By: Rachel Ann B. Pedroso
There is no room for tiredness, only a bold conviction to earn as many coins as they can to stay alive. At the age of ten when their fellow young boys marched in excitement to go to school, these young “men” rushed with vigor to pedal their bicycles along the streets and get as much passenger as they can. Those strong, muscled thighs and lean, broad shoulders fueled their rented “sikads” from dawn to dusk, rain or shine, as long as their humble and hard service is needed. A ride will cost you five pesos and the sikad can occupy a maximum of two persons, amounting to 10 pesos. It is not an easy earning since those kids are not the only “padyakeros” on the block. Older and stronger men rivaled with prospect passengers, bullying them, fighting dirty at times to get the ride. It was heartbreaking when the youngsters bow their heads in fear or look in pained anger at those unfair bullies. But life must go on and coins must come in, no matter how hard the struggle may be they have to survive or end up with empty pockets and gurgling stomachs.
Are we aware of the hardships of these men? Do we realize how important our coins is to them? We see them as normal people in the street who has to pedal their way against the rubble of cars and big buses to be able to eat at least twice a day.
What are your thoughts about them?