We actually wanted to visit Angelo – we drove almost an hour with the Jeepney, the typical public transportation of the Philippines. Angelo has renovated a beauty salon with our microcredit. We have not made an appointment as time and punctuality have a totally different meaning here.
When we got off the jeep, we were standing at a construction site, Angelo’s home was gone. At the site where his barber shop was located, street workers were building a canal. Behind it we see the remains of his hut. Leslie Nabong, founder of Project Life Subic, later recounted: “Because they can’t afford safe areas for their housing, they often build a small cottage somewhere on the side of the road, and house by house, you suddenly have an entire slum. People don’t ask whether that’s legal. They never learned about construction law. Why would they?” And when the city government wanted to build a new duct system, all illegal huts were demolished.
Angelo had always repaid all installments on time until he had to close his business. Currently, we deferred his rates. He does not have to pay any penalty fees or interest. Even after a long search, we were not able find him. Neighbors tell us Angelo has found shelter with friends, so he does not have to sleep outdoors. He makes home visits so he can earn some money despite the destroyed shop.
Author: Andreas Schüßler
Translated by Tobias Schüßler