There are few things more heartbreaking than seeing a child living on the streets. Sadly, it’s more common than most people realize.
Photographer Maria Kabs noticed a little boy named Rommel Quemenales living on the streets of Quezon City in the Philippines and decided to take some photos of him to share on her Facebook page. Rommel might have been homeless, but he had found a way to bring joy to his life. He had adopted a puppy that was also living on the streets.
Kabs was touched by their friendship and photographed them together. Rommel didn’t have much to offer the puppy other than love. It turns out, that is all the puppy wanted. Rommel and his canine friend are happy despite their living situation. Now, neither of them has to be lonely because they have each other.
Kabs published her photos on Facebook, and they got a lot of comments. Many people were touched by them. Although everyone wishes that Rommel wasn’t living on the streets and was able to have a normal childhood, they are also glad he has a friend to play with and to make him happy. Rommel’s story is far more heartbreaking than most people realize.
According to Rommel, his father left them in 2009. His dad fell in love with their nanny and never returned to his family. His mother is still around but doesn’t care that Rommel spends most of his time on the streets. Sometimes, Rommel stays with his older sister, who is at work more often than not.
He would like to go back to school and play with other kids his age. He explained that he found the puppy and named him Badgi. Most of the time, Badji is Rommel’s only real companion.
Rommel said that his little brother Adji got l.o.s.t when they were younger and that Badji the dog reminds him of his brother. His mother says they looked around town for Adji at first but never called the police. According to his mom, their father said they shouldn’t worry about Adji. He said the boy would turn up one day, but Rommel still doesn’t know where he is.
“[Badji is] my playmate. I really do think of him as my brother,” said Rommel. “I even carry him as I did my brother.”
Little Rommel spends most of his days begging for money. He goes around town, politely asking strangers for change. The boy collects and saves up as much money as he can, and he uses it to feed Badji, and then himself. He carries Badji with him most of the time, but when he sets the pup down, Badji always follows closely behind. Rommel also saved up money to get school supplies so he could further his education.
Rommel’s life isn’t easy, but he always makes the most of it. The kind people who have helped support Rommel and his dog have helped him get an education, which is a huge win in his eyes. He wants to go to school so he can help his siblings too. Rommel enjoys teaching Badgi different tricks and cuddling with him at night. Rommel might have been dealt a rough hand, but he has learned to care for others and be compassionate. Badgi and Rommel are lucky to have each other. Hopefully, their lives will get better one day.