I first bought candies and a few sticks of Marlboro when I first met her about a month ago. Her small stall placed in the western-front corner of the provincial capitol park looks pitiful. Not only her box of candies and packs of junk food are in display, so are her loads of clothes (if they are used or laundried, that I can't tell)and blankets.
I thought, she's too old to be on the streets. When you're old you must have some place to go home to and loved ones to take care of you. She doesn't have any of that though she claims to have a lot of friends. Probably, that's the reason why she still manages to smile.
That's why I call her Nanay Ngiti. We have been having light conversations whenever I buy candies from her stall, ranging from politics to her personal life. The thing is, she speaks good English and Tagalog. And maybe, later, I'll found out more.
Somehow, in this world where everything seems so lacking and so frustrating, sometimes, I can't help but become truly sad about people like her who are on the streets.
I've tried to offer her some place where she can stay but she's hesitant because she also needs to earn a living and right at that park, she can do that.
What I've been doing just now is try to buy stuff from her stall instead of buying from someone else. That's probably a small thing but if there's anyone who should be helping her out more, that ought to be that place who owns the park where she sells. It's the job of people out there to help her and her likes.