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HomeCOVID-19COVID blues: Man tries to walk home for 70 kilometers with seven-year-old...

COVID blues: Man tries to walk home for 70 kilometers with seven-year-old daughter

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – It could not have happened at a worse time.

On the evening of Sunday, Mothers Day, Niño Datiles and his daughter, Rose, seven, was on the road to this city.

He was driven away by his second wife from the home they share with her relatives.

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“I had no job, we fought and she told me to go home,” he said trying to hold back tears.

We saw Niño yesterday with his daughter Rose (not her real name) on the steps of the main entrance to the government center here.

Rose was eating a pink donut snack. Or what looked like a donut.

Breakfast, Niño says.

The long hours spent on the road on foot was apparent everytime a breeze blew across us.

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He said it was late afternoon when he and Rose started to head home to this city where he lives in Granada, one of the rural-urban villages here.

That walk started in La Castellana town, about 65 kilometers away.

Niño says he has no quarantine pass and he worries he might not be able to go home to Granada.

They spent the first night walking to La Carlota City, about 30 kilometers away and were already headed for Bago City when an employee of the La Carlota City government saw them on the highway and brought them back to that city’s social welfare department.

They were then brought by the La Carlota DSSD to the government center here.

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Niño talked about his wife’s family at length, almost rambling, the pain obvious in his voice.

“The fight started because I lost my job,” Niño says.

Before the lockdown, he says he was working as a construction worker here.

He does not know if he can find another job after the lockdown.

“I just want to go home,” he says.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.

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