Thursday, August 14, 2008


I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but these days here in Manila, a bright and sunny afternoon can suddenly turn dark, followed by a torrential downpour.

And this unexpected change in weather can inspire some local kids to become enterprising: offering a unique service to Manileños who are caught without a shield against the gushing rain. These boys will lend you an umbrella as you cross the street.

When asked for the rental cost of one, they would gleefully reply, "Barya lang po," (loose change only), and not give you any specific amount. This way, they will get more from those who truly appreciate their efforts.

I took this video to show the fun they had while making some money.

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posted by Señor Enrique at 3:24 AM


OpenID juleste said...

Enterprising indeed. And the boys seem to be enjoying themselves. Pero sana naka-raincoat sila kase baka naman sila ang magkasakit.

Kaya lang the price of raincoat for them to buy is another story..

Thanks for sharing this, Senor. First time kong makita 'to in your blog :-)

August 14, 2008 6:33 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

First time ko din makita ito sa Maynila, Juleste. But I have seen those who offer to push your car from the flooded street and those who charge a fee for a board for you to walk on in a flooded corner :)

Rains in Manila are rarely cold; hence, many kids choose to play in it -- as long as one doesn't stand under the gushing water coming from the roof because all the dirt up there plus the cats' poopoo would make the water dirty. Nonetheless, it's still recommended to take a regular bath afterwards.

BUT swimming in a flooded street is not a good idea ... hehehe.

August 14, 2008 7:53 AM  

Anonymous gemma said...

i miss the torrential rains in manila. the downpours that we have in new york could be best described as "anaemic" compared to those in the tropics.

this is off topic but i'd just like to thank you for the siopao tip in nyc's chinatown. it was closed down by the DOH last year but reopened last Friday. i was there this morning and the taste of good siopao with sausage and egg provided a much needed taste of home.

August 14, 2008 8:27 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Wonderful, Gemma ... and welcome home!

Incidentally, not sure how much longer you'll be in Metro Manila but I have another place for you to check out. Its siopao you MUST taste. Will post article about it tomorrow.

For now, enjoy!

August 14, 2008 9:07 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Wow! That is a good idea!
Clever kids. I never bring along an umbrella. I wish I meet one of those kids next time it is raining.

August 14, 2008 9:18 AM  

Blogger Lola said...

I love this post! I was laughing and yet, I got all choked up. I hope the kids are not really doing this to make a living. How sad that would be.

August 14, 2008 10:14 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

I remember those kids along España during my college days, there was a couple of kids renting their umbrellas for students to use going across the overpass all the way inside the campus. But the business was not really a hit because most of us carry umbrellas, yes, even guys and those with cars bring their own.
Pero mas malakas nuon ang negosyo ng mga tambays asking some money on their make-shift bridge to cross the flooded streets around UST. Minsan nagaaway pa yung mga tambay sa partihan ng collections. :D
Fun in the rain! lucky kids, enjoying their time and getting paid.

August 14, 2008 10:33 AM  

Blogger JayAshKal said...

These must be our future entrepreneurs!

Another great human interest post.

I remember as youngsters; my cousins and I use to sell Sampaguita and Ylang-ylang flower leis for pocket money. We also scrummage and sold glass bottles and iron scraps for the local magbobote for our merienda money. It was fun


August 14, 2008 11:08 AM  

Anonymous TruBlue said...

Light or heavy downpour, it's best to get used to it in enhancing your immune systems to some diseases, hehe....

Did you made sure they kept their earnings? It would be pathetic if these kids were under the watchful eye of another crook/s.

Cheers to them.

August 14, 2008 12:19 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Chick magnet din yan nuong high school kami! Pa-payungan mo yung crush mo pauwi o kaya ihahatid mo siya ng payong sa paradahan ng Dyipni. If you get lucky you get invited for lunch at her home and pogi points with her parents for the noble gesture of taking her home on a rainy day dry!

August 14, 2008 1:30 PM  

Blogger Wil said...

Oh, man. looks like I might need an umbrella when I get there. I might need the help of those umbrella guys. hehe

August 14, 2008 1:50 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Since I rarely do any driving these days, Sidney, I always keep a folding umbrella in my bag. You never know when it would suddenly rain.

August 15, 2008 7:37 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

They were doing it to earn some extra allowance money, Pat, while others for computer games. But they seemed to be having a good time while lending out their umbrellas ... for a fee, of course :)

August 15, 2008 7:38 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That's right, Reyd! Lots of money to be made from those improvised bridges or raised walkways ... hehehe! Halos every corner sa Maynila kailangan yan pag malakas ang ulan!

August 15, 2008 7:40 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Wow! You reminded me of the newspapers and bottles that we, too, used to collect to sell later on, Mario! Yes, it was fun for kids to make some extra change. That reminds me, what made the Christmas season extremely fun back then was because of the money we'd from caroling which we used to buy candies afterwards.

Thanks, Mario!

August 15, 2008 7:43 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I don't think there were any unpleasant elements behind their efforts, TruBlue. It was all "at the moment" money-making endeavor for these hyper-active kids :)

August 15, 2008 7:45 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

And most of the guys I know do not like to carry umbrellas, Pete ... not macho daw! Pero, as you pointed out, chick magnet pala ang payong at pogi points pa from the parents... hehehe.

August 15, 2008 7:46 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Better bring along a folding umbrella, Wil. If not, these umbrella boys will be glad to be at your service ... hehehe.

Enjoy your balikbayan vacation!

August 15, 2008 7:47 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

May market niche itong mga umbrella boys! :-) Lesson number yan...never underestimate certain situations. You will always need some service group for it---like sudden rainshowers! Lesson number two---do it for the fun, smile and do not ask muna for a fixed amount. Study the usual amount of money given and then set the rate with the average amount give. Lesson number three---business enterprise knows no age category ;-)!

Love this post, eric!

August 15, 2008 5:16 PM  

Blogger Daisy said...

Hi Senor Enrique

Thank you very much for sharing this photo and video.

Una natuwa talaga ako because they seem to be having fun while they were at it.

But noong nasa gitna na ng video parang kinurot yung puso ko at napa iyak pa nga ng konti.

yun lang baka sila mag kasakit.

Dito lang sa Pilipinas makaka kita ng mga nakatawa pa rin kahit buhos ang ulan at mahirap ang buhay.

:) Wais na mga bata! ma-abilidad na nakakatulong pa sa mga taong tamad mag bitbit ng payong.

Salamat Eric sa panibagong pagtingin sa mga ganitong bagay!

August 15, 2008 5:52 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

And I'm sure you didn't see such street smart kids in NYC, Daisy! Sa Pinas lang!

Kahapon mas malakas at matagal ang ulan, at anduduon na naman sila at dumami pa sila. Kaya sa tingin ko, wala sa kanila ang nagkasakit :)

My please, Daisy. I always get a kick out of presenting a unique slice of Manila life ... hehehe.

August 15, 2008 8:08 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Very sharp observations, Bernadette! And your marketing recommendations, based on this scenario, are all applicable, indeed.

Glad you enjoyed this post ... many thanks!

August 15, 2008 8:23 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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