Talent. Now, he performs at events and embraces his newfound fame. As a child, he worked at a dump site called, Smokey Mountain collecting plastic cups to sell. In December of 2014, Typhoon Trami rips through the country killing 6,000 people and leaving 4 million homeless. Frank’s family lives in the northern part of Cebu and he has no idea if they are alive. After saving money for travel, he travels to Cebu and is reunited with his family.

Bebe, mother of nine sells cooked corn from her food pushcart. She fears that she may not be able to push her cart anymore as she gets older. She wants to move to the provinces where she says anything grows. In an underground shack under a two-lane bridge, she lives with sixty five other families. Living above the water, Bebe’s home was also damaged by the typhoon. Not only that but her young son and his wife have been driven out of their squat home. Sweet corn prices have skyrocketed and Bebe has been having trouble sourcing produce to sell. Her last resort is the national lottery.