Rugby Boys The following is a continuation of an article entitled, “Tonite You Sleep” by Ernesto Cullari published in the Tri-City News, Asbury Park, which details the plight of thousands of abandoned children living on the streets of the Philippine city of Cebu, and the successful efforts of missionaries like my mother Dalisay and my stepfather Matt as they offer to as many of these down trodden children as possible a chance at knowing eternal hope and the opportunity for these kids to live a life transformed by genuine change:
The Philippines is a hot and humid country. In cities like Cebu, and Manila the nation’s capitol, the air is heavy, smoky and thick. The streets are trafficked by old Datsuns; metal multicolored Jeepneys over packed with riders and little taxis all pushing plumes of black dust into the air. For the uninitiated, briefly breathing the air can leave one’s throat burning for hours.
It is here among the dust and the bustling traffic that thousands of children roam the streets, the malls and shantytowns begging for money and getting high off industrial glue, known by the street kids as ‘Rugby’. Like flocks of seagulls the kids are everywhere aimlessly searching for their next meal, which always seems to come too late, so instead they settle for their next chance to get high. They are called ‘Rugby Boys’.
Dennis who is 15 or 16 and now lives at the orphanage run by Dalisay and Matt was a Rugby Boy. He was imprisoned for a short time for stabbing someone as part of a ritual initiation into a local gang. On the streets of Cebu, if you’re a Rugby Boy you will likely join one of two American inspired gangs, the Crips or the Bloods. Dennis recounts how his life was threatened. The other gang members told him that either he carries out the stabbing or he will be killed himself. The choice for most street kids is either join a gang or be a victim of a gang.
Jay-R is 12 years old and is a former Rugby Boy. He is in second grade now and doing well. He is energetic and lively but undisciplined and because of his past drug use he has the maturity of a 7 year old. Although he has been at the orphanage for four years, he lived three years on the street. Jay-R’s story is a common one:
His mother and father are separated. He currently has no idea where his father is or if he is living or dead. He has two older sisters, one of which was adopted and an older brother living somewhere in Toledo, which is an outlier of Cebu.
Like all street kids, Jay-R is more knowledgeable of the area than most taxi cab drivers. He recounts being arrested for sleeping on the street at least three times. He did not like prison because just like on the streets the older boys brutalize the younger smaller boys and Jay-R was an easy target. And, contrary to most news reports the children speak respectfully of the police. Respect and honor are integral to the Philippine culture, even on the streets.
So why write about the struggles and problems of children and a people that live on the opposite side of the world? Don’t we have enough problems here in the US? Real unemployment is 20% and people are facing serious challenges here. The answer to that is: tomorrow Rep. Charlie Rangel will still be a manipulative tax cheat, like his friend Tim Geithner and Congressional Democrats will still be advancing a misleading and corrupt call to healthcare “reform”. But perhaps the most important reason to write about my mother Dalisay is because everything she is doing to help those in need is contrary to the modern doctrine of Liberal Secularism, which relies on class warfare and demagoguery to accomplish its goals. It is a direct challenge to Obama’s false doctrine of Hope & Change.
In the name of Jesus, Dalisay and Matt feed the hungry from their own pockets. With their own hands and meager income they ransomed these children from the grips of despair. Today they feed, house and clothe ten children, who were nothing more than strangers to them just a few weeks ago. Real hope and change comes from personal sweat equity and not wealth redistribution. Compare that to the American bureaucracy, which in the name of Fairness confiscates wealth from 10 families to feed every one family that goes hungry in America. That’s math that even Charlie Rangel can’t hide from.
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