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The People: 
Calero or Salong is an Urban Poor community in Calapan City, on the island Mindoro! The area is around 50m wide, just between the main road and the Bay of Calapan City. There are 3 squatter areas along the seashore, which are Calero, Salong and San Antonio, with approximately 2000 families. The majority of this population is living below the poverty line. The area, we are presently working in, is officially Salong, and Calero is the neighbouring squatter. The border between these 2 squatters has often changed in history because of political reasons, but the people prefer to belong to Calero! 

Until today the majority of the people in Salong depend on fishing for their livelihood. Nevertheless the unemployment rate is very high in the area, what causes many people to go either to Manila to find work, or to go abroad. Caused partly by unemployment a lot people have vices like drinking, gambling and drugs, and the value system of some adults i n the community leaves much to be desired. There is hardly an intact family, a lot of men are caught in their vices and do not take good care of their families, if at all. Many parents do not give much importance to education, since most of them did not have any formal education themselves but they have been able to survive. A lot of families struggle to support their children in school. Through the environment the young people grow up, a lot get into the same vices as their parents quite early in life. Because of this, there are a lot of children who are dropping out of school 

Health Status: 
A large percentage of the children living in Salong are either malnourished or in some stage of under nourishment. 
Proper sanitation among the families living in the coastal areas is also one of the main problems of this community. Some of the houses have open toilets and channel their human waste out to Calapan Bay, where the children go regularly for a bath. Because most of the people have no regular employment, they have also no health insurance. Therefore a lot of families cant afford proper medical treatment or medicines. 

Most of the people in Salong belong to the Roman Catholic Church, like around 80% of all the Filipinos. Many people were forced to join the Catholic Church in recent centuries. Out of this came the Folk Catholicism, which is a mixture between the Catholic belief and the former animistic belief in the Philippines. The Filipinos go to church on Sunday, but often they are still under the influence of the Animism and superstition. Superstition is more important than the Bible and one is rather saved by good works than by grace. In Salong are groups like the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesss active. The poor people are very open and ready to change their religion if they can get a benefit out of it. Generally the people in Salong are open for the Gospel, and on the surface it might seem there are quick responses, but due to very strong family and community ties real life change is very slow. 
Subpages (2): Calapan Map Calapan Photos