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Comments 11

The Tourist and the Beggar

tourist and beggar

Tourist and beggar, Siem Reap, Cambodia (April 2012)  © Jojie Alcantara

“Whether you believe in God or not does not matter so much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much; as a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life. And a good life does not mean just good food, good clothes, good shelter. These are not sufficient. A good motivation is what is needed: compassion, without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their rights and human dignity.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

I wasn’t prepared for this shot. We were about to board a bus when I saw this old woman with distinct white hair sitting on the road. Crumpled in a pose, half praying, half-begging with face upturned, she was gazing forlornly at the passenger who went up the bus with camera in his hand.

I didn’t have time to frame or compose my shot as I was hurrying to get inside the bus, too. I placed the cam on my hip, pressed the shutter, and hoped I have captured the poignant look on her face.

Minutes later inside the bus en route to Siem Reap, Cambodia, I was still thinking of her.

signature Jojie Alcantara

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11 Comments

  1. This picture is really powerful. I’m off to Cambodia this summer to volunteer for this reason. Really fantastic shot considering you snapped it off the side of your hip, haha.

    Safe travels,
    Colt

    Like

  2. I have taken a few pictures like this and I always felt empty afterwards. I have taken a few pictures and given a few coins to some, but now what? I think it’s the feeling of helplessness to alleviate such suffering that get me so discouraged.

    Like

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