Smokey Tours: A Tour to Remember in the Slums of Manila


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Have you ever wondered why it’s called Smokey Mountain? I did, and now I know the reason WHY, thanks to Smokey Tours. It’s not entirely the burning of garbage, but of charcoal making! It’s cheaper than using gasoline and it can also be used for cooking.

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It starts with wood. For Php 12,000, businessmen invest on wood or sometimes used wood coming from demolished homes. This amount can make 400 sacks of charcoal, which are sold at Php 400/ sack. 

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Mixed with soil and galvanized sediments, it’s burned for 2 days and left to cool for 3. Then poof! It’s charcoal.

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A family in the middle of packing charcoal. According to Ms. Remy, they only get paid Php 150 per day. That’s way below the minimum wage! Imagine, this work happens everyday and they don’t even have masks. As young as 3 years old, you’re exposed to hard work.

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Despite the hardships, the kids remain curious. If you look closely, they’re trying to feed the chick with a worm. 

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Despite the hardships, this Ate didn’t forget her responsibilities as an older sister.

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Despite the hardships, when I pointed the camera; these youngsters took their time to pose.

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Despite the hardships, this mom showed off her beautiful daughter. If you get to see this baby personally, you’d want to take her home!

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 Despite the hardships, these guys shouted “Give me one shot!” when I didn’t notice him.  He wore his shades and flexed his muscles.

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 Despite the hardships, after taking a serious shot, a wacky one was not out of the question 🙂 

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Despite the hardships, after carrying the garbage out of the truck, this hard-working guy took his time to relax and was kind of enough to allow me to take a photo. .