Something to make you think…

Written By bryanboy

Something to make you think…

I’ve been thinking an awful lot in the past few days whether I should post this entry or not. I tried to hold back but I couldn’t do it any longer. It’s been bugging me for the past week or two now, I might as well take it out of my chest and get it done and over with. Will it make an impact? If I post it on my blog, will someone… somewhere… do anything about it? Will someone… somewhere take it as seriously as I do or will my readers forget about it and shove it to the backburner? More importantly, is there anything I *could* do about it? I have so many questions on my head I’m quite lost on what my next step is. Ok, fine, whatevs, I’m not really lost; in fact, I did a few things already but I have this nagging voice inside that tells me that I could do more and I could do better.

What you are about to see after the jump is probably the most moving image I personally have ever captured on my camera. Fuck them damn blond wigs, heels, fur, wheelchairs and handbags. I have lost countless hours of productivity because of this photo — and the story behind it. Click click click!

The day before Christmas eve, I was planning to go out around town, suitcase with lots of shit in tow at the back of the car to take photos for a new and upcoming magazine… make a little collage, that sort of thing. Y’all should know by now that I love taking random, crazy photos so it should be simple and effortless, right? I really had my entire day planned out: take photos, do last minute holiday shopping, visit friends, have dinner with a friend, etc.

The traffic was so bad that day I spent hours in the car. I thought I’d open the window, smoke a cigarette or two and start snapping pictures of what I see on the motorway.

A few minutes later, I saw this young, very young naked girl who got out of the window of their shack — about 15 or 20 meters (45 – 60 feet) above ground!!! YES!!! Their wooden house was built on top of a brick wall. I had no idea where the hell she was going… she was trying to get out of the house to go somewhere. I dunno.

little girl

Anyway, her foot/leg got trapped in the Chanel quilt-like criss-cross fence for a minute or two. She had no slippers/shoes/whatever so for all you know, she could be stepping on garbage, broken glass, pieces of metal or what have you.

Hmm why is her left leg smaller than the right leg?

little girl

I have a huge ass, high-resolution version of that picture so I can see more details in spite of the blur from my car’s movements.

Isn’t that outrageous???? The risk this little girl is putting herself into is absolutely insane. She could be stepping on nasty shit… and look at those wires — the blue and red wires could be electrical wires, no? Also, the wall is smacked right beside the motorway… it’s not gonna be a pretty picture if she fell, god forbid.

To cut the story short, I felt absolutely horrible the entire day. MAJOR BONER KILLER, I’M TELLING YOU.

Which is strange because I take the same route EVERY TIME I go to the city… the same route I’ve been taking for YEARS.

I know I should be desensitized to things like this… heck, after all this time in the third world, I like to think I’m immune to it but no… it really DOES get to you when something so gut-wrenching like this is right in front of your face and in your camera. I know I encounter shit like this on a day to day basis and I don’t need to go far to see crap like this but one simply cannot (and should not) play blind, deaf and mute forever when reality slaps you on the face.

Extreme poverty is an integral part of my country’s DNA. One could
paint a rosy picture all they want but even the thickest slab of MAC
concealer won’t hide the humiliating existence of such crap.

Now don’t get me wrong. Wherever in the world you might be, we all have our own personal crosses to bear. We all have our own
problems, health, family, love, whatever we need to attend to and we
all have bills to pay at the end of the day. Shit, I don’t even log on
to my brokerage accounts anymore to check how my portfolio is doing.
When the markets end with a red instead of green, you just know it’s
time to reach out for the happy pills!!!

The point that I’m trying to make here is that although we may think
we’re doing "bad" or we’re not
getting every single thing we want, there are people out there who are
doing far worse than us. People whose main challenge in life is NOT to
get a pair of fuschia Lanvin high-top sneakers or how to burn those
8,000 calories from the venti-sized Starbucks non-fat, no whipped
cream, soy frappuchuchumocchaccino… but the CHALLENGE TO SURVIVE. God look at me go on a moral high horse and listen to me spit this bullcrap as if I didn’t knew about it till now. LOL.

But yeah…

It was so depressing.

I’ve had many sleepless nights the past week and my holiday season was somehow ruined because of it.

It’s been a busy week alright (my bloated gut will tell you otherwise) and believe it or not, I still have lots of unopened presents. If I encounter one more person whether online or real life asking me what I got for Christmas I’m gonna start shooting people Columbine-style.

It **IS** kinda sad that because of that particular image, it made me assess my current state of life and try to put things to perspective.


IQONS magazine is coming out next month, February 2008. The launch party is during New York fashion week and copies are going to be distributed in New York, London, Milan and Paris. Their pilot issue features Ruben & Isabel Toledo, John Galliano, Iman, Debbie Harry, Ruben & Isabel Toledo, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Franca Sozzani. Her royal highness Diane Pernet is Editor-in-Chief. Get yourselves a copy (or two) — it would be interesting to see if I’m there! LOL.

Email me and tell me you love me.
My email address is or SMS +63.915.785.1492.

I love you all!


  1. sad reality yeah…
    but i do hope things will get better here in the third world this new year,
    oh by the way, happy new year BB!

  2. Madonna

    The kid’s got polio probably — a disease that shouldn’t exist anymore in this time and age of immmunization galore. Or maybe nothing wrong about her left leg, just the angle of your camera.
    What I’m interested about though is what she was fleeing from, away from her home, that shack. Or maybe she wasn’t fleeing, maybe she saw a treasure among those pile of shit, rags and dirty bottles which she wanted to salvage. A little sumptin for herself and family for Christmas eh?
    Me oh my, Smoky Mountain and Payatas live on of course in this merry land of ours.
    That image may inspire me to write my first novel that’s in the inertia mode. LOL.
    Hey BB, great shots by the way, details and overall image — another one of your many talents, being good photog.
    And Happy New Year!

  3. :(
    you have guts to post this, Bryanboy (that makes me love you more!)
    but I dunno… I’ve also been dillussional about this thing. To keep myself from being depressed, I think that the choice is up to them to help themselves and start there. (hope that makes sense) :P
    I gave away my old clothes, books, makeup, and shoes away some years ago (probably a reason to revamp your wardrobe :P ). Then last year, I’ve been giving away tsinelas to barefooted children at least once a month or so… since you need good pair of rubbers on your foot to get you somewhere :D
    don’t be depressed. I guess channel that to something good :P

  4. ooohhh bryanboy… i never realized that you have a soft spot in yer heart… maybe u can put ur bags in an auction for charity sake… yah i kid… GODSPEEDÜ

  5. the last time i went to the Philippines was well over 20 years ago. At the time of my family’s visit, my parents took my sister and I to the smokey mountain area to see the life of a family of 7, living in a shack on top of garbage, picking garbage as a living and dining on some cooked macaroni. the point of that visit was for my mom to tell my sister and i how lucky we are to have a roof over our head, food on the table and the luxuries of living in the US. that didn’t quite work out so well for me…i was too young to understand that message and instead I had thought the Philippines was just this one big stinky mess that i’d never go back to.
    well, in 2 weeks I’ll be in the Philippines. i understand the message my mom was trying to explain to us now that I’m older and not that bratty child i used to be. to be honest i’m scared – been having nightmares about being left in the Philippines, picking trash for a living and having nothing to eat. of course these are probably my inner worries from my last visit there, nonetheless i’m also not used to seeing poverty at all so it’ll be a reality check for me.
    at the time we’ll be arriving in the Philippines will coincide with the Tondo fiesta. my family have bought a lot of chocolate, used clothes, shoes etc from the US…stuffed them into 10+ balikbayan boxes and we’ll be handing them out to the poverty stricken children. i’ve heard how it’s like, many many children will come to ask for some gifts, to the point where your heart will ache when you run out of stuff to give and see there’s still a large queue of kids. i wonder how i’ll react to that…
    anyways, i read your blog often and it’s quite refreshing that you’ve taken the time to write this entry – now i know that you’re not just some materialistic person but indeed you do have some sympathy within you :)

  6. Bryan oh Bryan… It’s good that one is not desensitized. It makes you feel that you are still human. *sigh*
    Happy new year though!

  7. God bless thee bryanboy! Another year has indeed arrived, but opportunities for our brethren has still yet to come. Its so deppressing to see this scenario, but whats worse is when you see (some or quite a few…) parents of these kids doing nothing to aid this and still find some cash to burn for their vices. Tsk-tsk. Why the hell wont they find means to augment their lives and give their families an opportunity to live more humanely!? I also read Brent’s entry, way to go dude! At least you’ve done something to help! Anyway, hope these people would perk up and change their ways. Im not saying that they themselves are to blame for this shit, but hey, arent they accountable for the wasted time and opportunity they should’ve used wisely for their own good!? *sighs* Happy New Year!!!

  8. it is nice to read something like this from a person who has all those high-end and luxurious fashion trimmings. it sure is reassuring to know that you are aware of the harsh realities in our country that is very much contrary to tim yap’s controversial statement about today’s partying elite,
    “There is this mind-set, which I think is so passe, that says: ‘The country is in shambles and the country is having a hard time and you are out there partying.’ But this generation is guiltless when it comes to that.”
    sometimes, all it takes is that one image for us to be humbled. however, realizations are nothing without action.

  9. Get the Philippine equivalent of DOCS (Department of Community Services in OZ) or one of those Catholic Church based institutions (Yeah those stupid and adamantly against family planning ones) to look after the poor kid and send the parents to jail!!! And make sure the parents get sterilised before being released!

  10. Thank you for opening up and saying what is truly in your heart. Look at it this way:
    you have now made people on the other side of the world much more educated as to the plight of people in your country. I commend you, and all the best in 2008.
    Be happy.

  11. It’s great that you sympathize with those less fortunate, but at the end of the day, what more can we do than donate, volunteer, and whatnot. There are so many less fortunate in this country that you can only do so much.
    Although, I’m most angry at their parents for letting children live the same life they have gone through.

  12. There are justtoo many people on planet earth – the Catholic Church has a lot to answer for in the Philippines…
    To me your blog promotes Marcos-era waste and shallowness…. (I do love reading it though)….
    REALLY…. for the price of a Marc Jacobs outfit how many poor people could you feed in the Philippines for a month????

  13. it’s the girl’s movement that made her leg look thin…you know, camera speed, etc..but man, she is really thin (bad-thin)

  14. andreas

    ok, so it ruined your x’mas. doesn’t sound like it as you profess to having eaten through the holidays like a pig. why don’t you do something about the hardship in your country by donating one of your designer bullshit for them? all this talk is nothing. you are nothing. and all those in here who praise your EMPTY advocacy are nothings!

  15. Maybe you could ‘adopt’ a hardcore poor family and see that the child (or kids) have access to good health care, education and such.

  16. Bryan, where most can’t help someone like this out, you sir have the opportunity and means to help a family like that. It’s in your heart or you wouldn’t of posted it. To help a family like that would mean more to you than all of the bags, shoes, clothes and fame that you have. That’s what is missing in your life is sharing and caring. Listen to your heart honey, it’s calling out to you. :) Hugz!

  17. Angelique

    Wow, thank you for posting this.
    Some years back, a film about child abuse was released in the Philippines.
    It was a flop.
    That’s because the subject hit too close to home, for the local viewers.
    With the abundance of children produced by our Roman Catholic nation, many of these underprivileged kids sleep on the same bed, with their father. You can imagine the rest.
    It scares me to think of what the girl in the photo was desperately trying to escape from.

  18. oh gosh. i always heard stories from my mom about her life in the philippines, but this picture really highlights how rough it can be for the poor. i don’t think she was THAT poor, but i know she didn’t grow up with much.
    i like the idea someone had up there of having a charity auction, i’m sure there are some things in your closet you can bear to part with. there are always small things you can do that mean so much to people that have nothing.

  19. Lucy Kaith

    Only one word for this story and that “Awesome”. I really liked it. Good man keep posting.

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