“This is my job eversince I was small. I’m getting tired of plowing. But I’ll still go on, I can handle it for my family”. – Reymak Mariano, 10 years old from Suldan Kudarat, Philippines.
This was the statement of a ten year old boy who live in the remote province of Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao part of the Philippines. He was crying while he’s being interviewed by the staff of a documentary program “KMJS” in GMA-7. I could feel his pain and hardship in life while watching this heartbreaking report. Reymark Mariano is still young to do a very difficult farming job – plowing a 2 hectares field everyday in the mountain with the help of his old horse. I couldn’t imagine his young body doing the work supposed to be for adults.
He was living with his grandparents who couldn’t work properly anymore due to some health issue. His mother left him when he was still very small and remarried while his father got a warrant of arrest for illegal possession of firearms and flee, and they don’t have any idea where he is. The poor boy left with his sister and raised by his grandparents. At the very young age of 6 years old, he started to learn from his grandfather how to plow and he’s doing it since then. He has no other choice because he needs to help his family. He is plowing with his old horse while his grandfather harvest the crops. He’s supposed to be in the school or at home doing online class or enjoying his childhood playing with other kids of his age. But instead, he is doing the responsibilities of his parents who left him.
My tears kept in flowing while watching him in tears sharing how hard his life is and that he wants to be a soldier someday. The way he spoke is very inspiring, I couldn’t imagine the words coming from his pure heart were from a very young boy. Hearing his story made me feel mad on his parents. Why on earth they left their children without considering how they will survive. Whatever their reasons, I still think it’s unjustifiable and unacceptable.
At the end of the report, the program team gave some financial help to Reymark and their local government also gave school supplies, groceries and seedlings to his family. They even sent medical help to the boy’s grandparents and a vet check-up for his beloved horse. They even gave them farm animals to raise so that Reymark can stop working on the field. The program really a big help to Reymark’s family, because of his interview, the government reached out to help.
Child labor is really a big issue throughout the globe. Millions of children are being deprived of the rights to live normally. Many are spending their time doing hard labor instead of going to school. I myself also experienced to work at the very young age to help my parents and support my studies. But my rights as a child was never been violated. I still go in school studying and could play with other kids. I mean, I worked because I knew I need to do something to help my family. Not unlike some other children who forced to work a very difficult job or in a dangerous environment, wherein their rights are being stolen.
Sometimes I want to stop seeing a documentary like this because it always breaks my heart, but I couldn’t help it. There’s so many to blamed why things like this is happening – the government for lacking of action, the irresponsible parents and the poverty.
Here’s the link to watch the full story of this documentary: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/lifestyle/familyandrelationships/788511/10-year-old-boy-in-sultan-kudarat-plows-land-with-horse-to-help-his-family/story/
Story and Photos credit to ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Sojo – GMA-7’