As a 6-year-old boy, Joseph Pagulayan was abandoned, left to wander the streets of Manila in the Philippines alone.
His survival was dependent on finding something to eat each day “like a street dog,” he says. His world was the public market where every day he made a few pesos carrying buckets of fish from delivery trucks to fish vendors’ stalls, and he slept wherever the night found him.
There were no dreams, he remembers. There was just the need to survive.
Then one day somebody—he does not know who—took him to the Lions Streetchildrens Center. For 10 years there he had food, clothes, shelter and friends. He was educated and taught to cut hair. And until he reached the legal age of 18, he had a home.
Pagulayan is 29 now, married, has two children and works as a hairdresser. And he returns to his home at the center often to play guitar and cut hair for the young boys, who idolize him.