My Own Little Place in the World.

This is still a part of the images I captured during my personal photowalk somewhere in Malate, Metro Manila. I was trying to walk faster because I know that any moment soon, the sun would be setting and I will miss the shot I visualized concerning Jose Rizal's monument in Luneta. With too many people in the streets of Malate, I don't think I can make it in time at the monument. I was a little bit disappointed to myself for not coming earlier and anticipating the traffic. However, I believe there are always opportunities available even when you least expect it.

That's what happened to me in Malate. I saw her (or so I thought)  sitting like this in front of an antique shop. What made her so interesting while I was trying to frame the shot is that she did notice my camera and simply smiled back at me. Without saying a word, I signaled using my hand gesturing a number one telling her if I can take one shot. She nodded and so I aimed my camera and captured this.

I was satisfied with the shot I got. When I saw her still smiling back at me, I told her if I can take one more shot and she obliged. I went closer for a headshot. I wanted to capture that simple smile up close. When I got the shot, I was so surprised when she talked back at me and said "Can I see?" It was not the question that surprised me. The person I thought was a woman was a he! I heard a low voice but cheerful. I gladly showed him the two shots I got and personally spoke to him and said "Thank you very much."

A simple person, and yet even from that short encounter, I never felt any vibration of pity or regret regarding his social status in life. What I felt is actually more of acceptance, of surrender, that somehow, in this life, he was able to accept life like that. This personal photowalk seemed more like a personal education about life for me rather than a simple desire to capture life using my camera. I hope that I will have another time like this soon, on another place maybe?

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