‘Kalapati (dove)’ by Frans van Liempt

In 2007 I left the Netherlands to start a new life in the Philippines. After 6 happy years with my boy friend I went out on my own, starting a restaurant/bar. Then my new boy friend and other friends left me all alone while I did not have a clue about rules and regulations here. Some people helped but many took advantage of me as a newcomer who knew nothing about business in the Philippines. Within a year I was flat broke and lost everything. Business and apartment plus all my private things. Although I am not proud to say, I tried to end it all. But even there I failed. Not knowing where to go I started walking and left the city behind me. In a remote area I found a vacant lot where I stayed a few days without food or water. Then a man came passing by, offering me some water. He introduced me to some friends where I could stay for about 2 weeks. Then I found myself out in the streets again where some friendly owners of a small canteen helped me. A young man who was very interested in me came to see me and offered to help. At that time I was writing my story on paper, while sitting on the beach or in the streets. The manuscript won a Dutch writers contest. My new friend helped me to find my way on the internet. Finally I found renewed strength to go on.

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