Photos of a homeless boy adopting a stray to battle loneliness captured the attention of netizens around the world.
No child should be forced to live on the streets. It is a sad world we live in when this has become the norm in many countries.
Quezon City in the Philippines has almost 3,000 street kids; most have run away from a violent upbringing, sexual abuse, drugs, alcohol, or perhaps a broken home.
This young boy, Rommel Quiminales, has been surviving on the streets since he was 10 years old. His family had split apart, and there was no one to care for him.
Therefore, he was forced to become independent since a very young age.
When Maria Kabs stumbled across Rommel at a street in 2015, she couldn’t help but be moved by his plight, so she interviewed him and took a few pictures, sharing them on Facebook.
The then-11-year-old boy had befriended a little pup, which he named Badgi, and Kabs could see the dog was everything to the lonely boy. Rommel wouldn’t go anywhere without it.
Badgi loves the boy dearly too and helped to protect him from other children who tried to steal Rommel’s money.
Rommel told Coconuts Manilla, “When those boys sniffing glue bully me, he barks at them and they back off.”
When Rommel saves enough money, he takes the bus to visit his older sister who lives in San Jose. As a factory worker, she earns very little and does not have the means to care for him. Rommel also mentioned that there is no electricity at her home and a gas lamp is used for light.
Rommel, who quit school in Grade 2, expressed his wish to be able to go back to school, “I’m saving the money I collect from begging and I’ve already bought a notebook.”
He also added that after that, he would like to become an actor or maybe a vet, as he loves animals and would also like to care for them.
Many people were interested in Rommel’s story, and the photo of him hugging his dog was shared countless times on social media, garnering media attention as well.
According to an update by Coconuts Manila, a month after Rommel’s pictures went viral, he managed to successfully enroll back in school.
He returns to Quezon City on the weekends to continue begging though. Let’s hope all turns out well for this little boy and his dog.
Indeed, being homeless is not easy, as one has to protect oneself from the heat, cold, and tough day. This story serves to remind us that we should be grateful for all that we have.
Thumbnail Credit: Facebook | Maria Kabs