Life’s Drama on the Railroad Track (part 1 of a series)

Posted: Monday, June 02, 2008 by Rom in Labels: , , , , , , , ,

It happened in a spur of the moment. I just grabbed my video camera as my partner and I headed off to the railroad tracks in a nearby town to shoot some footages that we might find interesting; and interesting indeed, as we found out a whole life of community surviving on the railroad tracks, unknown to many.

As we live comfortably numb in our own shelter and at the comfort of the four corners of our sanctuary, there just a few miles from our asylum, is a place where nobody dares to hoof. A place what they call slum area at the railroad tracks. About a hundred or more families squeeze themselves in a vacant lot beside the railroad.

Their means of living also depends on the tracks. It is so incredible how they managed to make a living, as they make their way earning about 50 to 200 pesos a day or $1 to $4 by pushing a “Trolley” as a means of transportation. The Trolley is an ingenious creation of the railroad tracks resident they substituted for the train.

No, the train wasn’t replaced at all. The residents, in their attempt to earn a living and to survive created a means of transporting people to their home. A 5x3 feet wooden Trolley pushed and powered by human energy and wheeled by small bearings resembling the structure of the train’s helm.

The driver charges 4 pesos or a dime each passenger for a 10 to 15 minute ride. Whenever two trolleys meet on the same flow of the tracks one must give way by carrying his trolley away from the track as the passengers must get off first. Yes I know, the journey wasn’t that pleasant as you have the view of the slum area. You also get to witness life’s profanity at its best, personified in the living condition of those who dwell beside this God-forsaken place.

However, the government sprayed perfume on their facial makeovers and superficial “nip and tuck” programs, the truth still stinks. The poverty in these places is insurmountable. It is a miracle that people living in this condition still find time to smile and think that there will be time that they will be alleviated from their present condition.

I happened to interview one of the Trolley drivers; I will feature him in my video and show it here in my blog soon, awaiting further completion. The interview was an enlightening, as well as a chest pounding encounter of a soul surviving in the condition unknown to many. Stories you can only find in the primetime slot of a TV drama or in the pages of a newspaper.

This is my first installment of the Life’s Drama on the Railroad Track.

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