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The Tropical Breeze: Mariel's story

Following is the story of a rescued girl, Mariel. Told in her native Philippines dialect of Ilongo, it is translated here for you.

September 2014

One month after my little sister was born, our mother abandoned our family, moved to Manila and lived with another man. We've never seen her since.

Living with our father, our derelict shack was beside the road. When our father came home drunk, he kicked the walls, the floor and even destroyed the grass roof. When it rained, it leaked so bad that everything in the house, our few scraps of clothing and ourselves would be completely drenched. Most of the time we were forced to sleep on the ground in the wet mud.

My sisters and me tried picking vegetables to sell at the market to make a few pesos to buy rice. Our father would take our money to buy rum for himself. Sometimes we would catch a couple small fish, but if our father saw it, he would eat the fish and give us the bones. He told us that children are not allowed to eat fish or meat, but only bones.

When generous people gave us rice, fish or meat, our father would take the food and either cook it and eat it by himself when we were away, or he would give it away to his friends and neighbours. Often we would have nothing to eat for several days. When our father brought rice home, he would cook it for himself and, if anything, give us a few scraps.

From an unknown age, until we were rescued by our benefactors, we were maltreated by our father. Even my littlest sister was subject to this maltreatment before reaching 3 years old.

Thank you for reading my story,


Mariels letter / TheTropicalBreeze.org
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