Life Changing Day Walking Through Manila’s Slum Aka Smokey Mountain

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Walking through the muddy streets piled with trash, our hearts felt heavy. The stench around us was sickening. Trash and puddles everywhere. We couldn’t understand how people could live that way. Set in the slums of Manila, in the poorest of places is a neglected community who scavenges off trash.

The day we spent there has changed our lives. Possibly forever. We left the place unable to speak about the things that we saw. Despite growing up in Manila all my life, I’ve never seen this level of poverty.

manila slums


Everywhere we looked, there was trash. Pieces of wood and metal scraps outlined the place to create makeshift houses. Some even lived right under a bridge on top of the heavily polluted waters.

slums of manila

Majority of the community survive by sorting through garbage and selling it to nearby scrap yards. The place was filthy and was packed to the brim with people and trash. The worst part of it all was the fact that this was their reality.


smokey mountain temporary housing

These temporary houses are home to a large community of people dependent on the dump site. In one concrete block, you have around 100 families living in tiny boxes right next to each other. There are only two public bathrooms in every housing block to be shared by the 500 or so people that live there.

photo walk smokey mountain


Inside these cramped and dirty alley ways, we saw people living with no access to basic sanitation, clean water, or even just basic necessities like proper food and shelter.

sorting through trash smokey mountain

piles of trash

Located in what used to be Manila’s largest garbage dump, the people that live there have come from all over the Philippines. Some sold everything that they have in the provinces in hopes of coming to the city for a better life. With nowhere to go, they end up here.


smokey mountain trash

Every day, they sort through trash. They gather whatever amount of metal, plastic, or sometimes, even leftover food. Some sort through thrown away chicken bones from restaurants. They reboil it, chop it to pieces then fry it again just so they have food to eat.


smokey mountain pagpag

Every day, both adults and children sort through whatever garbage they can find in hopes of finding something useful. Some children are unable to go to school because their family needs all the help they can get to scavenge for survival.

living in the streets manila

trash smokey mountain

This is their reality. This is their life. We left the place in tears. Through our first The Wandergive Project campaign, we are raising funds for a Dutch run organization called Young Focus. They have established themselves in the community since 1992 by building two student centers and creating various programs to help with both education and malnutrition.


kids smokey mountain

For just $1, you can help feed a malnourished child for a day. A mere $30 for an entire month. Our goal? To raise enough money to support 20 children for an entire month. Young Focus trains the mum’s in the community on how to make nutritious meals for the children in their program.

boy smokey mountain


Your help, either in donation or just by spreading the word, can help make a difference in their lives.


Find out how YOU can help a child today by logging on to our crowd funding campaign.