This Children's Book Tells the Real-Life Story of Sitio San Roque
by Sherry Tadeja, November 26, 2019 2:00pm
Art by Ahl Mirambel
As children, we have enjoyed how literature told us tales of princesses and heroes—that after many challenges and struggles, the book will end with the lines "...and they lived happily ever after." This is not yet the case for the residents of Sitio San Roque. So what better way to turn heads, reach hearts, and make the headlines? A protest inside a children's book.
The “Kapit, Kapit, Bahay, Bahay” tells the real life-threatening extinction of Sitio San Roque. Located in Quezon City's Central Business District, the community has been affected by President Duterte's "Build Build Build" program, which plans to turn San Roque and its neighboring areas to a commercial establishment.
Written by China Patria De Vera and illustrated by Gelai Manaba along with Kadamay (Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahirap) and the Save San Roque Alliance, the book hopes to shed light and turn the masses’ attention to the impending doom of Sitio San Roque.
The book tells the story of Lola Baby, a former activist leader who, despite her age, continues to serve her community until a demolition team turns in on them. Once more, Lola Baby has to go back to her roots and lead the people in her community against the demolition and forceful eviction.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, the writer mentioned how the story also destigmatizes the urban poor sector. Without them, a city wouldn't prosper. The book pointed out how the community plays an important but underrated roles: without tricycle drivers, workers won’t get to work; establishments won’t exist without carpenters; and people won’t have access to food without food vendors.
“Kapit, Kapit, Bahay, Bahay” is sold for 180php. Proceeds of the book will go to Save San Roque
For more information, follow “Kapit, Kapit, Bahay, Bahay” on Facebook.