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‘Batang Baklas’ works hard to save money so he can be a lawyer someday

  • “Batang baklas” are what kids who scavenge for discarded appliances are called
  • The job requires strength and patience
  • One batang baklas dreams of becoming a lawyer to defend the innocent who are wrongly accused

“Batang baklas” are what kids who scavenge for discarded appliances are called. They break down the appliances to get to any copper in it which they sell to junk shops.

A batang baklas named Jumong Narvez had his life story featured on GMA News TV’s ‘Front Row.’ In the documentary series, they detailed his struggles being a batang baklas which he does in order to save enough money to pursue his studies.

“Nagkakalas po, ang mga gamit ko po martilyo, lagari, kung ano-ano po. Tapos po nag-iipon po ako para sa pampa-aral ko,” he said.

Sometimes, he is called in to disassemble broken appliances. Other times, he’s the one who goes house-to-house looking for appliances to scavenge.

This isn’t an easy job for Mong because it needs strength and patience. At the age of 12, Mong is already doing this labor intensive job.

“Nakakapagod po. Sumasakit yung kamay ko tapos napapagod ako parang hinihingal,”

Mong started working when his grandmother got sick and he needed to help his father earn some money. But one of his main reasons was to save money so he could go to school to get a better life for himself and his family.

“Kailangan ko po kasi para makapagpaaral ako. Gusto rin ng magulang ko na makapagtapos ako,”

Mong was earning 50 to 500 pesos, depending on the copper, metal, and aluminum he can gather within a day.

“Tinutulungan ko po siya kahit hindi niya ako bigyan [ng pera], kasi po magulang ko po yun eh. Nilalagyan po niya ng pera [yung alkansya ko] para po makapag-aral ako.”

At the end of the program, Mong became emotional when he was asked about his mother. Mong is the one who takes care of his siblings due to the absence of their mother.

His mother is in jail for using illegal drugs which Mong believes to be untrue.

“Nakausap ko nga po siya kagabi eh. Umiyak nga po ako eh. Kasi nami-miss ko na po kasi siya. Gusto ko po sana makabalik na siya. Miss ko na siya eh. Miss ko na yung nanay ko,”

He also shared his dream for his mother and for his future.

“Pag nakapagtapos po ako. Pangarap ko nga pong maging abugado eh. Para po makatulong ako sa mga wala namang kasalanan na kinukulong nila.”

Unfortunately, Mong’s savings weren’t enough to buy the school supplies he needed.

“Kahit ano pong bag o notebook. Basta lang po makapag-aral lang ako. Gusto ko lang pong makapagtapos.”

Mong is only one of the thousands of Filipino children who want to pursue their studies but lack financial support. Here’s hoping that children like him would help soon.

Written by Rhelyn Harder

An open-minded person who seeks to inspire readers through writing. She believes that having the freedom and courage to express oneself is an opportunity to influence others.

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