I was engrossed in the book the entire four hours it took me to devour every word Majgull Axelsson (the author) had written.
This documentary novel captivated me so for its enthralling tale coupled with the fact that it was true in every sense.
Centered around the 1980s in a small town in the Philippines, the neglect, extreme poverty and struggle to survive is horrendous. It is very sad reading what children have to suffer due to poverty. Is it the pain of being alone, the betrayal and abandonment of relatives, the fear of not knowing where the next meal will come from or going for weeks without a decent meal; the feeling of helplessness and desperation that drives one to the edge of doing almost anything just to get a meager meal in order not to starve to death. Yet I see a will to live, I see bravery and courage that even most adults lack, and I see tenacity in the face of adversity. Then there’s that glimmer of hope which sometimes flicker but remains deep down in them that they could survive.
9 year old Rosario Baluyot starts to fend for herself on the streets of Olongapo. At that tender age, she is exposed to sexual abuse unwillingly. Two years down the line she is exposed to a sex tourist who does unthinkable and unimaginable things to her that leaves her dead seven months later.
The perpetrator is eventually apprehended and brought to book. He is given a sentence of life imprisonment. Rosario’s death is vindicated. But what about the life that is cut short abysmally.
This is just one out of tens of thousands of poverty stricken children in the Philippines and millions of other underage children around the world who are exploited sexually in different forms, be it child labour, sexual abuse or child trafficking.
30 years after her death, sex tourism is still very rampant especially in third world countries. Another form of this inhumanity is trafficking which we see in most parts of the world. The question is, what is being done to correct this?
They say the first step to correcting a problem is admitting it. So let’s not deny the existence of sex tourism, human trafficking, child molestation and paedophilic acts in our environments. Rather let there be a concerted effort from the government, NGOs and citizens towards eliminating them. Children are meant to be protected not molested and abused;
#kikelomo #stopchildtrafficking #endtrafficking #stopsextourism.
Note: Even if you’re paying for it, it is still child molestation so long as they are underage.