Let’s just say that I am glad I did not visit Manila yesterday.
When I imparted my observations of the squalid conditions on the streets of Manila — specifically Taft Avenue — I had no idea just how wretched they were: “Children can be seen living on the streets of the Philippine capital, as they often do in many poor Asian countries, surviving by begging and picking through garbage in vast dumps”, reported Philip Pullella and Rosemarie Francisco in this article pertaining to the visit to Manila by the pontiff for Reuters. “The United Nations says 1.2 million children live on the streets in the Philippines. According to the Child Protection Network Foundation, 35.1 percent of children were living in poverty in 2009, the last year such data was available. Nearly 33 percent of Filipinos live in slums.”