It has rather been corny for Pinoys but still makes at least one person smile when she or he’s been told the line “I will siomai (show my) love for you”.

But what if the scenario is this… 

You got Php33 left on your pocket, you are so hungry you could eat one whole chicken if given one; you brought one order of siomai (typically 4pcs per order) worth Php25, 

"siomai with chili garlic" photo by martiniko

and were left with Php8 for your jeepney fare going home.  WHEN… all of a sudden…a beggar, a boy around 8 to 10 years old come out of nowhere, asking for your siomai. 

photo by Materials Aart

I assure you he will never stop tapping / touching you until you got the mini paper plate empty with only the soy sauce, spicy garlic, and squeezed out calamansi left. 

photo by Kyle Lease

I have always encountered this situation on kiosks by the sidewalk or under the LRT stations. I experience it when I have money, when I have none, or simply just about every time I eat siomai.  

It was not just the same area though. Not just the same siomai brand. Not just the same time. But almost all the time, even if I am just passing by, I can witness other people encountering similarly from these boys.

It came to a point that I feel violated and harassed. I reacted differently on this similar scenario depending on my mood. You may have done the same thing in the past and can relate to these:
  • If I am so hungry and got no extra money, I will just ignore the kid and eat everything,
  • If I am so hungry and got some money, I’ll  spare him some coins and still eat everything,
  • If I am not super hungry I may eat 2 or 3 then give them the rest.

There was also this one time, on my way home, when I passed by this siomai stall, a boy intentionally rubbed his dirty hands and elbows to the woman consumer. When she backed off to avoid him, he took the siomai and ran.

Now what are you going to do with that? How will you handle it? Should you run after him then fight over a few pieces of what’s left? Sometimes I feel that I am morally obliged to just give my siomai to them, because I always encounter the question, how could I not give when I can? But isn’t it that you go there to eat; spend your money to sustain yourself to last the day?

Vendors themselves could not do something about it either. They can shout at or shoo them away all they want but these kids aren't going anywhere. They are like cats who found their garbage can at the back of a restaurant, with plenty of left over foods to hoard and to fill their empty stomachs.

Sometimes, I decide not to eat there because I am avoiding to be begged on. I am avoiding being the bad one, the selfish one.

But can you honestly always say “I will siomai love for you” to these kids? 

photo by snigl3t

Sweet Says… Give or share if your heart is willing to do so.  

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