Money from the Sand- by James


Last week our family went to Boracay Island to have our annual vacation. We are going out of town for a week of vacation to have some time to rest and relax after a year of hard work. This is my second time in Boracay and like what we always do, we take a walk in the beach front to see what’s new in the island. While walking we saw sand castles made by locals and you can take a picture with it for P50. Maybe we have seen around 5 sand castles from Station 1 to Station 3 while heading back to our hotel. It was around 3 PM and then we decided to watch the sunset in front of the hotel.

Not far away from us, I saw 2 boys roughly around 8-10 yrs old creating a sand castle. But unlike the other sand castles that we saw, theirs was just small. One gathers sand and puts water in it while the other one is doing the sculpture. It took them almost 1 hour to finish it.

Then suddenly one boy approached a woman (foreigner) sitting nearby also watching the sunset. After some chat, the woman went and have a picture with the sand castle then from what I have seen she gave them P20. Almost 15 minutes has passed but no one is taking picture of the sand castle then one of the them approached us and told me “Sir, do you want to have a picture with our sand castle for only P20?  (It was P50 to the larger sand castle that we saw) We can engrave your name in it for P50 ” with a smile on his face. His name was Victor he pronounces it “Bektor”. Then the other boy also approached us “Sir please you can take you family to have a picture for only P20”. The boy’s name was Eric and pronounces his name as “Irek”.


I asked them “Are you doing this regularly?”

Victor: “No Sir, because building sand castle is not allowed.”

Me: “Really? But why are there a lot of Sand Castles that we passed by while walking.”

Victor: “Because it’s already afternoon sir and the beach police are not around anymore.”

I asked a hotel staff and he told me that Boracay just passed a law that building sand castles is prohibited because sometimes it’s very big and causes accident and blocks the way.

Then I looked back at Victor.

Me: “So how much is the biggest that you earned?”

Victor: “P400 and that was summer last year.  I am not doing this everyday because I am busy at school and I am afraid of getting caught by the police… I am here only once or twice a week”

Me: “Wow, what did you do to the money?”.

Victor: “I gave the P300 to my mother. And buy some food with the remaining P100 which I bring everyday at school. Now I am here again because we need food for tonight and money for school tomorrow…”

Me: “But what if you get caught?”

Victor: “We run fast! (and laughed)”

I laughed with them and then called my daughter and son to have a picture with the sand castle that they made. I saw the happiness in their face that time and then they run towards their sand castle.

After that I gave Victor P100. He told me that he don’t have money yet for the P80 change. I told him “You can keep it and share it with Eric”. That time Eric was busy talking to a group of people maybe asking to have a picture with their sand castle.

Me: “Can you go home now?”

Victor: “Not yet sir, we still have 1 hour before the sun sets…”

Victor smiled and quickly ran towards Eric and showed the money while jumping!

I really felt happiness that time because I know they will already have something for tonight but at the same time worried about their safety of getting caught. Hope they will gather enough money and go home early to their families.

Below is the picture of Victor and Eric with their small sand castle.