WHENEVER the Yuletide season draws near, mendicancy in many parts of the City of San Fernando and its neighboring towns is getting rampant. The mendicants are not new to our sights, they are either Aetas or Badjaos who beg from motorists for some loose coins.

These mendicants can be found mostly in road stoplight areas where vehicles have to stop on red lights and while waiting for the green lights, these people go near them and show their palms to vehicle occupants.

The Aetas sometimes bring with them their kids, perhaps there's no one to attend to them or are purposely tagged-along so those who shall be giving them alms would show more mercy to them. What is saddening is that children are exposed to dusts, vehicle emissions, the sun's heat, rain or to dangers on roads like accidents.

The Badjaos, meanwhile, are usually composed of young children who go inside or hitch on jeepneys entrances regardless of the risk of accident. They usually bring with them their improvised bongo drums and using their hands, they make melodies as their way of begging. These children are reasons to think of the word mercy.

These seasonal mendicants are regulars during this time of the year. They can be usually seen in road intersections, malls and in other places where there are crowds. Pandemic or no pandemic, they are there to somehow have a little financial resources. However, despite our desire to help them, we need to consider the anti-mendicancy law or the ordinances that actually prohibit mendicants from doing their stuff.

In addition, whenever we give alms, it is as if we encourage them to just rely on mendicancy for their living. Besides, when they get used to begging because we give them the alms, we expose them to various elements like pollution and accidents.

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Sunstar Pampanga is celebrating its 26th anniversary. How time flies since its birth to this day. How time flies since this humble representation started writing for the paper. It is but proper and fitting that we celebrate a milestone that is the anniversary of a local newspaper that is no. 1 in readership, integrity and fair reporting.

To our readers, thank you for your unstinting support. To the management and colleagues of Sunstar Pampanga, happy anniversary to all of us.

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