the Philippines | House + Love = Home

“This is part of what a family is about, not just love. It’s knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame. Not work.” 

— Tuesdays with Morrie 

My workmate at ADB was a public school teacher, he told me that in Manila, only poor children will go to public school because they don’t need to pay the tuition,  I was curious about how poor it is, so asked my workmate to take me there, to my surprise, when I arrived in the community, I thought that I was in the slum, the only difference is that here it’s legal to stay.

Because of tiny space at home, hundreds of children were playing on the street or help parents to earn money, I was thinking “since I like painting, why not provide them opportunities for painting? ”

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So my workmate helped me to organize a free art workshop for these kids, and 100+ applied for it! Because of limited time and space, we host 2 rounds of the workshop to 80+ kids, those kids were even fighting for it, my workmate told me “they want to learn painting and music, but never have the chance to do it, and no money for it.”

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The theme of artwork is “Home” because I want these children to do me a favor.

I can paint anything that I have experience, except home. I’m a person without home, so I always enjoy to live in the homestay and feel other family’ happiness and love, but I still have no idea how to painting home.

So I asked these children to paint kids on Persian Princess’ body, to share with me their feelings of home.

Some children painted lots of sisters and brothers and told me that “home is where the family is, I love my family.”

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Some children painted heart, cross, family and a tree, and told me that “Home means love, belief, family, and heritage.IMG_8770

Some children painted a pair of hands and told me that “Home is where we help and support each other.”

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Some children painted bright colors and told me that “Home is a feeling of happiness.”

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Some children painted dark colors and told me that “home makes me sad because of no food but quarrels.”

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There was one child, he kept painting black colors, I asked him why black, he said that “My home is small and dark, it looks like black.” I followed him to his house, and saw this temporary house made by plastic cloth, 4 people shared one bed inside the space.

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Every Child used their own paintings to tell me a story of their family, it was those children who even didn’t have a nice house made me realize that ”

“Home is not only about the house, it’s about love.”

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When I spent this money and time, I didn’t feel that I’m paying out, but they are giving me love and happiness, when they came to hug me, I felt so happy and fulfilled.

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Mowen Li 

24th Sep 2017 
Mandaluyong, the Philippines 

2 thoughts on “the Philippines | House + Love = Home

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