I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

Cough syrup babies

When I first heard stories about how homeless folk were giving cough syrup to babies to keep them docile while their “mothers” or “sisters” carried them around, begging – I could hardly believe it. But still, I started looking closer at the babies these women carried around while knocking on car windows. Nearly every baby I saw had this dazed, spaced-out look; I’m betting if I had the opportunity to check them up close, I would have seen that these babies’ pupils were dilated. A symptom of codeine intoxication.

But really, you didn’t need to see their pupils. Babies are like the most active persons on earth; their faces are fluid with emotion – ranging from pleasure to glee to annoyance to drowsiness. The faces on these street-babies were slack, devoid of emotion or even interest in the world around them. They didn’t struggle or complain, even when big fat droplets of rain started pelting their upturned faces. One baby I saw simply blinked when he got hit by a rain drop right between the eyes. It broke my heart.

But that was then. Now, I’m just angry.

Someone should look into this. The DSWD should mount a campaign to round up all these street babies and just strip their “parents” of all parental rights. Seriously. How can you allow a professional beggar, who uses infants as a begging tool, retain parental rights? And how much would it cost to do this?

I could prolly get in an FX tomorrow, pay the guy 500 bucks and troll the streets of Manila with a coupla my musclebound friends and just … I don’t know, LIBERATE these infants; take ’em to a health center and have a doctor look them over. Who in their right mind is gonna come after me with a lawsuit? Who is going to take the side of someone obviously unfit to be a parent and try to send me to jail for taking an infant to a clinic? Really.

And maybe, after taking them to a clinic, I can take em to La Salle Greenhills and ask the religious there for sanctuary. Maybe these babies can be as lucky as Jun Lozada – he of the million peso defense fund – and get fed and clothed and sheltered by nuns. But HAH! I seriously doubt that.

And what about those cops, eh? Instead of using vagrancy laws to hassle sex workers, why don’t they use those laws to get beggars off the streets instead? Put them in those nice shiny new cars and take em to some half-way house or something. But then again, I guess a blowjob and a fuck from a desperate whore holds greater attraction than the same treatment from a skin-and-bones beggar.

Yo! Bayani! ‘Stead of putting up stupid faux-parisienne pissing stations, why don’t you use all that money to build welfare centers with soup kitchens and sleeping quarters? Take ’em off the streets, man! And then organize a march on those hypocritical La Sallian brothers.

Speaking of hypocrites …

Where the fuck are those La Sallian chesters now? Why aren’t they outraged at the state of these cough syrup babies? Hah! Given the time of year, I bet those LSGH assholes are busy organizing a retreat for their students – in the process milking the parents for money to put on those stupid slide shows and saccharine displays of false piety.

There is something screwy in our society when all we can talk about are the great big tragedies and the scandals; when those who proclaim themselves religious and pious can bestir themselves from their cloisters only when someone big accuses someone even bigger; and when these people remain indifferent to these relentlessly exploited defenseless humans who are being constantly drugged so that they can add to a begging syndicate’s daily take.

Shame on them. But ultimately, shame on all of us.


Filed under: society, , , , ,

One Response

  1. cvj says:

    Your false dichotomy aside, i totally agree with the need for shelter and soup kitchens.

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