BAGUIO CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Secretary Dinky Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has a love-hate relationship with Manila’s homeless population and street children. She is known to have rounded up street families and hauled them to resorts outside Manila during the visit of Pope Francis as well as during the APEC summit.
Soliman now wants to make it up to these families.
National government officials — from the president to the members of the Supreme Court to Cabinet secretaries all have their summer houses and cottages in Baguio City. Most of them spend their Holy Week vacation in Baguio, as a way to unwind and escape Manila’s summer heat.
Well, this year, Soliman is making the ultimate sacrifice. She is offering her Baguio cottage to a dozen homeless families for an all-expense paid vacation to Baguio from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.
Most Filipino Catholics give up eating meat during the season of Lent. Soliman chose to give up her Baguio cottage.
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) –The Philippines’ Social Welfare Secretary, Dinky Soliman, has had her share of criticism, not the least of which was the accusation that she rounded up street children and families and hauled them away to resorts outside of Metro Manila to impress visiting dignitaries like Pope Francis and the APEC heads of state.
She reportedly loves her job so much that she is doing everything within her power to be re-appointed to her position when the new president takes office later this summer.
Well, the only way that would happen is if former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Aquino’s appointed successor, wins the presidential election in May this year.
So, the 63-year-old Soliman embarked on a very personal crusade to make sure that Roxas, of the Liberal (Yellow) Party, wins.
The secretary, who used to sport a red streak on her hair, has done a total makeover, changing her streak from red to yellow, to show her full support for Aquino’s candidate Roxas and the Yellow party.
Will Soliman’s strategy work? We will know after the May elections.
HONOLULU, Hawaii (The Adobo Chronicles) – Forget about ‘Sleepless in Seattle.’ How about ‘Homeless in Paradise?’
Hawaii is not exempt from America’s worsening homeless problem. Even in the heart of Waikiki, one of the world’s most popular — and expensive — tourist destinations, homeless people are seen on the beach and on sidewalks, in front of ABC Stores, outside of Starbucks, and next to sidewalk newspaper stands.
At least, the same beachside showers and restrooms for tourists are also available for use by the homeless.
But nothing compares with the opportunity for occasional retreats and camping at 5-star resorts for street children and the homeless — in Manila. Under the leadership of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman, street children and homeless families are rounded up and stashed away for luxury accommodations and meals, especially when the Philippines is visited by dignitaries like Pope Francis.
A group of homeless individuals hanging out on Kalakaua Street across from Waikiki Beach wants to send a message to Philippine President NoyNoy Aquino and Secretary Soliman to consider extending this luxury benefit to them.
In order to make this happen, the homeless group has asked the City of Honolulu to provide them with complimentary one-way plane tickets to Manila. The City is seriously considering the request as an effective way to solve the homeless problem in Paradise.
From paradise (Hawaii) to the ‘Gates of Hell’ (Manila)!