PAGPAG – The English version


There are so many told stories in the world,

Usually it tackles about the life of every human being.

However, my story for you,

was based on a documentary.


A story about some families,

Where their livelihood is coming from the dumpsite.

While watching,

I felt an ill feeling,

A pain from the past slightly awakened.


I never imagine that the world we revolve in,

Poverty is so extreme.


Once upon a time, I used to be very poor,

We didn’t have much food to eat every day.

Oftentimes,  the  table was always empty,

A sugar or salt mixed with rice would complement my meal.

In every mouthful I thought of

a scrumptious food.

Tons of pictures were painted in my imagination.


Even life was too difficult for the whole  family,

But we never even tried to eat,

Some “pagpag” food from the garbage site.

In our small house made of bamboo tree

where we lived,

Leftover food, shared only by cats and dogs.


I’ll go back to my story,

Shake off the dirt! That’s their motto.

Scavenging from garbage or dump site

is just their normal job.

Long time ago they only trade plastics and empty glass bottles from the garbage,

But now a days, they are also trading / selling shake off food among them.

Every time they shake off the dirt,

It brought so much joy to every family.


Most left over food like fried chicken,

Rice and spaghetti are also mouth-watering for them.

It is really sad to imagine,

If there are still solutions for this kind of problem,


In the country.

Where Poverty

Are very rampant recently.


Maybe this also needs more attention.

War against poverty,

Must be the primary priority.

Free Education, Hospitalization and Housing

Hopefully will be given,

to many of our fellowmen.


Because not everyone was born lucky

and wealthy,

Even you say, stop being  lazy.

Go get up, get work and get busy,

So that you’re life won’t be messy.


But the big question  is,

What about those orphan children?

Where street became their homes.

Deprived to have a better future,

Can we blame them

That they became an instrument,

For drugs, crimes and prostitution?


Indeed, this is the number one problem,

In our community. If you can see…


Now, it’s up to you to judge,

If it’s just and right,

To take away from them the aid

While the government is pre- occupied

with other priorities.

When in fact serving the poor

is their primary role.



Photo Source: Google


Filipino Language is really hard to translate in English – there are certain words that has no equivalent word translation. To be able to get same thoughts and ideas and to retain its original context – I have to avoid translating word for word.

When I wrote “Pagpag” in Filipino Language, I only used free verses with rhyming words at the end of each lines. Using Filipino idioms makes the poem very nice- Filipino idioms are completely different from English Idioms.

You will appreciate the natural beauty of this poem if you really speak or understand Filipino Language or (Tagalog dialect).

Pagpag – means left over Paige from fast foods scavenged from garbage or dumpsite.  It literally means shake off the dirt.

I only made an English version due to a request from foreign readers who have read the original Poem written in Filipino.

Thank you.


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