Manila’s newly homeless tell of survival in lockdown – photo essay
As Covid hit, thousands of Filipinos were left trapped in the capital without work. Many ended up on the street and are still waiting to rebuild their lives
Like so many others before her, Michelle Sicat, a 28-year-old single mother from the province of Nueva Ecija, had come to Metro Manila to get a job to support her family. She left her daughter with her parents so she could work as a shop assistant in one of the city’s busiest commercial districts. Sicat’s sacrifice was one that many Filipinos from rural areas have to make.
Despite missing home, Sicat was happy to have a job. But then the Covid-19 pandemic struck. The Philippine government placed the entire island of Luzon – where the Metro Manila region is located – under the strictest level of lockdown. The restrictions forced most businesses to close. Most people were ordered to stay at home.
For many living on the streets, there is no shelter from the elements