Having to stray from the normal tourist path and pass by floating villages before watching lake view sunsets sounds really good, but here at Chongknease floating village, Tonlé Sap, you'd come face to face with poverty before everything gets dreamy and picturesque. Something i hadn't quite realized.
Sure there's poverty in the Philippines, but not like this. Water levels change all year round which means houses needed to be built on stilts and none of them are in the same location as residents are forced to relocate. Water where they throw their trash and waste is the same water they use to clean their dishes.
Children here spend all their lives learning English, attend school half a day to make a living attending to tourists. Fishing is the primary livelihood, but regulated by the government due to the lesser number of fish in the lake in the recent years. Which means they are forced to fish illegally. They get power through car batteries and have access to gadgets more than clean water.
This is sad. People here don't have a choice. We might be positive in thinking there's something better, but reality isn't just about being positive. Reality shows you, makes you feel and go through how it is to be born with this, how it is like not having a way out. How it is not having a choice. How this becomes your reality.
Truth be told, we aren't blessed. We are all just lucky. Lucky to have choices and among those choices, the choice to give back, always! 😔