Every time I pass by Delgado Street, I would always see street kids sleeping on the front seat of my dad’s custom “jeep.” I don’t startle them or scare them away. I actually like looking at them, enjoying the comfort our vehicle provides especially when the weather is too hot or if the rain is too strong. They just recline the seat and position themselves there.
At times, I could see three of them sleeping at the back, or two of them in front. Sometimes they go in the morning, sometimes mid-noon, and sometimes at night if my dad parks at that area.
It’s good to see them there.
Occasionally, I would tell them that they should return the seat in its proper position when they’re done resting.
“Salamat guid. (Thank you so much.)” they would always reply.
I did a painting of a young adolescent sleeping soundly on the front seat. The door was wide open and he looks like he’s enjoying the free accommodation. This work evoked a lot of emotions from me. One of those practice paintings that made me tear up a bit – recalling those memories of passing by and thinking about these people, the life that they are living, and how fortunate I am to even have a roof over my head.
My dad’s jeep is and will always be a “temporary” shelter for the poor.