BrianBrian C. was born on July 20, 2002. He is the sixth of seven siblings. His father is a carpenter but is always in between jobs. His father sometimes goes up the mountains to sell mussels that he gets from the pond close by their house. When it is harvest time for corn in a relative’s cornfield, he also helps so he can have a share of the harvest. The parents serve as caretaker of a land; in exchange they are allowed to build a hut, plant vegetables and crops without needing to give a cut to the owner of the land. The owner only gets a cut from the nipa palm that grows in the area. Brian, his parents and siblings all know how to make roofing material from the nipa palm.

Brian doesn’t look for a fight but he doesn’t back out of one. When his siblings or niece (who is older than him) are hurt by others, he takes up for them. He has a temper too when he confronts.

Brian is a thoughtful boy. Whenever the tide is high, water overflows the log that serves as a bridge to their hut. The soil is also very muddy. Brian digs up dry soil and covers the muddy pathway so I will not slide. This he prepares for me when I was still going to their place everyday to dress the wound of a man that stayed with them for some time.

Brian was told by his teacher not to come back. The teacher had a time with him because he doesn’t know how to read. Brian stopped going to school. He spent his time helping father or mother, or if he gets bored, he plays with the dogs and chases the ducks left by a person for them to breed.

His elder siblings don’t have time or the skills to teach him how to read. The woman that his eldest sister does laundry for talked in Brian’s behalf to a teacher of a Baptist school. Brian is now in kindergarten learning his ABC’s again.

Every Saturday, Brian comes to Carmen with his siblings, eager to be with us and listen to bible stories. He wants to be a soldier when he grows up.