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Kids of Rio Hondo

Rio Hondo in Zamboanga, Mindanao, Philippines, a no go zone for tourist, even for locals who live on the mainland, because of its poverty, and believed to be a hiding place for Muslim separatist.


Regardlessly, I stayed with a family for a few days in this Muslim water village, where I felt no issue of security, but great hospitality, acceptance, and everywhere friendly faces. The abundant number of kids who are poor and already started doing chore like an adult would, however, are probably the happiest kids I've ever seen.

(Rio Hondo was badly damaged during the 2013 Zamboanga Siege, an armed conflict between the Philippines Government and the separatist. All Rio Hondo residence were moved into asylums, although Rio Hondo is now being rebuilt, but I was told it's not the same anymore.)

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