Six Part Documentary Takes Viewers To The Poorest Parts Of Metro Manila In Al Jazeera’s “The Slum”

Six Part Documentary Takes Viewers To The Poorest Parts Of Metro Manila In Al Jazeera’s “The Slum”

50 years from now, one in three people worldwide will live in slums. That is the opening line of a six part documentary by Al Jazeera simply called “The Slum”. All six episodes were filmed in Metro Manila, with most focusing firmly on Tondo and its various informal settlements.

Al-Jazeera-The-Slum-Tondo-Manila

Each episode follows different individuals and tells different stories about life in the harshest parts of the nation’s capital, and one would be hard pressed not to be emotionally affected in some way when watching this documentary series. The important questions as to why these informal settlements exist and why the government is failing to provide its citizens with a better quality of life are huge subjects for another day entirely, but all six parts of Al Jazeera’s “The Slum” are now available on YouTube and I have listed them below for your convenience. Each episode is around 45 minutes long:

Episode 1: Deliverance

The first episode follows self-taught midwife Remy Permites as she delivers new life in Paradise Heights, as well as fisherman Gener Pagtabunan and his wife Lorna as they struggle to provide for their growing family:

If you cannot see the above video, click here to watch it on YouTube. 

 

Episode 2: Risky Business

Episode 2 features Ricky Fuertes, who has to cope with his home burning down in a fire, as well as diver Chito Barquin and tyre repair man Freddie Awayang as they try to overcome the struggles of their daily lives.

If you cannot see the above video, click here to watch it on YouTube. 

 

Episode 3: Storm Rising

The third episode accompanies charcoal makers Judy and Babes Barines, as well as Pilipinas Got Talent superstar Frankendal as they tackle separate challenges brought onto them by the typhoon. 

If you cannot see the above video, click here to watch it on YouTube. 

 

Episode 4: Vote For Me

Episode 4 takes the viewer into the heart of local elections and shines a light on the serious business of politics in Happyland and surrounding areas.

If you cannot see the above video, click here to watch it on YouTube.

 

Episode 5: For Love Or Money

The fifth episode follows Nieves Granada, who lives on Smokey Mountain, Jeepney driver Dante Clarin, and eight months pregnant Sally Macaraeg as they struggle with the challenges of every day life. 

If you cannot see the above video, click here to watch it on YouTube.

 

Episode 6: Breaking Out

The final episode follows aspiring ballerina Jessa Balote, mixed martial arts fighter Jessie Rafols and would-be model Justine on their quests to achieve success and a better standard of living. 

If you cannot see the above video, click here to watch it on YouTube.
 
All six episodes are shot with the subtle approach and calm quality that Al Jazeera is known for, and are well worth your time. They all of course also throw open a whole raft of thoughts, questions and feelings, such as why more isn’t being done to help those most in need, and how that help should actually be delivered to achieve a permanent improvement in the standard of living. 
 
The whole series is also available on the Al Jazeera micro site and serves as a stark reminder that, while most of the country revels in the economic boom and wonders what condo to buy, what car to drive, and what fancy restaurant to try next, a lot of people are still less fortunate and are left wondering why the Economic Boom Express hasn’t stopped at their station yet.  
 
All Jazeera – The Slum
 

 

Six Part Documentary Takes Viewers To The Poorest Parts Of Metro Manila In Al Jazeera’s “The Slum”






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