In one of my group's photo walks to Quiapo and Old Manila, this old lady who was roaming and selling wares in Quiapo's Plaza Miranda approached me. She was wondering if we were media people. I told her that we are not and photography is just a hobby. Then she narrated why she went to Manila from her hometown in Leyte province. She was looking for her son who stowed away for some reasons that are still unclear to her. Then she asked me to take her photo, and I willingly obliged. She then requested if it can be published in daily papers so that her son can see her. I explained that I may not be able to do that, but I remembered telling her she should go to DSWD or the city hall for help.
I never really paid much attention since we were just about to leave for Binondo that time. And I apologize that I even forgot her name.
While reviewing my shots for the past years, and cleaning up my files, again, I saw and remembered the story behind this photo. Is it too late to pay my moral obligation to this woman? Her son may not be able to read this blog, but perhaps, some friends from the media can pick this up and publish a story about her.
It is one of those rare moments when street people ask for real help, which I sometimes brush off and set aside. But then late realizations nag us to pay our moral obligations to act on genuine requests, and not just steal photos of strangers we meet on the streets.
May she find her long-lost son.