Smokey Mountain youth continue tour after getting robbed in US
LOS ANGELES - Despite a bit of bad luck in Northern California, the Children of Mother Earth hailing from Tondo continued with their California tour.
The group showcased various cultural dances while representing their hometown - poverty-stricken Smokey Mountain in Tondo.
"Nag-enjoy po kami, yun lang yun nangyari sa amin, nakuha sa bus, yun lang na nakawan po kami... Pero masaya po lahat. Lahat ng shows namin standing ovations lahat," said Aluna Villacorta.
Upon their arrival, the group's tour bus was robbed of personal belongings, including 4 passports.
The dancers have been assured that their travel back to the Philippines despite stolen passports will not be an issue.
"Binigayan po kami sa consulate, sa San Francisco consulate ng travel document para ma-ayos po namin sa Pilipinas and police report," Villacorta said.
The dancers represents the culture and struggles of the Philippines.
Many of these youth's families survive as scavengers from Smokey Mountain, a name given to a Tondo dumpsite that emits smokes.
For the community it was a chance to bring see a hidden aspect of the Philippines, while raising funds for environmental and educational projects for the Smokey Mountain youth.
"We're happy to have them here and help them with their advocacy. It's so noble very important advocacy and it inspires us," Perla Reyes of the MOTHER Movement said.
"Although their advocacy is about saving planet earth by replanting the watershed in Marikina, we are very much concerned about their scholarships. These kids came from Smokey Mountain," Fred Capinpin of US-Fil Makibahagi said.
The Children of Mother Earth will do several more appearances throughout Southern California before they head back to Tondo, where they will continue dancing and their advocacy.