One day, as we were going inside the Taal Church, a voice called from behind me –

“Ate, pahingi naman ng pang-tanghalian”.  (Sister, may I beg for lunch.)

I turned around and saw a young lady with a child in her arms.  “When I get out,” I promised her.  “But I will ask a favor from you too.”  I thought that she and her brother or child would be  good photo subjects.

She was waiting by the door of the Church when I came out.   A younger girl was waiting with her.  I gave each one my alms.   “Can I take your photos?” But they were already turning away even as they were taking the money from me. I was sure that they heard me.   I let them go, embarrassed that I even thought of  asking them a favor in exchange for the alms (though obviously not too embarrassed to take a photo of their backs. Yay!).

This week’s photo challenge has “Wrong” for its theme.

This picture shows ‘wrong’ in several levels,  if I may say so.

First,  I was wrong to attach strings to my alms.

Second, can I assign  bad faith on the young girls for ignoring my request?  Maybe not.  Chances were that  they were ready to agree to anything to ingratiate themselves to  a prospective almsgiver.

Third, it is wrong that children are out on the streets, begging and exposed to all sorts of danger.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of street children and homeless people in the Philippines, especially in the cities.   There are government, private, and religious organizations that are dedicated to helping them.  But the need is great and there is always room for people and organizations who wish to help.

For more WRONG responses, please go here. 🙂


  1. What a powerful post. I still think it was kind hearted of you to give alms. While it is heartbreaking to see children in the streets in our home country, it is such a common sight/occurrence that one feels indifferent to it somewhat – THAT nature of indifference and seeing poverty as commonplace, I feel, is what’s really “wrong.”

    1. Thank you, Myra.
      It was a little easier to give in this place because there were not too many asking for money. In Manila, it was difficult to give – when you give to one, more will come and swarm you.

  2. Your picture is beautiful, and your explanation of what is ‘wrong’ is good as well. It might be a cultural difference, but I would’ve taken it as rude if the person ignored my request without even a ‘no, thank you’. I don’t think a request for a photo was unreasonable at all. (When we hold jobs, our reward for doing work is a paycheck. A quick pose for a photo earns them money.)

    1. Thank you for visiting and the kind words, Janna. 🙂 I think they did say thank you. I just expected some more. I guess they were in a hurry to go and get more alms. Or they did not want their poverty to be photographed. I can be nice now on hindsight. ;-P

    1. Thank you, K.
      This just happened to me – a picture I posted did not appear on my screen. It was when the internet connection slowed down. Maybe, that was what happened to you. Try again if you wish to. 🙂

  3. You could be talking of any country in the region Imelda. We have the same problems and they seem insurmountable sometimes. Neat photo even if you didn’t manage to get their faces.

  4. you were not wrong to ask for a picture. Your request was not tied to your alms, maybe a bit but not a lot. I doubt if you would withhold your favor if you knew they would leave so soon. You are a good soul Counsel 🙂

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