Mom & Little Ariel


New Year’s Day should be happy and prosperous, a time to welcome the next 365 days in an explosive and festive mood.  But for a mother and child on a footbridge across a major expressway in Metro Manila, it was business as usual.  Twenty-nine-year-old single mom Tess Orasa set up her mini “store” while her three-year-old son Ariel was sleeping soundly in a discarded carton fruit box from China. This was a typical day for them. Tess and Ariel, who lives in a small rented room without toilet in poor district nearby, would wake up early and bring their boxes, crates and merchandise to be able to sell candies, cigarettes, fruits, or bread to pedestrians crossing the footbridge on their way to work, market or school. Ariel would either catch up with his sleep in his imported box-cum-bed beside his mom or just play along the footbridge within his mother’s view. Ariel grew up fatherless. His mom’s partner abandoned them when Tess got pregnant with Ariel. But despite everything, Tess toils the whole day to be able buy food, pay her rent and give little Ariel toys to play with. And on new year’s day, Ariel got a new plastic blue robot. They may not have all the expensive items in the world, but they have each other. Priceless!