last words

One of the famous parting words that most, if not all of the people of Leyte know by heart is General Douglas MacArthur’s “I shall return”.  70 years ago today, he made good his promise to return to the Philippines and liberate this country.  That is why today, October 20, 2014, we commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Leyte Gulf Landings.

Famous words and lines by famous people have been immortalized throughout history by way of books.  Written text on paper.  They have survived the ages and have now gone digital.  For mere mortals, however, last words have to be etched on stone and might not even warrant attention from those who chance upon these markers.


On any given day, this could have been the last words of a dearly departed, or some sentimental dedication by loved ones who are left behind; not this time, for these are words that bring people of different nations together in times of great difficulty.  This will be a testament to the humanitarian assistance extended to the people of Leyte by the South Korean government.


The work is meticulous and requires a steady hand.  It is not something that is copied and pasted.


With barely any space to work in the shack that serves as living quarters, the workshop extends to the sidewalk.  Here an apprentice learns the trade.


Not bad for an opening statement.  This craft is here to stay for another generation.

I am not one who relishes in taking photos of big events, most especially if uninvited.  There surely are more than enough professional photographers who can take care of documenting the event.  I’d rather stick to taking photos of people who have very little chance of being photographed, even by themselves.


16 thoughts on “last words

  1. I can’t thank you enough for giving us a glimpse into the real world of the Filipino people. Your images speak of hope and triumph over extreme adversity.

    • and thank you too, Bob, for sharing your thoughts and understanding about the situation. I find the daily lives of the ordinary person very rich in character and story.

      This is but a tiny speck of the bigger picture, and I do hope that everyone else will keep in mind that I have been documenting people who are less privileged, and that this should not be the basis for drawing conclusions about our city in general.

  2. Good morning. “I’d rather stick to taking photos of people who have very little chance of being photographed, even by themselves.” I feel the same way (but didn’t know how to say it) and you said it so well! Thank you! I love these photos. Helen

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