I am very happy to know that Blain Uy‘s Batang Tambol won as the best student-produced documentary of DocU: The I-Witness Student Docu-Making Contest. Blain Uy, the director, writer and cameraman, shared his success to Eunice Grace Cañeda as narrator and host, Fe Marie Dumaboc and John Earl Coronado as reseachers, and Athena Cabañero as their consultant. Blain and his collegues are senior Mass Communication students of University of San Jose – Recoletos, Cebu City.
Batang Tambol’s story is anchored on the life of Jason, a Bajao child who trace his roots from Basilan (Mindanao) and now living in a shanty community in Alaska, Mambaling, Cebu City.
I saw these Bajao children along the busy street in Mabolo going to Cebu Business Park. A lot of them are spread around metro Cebu, chasing with authorities who implemented the city’s anti-mendicancy ordinance.
After I watched Blaine’s documentary, I learned that the name of one those Bajao children is Jason. I only saw Jason and his friends preformed twice.
Jason is undoubtedly talented young boy. He makes you smile. However, no matter how fascinated I was with his performance, I never gave him peso. I stick on what is supposed the right help I should give to them. Giving them a peso is not helping but instead encourage them to be dependent.
The city government has program for Badjao families who migrated to Cebu to survive. I am sure of that. And I am also sure that the programs have not addressed fully on what these families need. Of course we cannot drain all city’s resources for them.
Batang Tambol makes my heart bleeds. It saddened me to see these children, risking their lives on streets just to live. Just to survive.
It’s so sad that these Badjao children beg for money to live with the controversial ASEAN Summit lamp on their backdrop. I don’t know how Jason and his friends react if they know how much money was spent and corrupted from a single ASEAN Summit lamp.
I’m sure their hearts will bleed, too.
I should not forget this: Congratulations, Blain Uy, Eunice Grace Cañeda, Fe Marie Dumaboc, John Earl Coronado, and Athena Cabañero! You make USJ-R and Cebu proud!
How can I help Jason and his friends? Something must be done.