Jimmy is an eight-year old street urchin who sells peanuts and chicharons in the evening and probably until the wee hours.
I fell in love with this little boy the moment he approached us. He is just one of the few kids who go around Iloilo City to sell instead of asking for coins.
We were hungry and trying to find a cheap dinner, so we decided to eat in the sidewalk near Marymart Mall in Valeria Street, where there are plenty of native inasals and the like. While looking for a table to settle, Jimmy came to us trying to sell his peanuts and chicharons. He was so polite and quiet different from among the kids I have encountered. So I asked him to sit with us as I bought all of what was left for him to be sold.
Jimmy is in second grade in Calumpang Elemtary School. We were having our dinner and invited him to join us, but he refused. In the picture Jimmy engaged us in funny conversation where he told us he was already full so he ate the chicharon that we bought from him instead. Jimmy seemed to be a friendly kid for he was also well-known among the vendors. One vendor even said, "Buot gid ni sya ya nga bata" (This kid is really nice) while he rubs his head. In the midst of our dinner, we ordered a bottle of soda for him while he was munching on his chicharon. Then, one girl, about 14 years old and selling the same thing, passed by our table. He called her saying "Nang oh, tunga kita!" (Sister, come here, let us share) referring to the soda. We asked him to tell more about himself and he mentioned that after their class, he and his siblings would head to Valeria Street and sell chicharons along with their aunt. His aunt then passed by and noticed that all his chicharons have been sold and that he made friends with us. The aunt thanked us and paused in our table. She then opened up about Jimmy's situation. According to her, Jimmy's parents abandoned him and the "sister" he was calling was actually his cousin while his brother was not his biological brother for they were both abandoned by their parents.
Jimmy lives a squalid life at a tender age while some of the kids his age gobble up the world of technology. Jimmy is not just like other kids who sell peanuts, cigarettes, candies and the like in downtown. He was once like us in our generation, playing joyfully even if there was no technology. A typical street waif who makes friends with people, the kid who shares what he has and respects those older than him. We may rarely see kids playing in the street nowadays, but having to meet Jimmy made me feel glad. I shall see you again, Jimmy!