The Old Man at the Foot Bridge

Two years ago, when I first saw this blind old man at the foot bridge near our home, asking for a penny so he could have something for his food. If you live in the Philippines, you know that this is a usual scene along the sidewalks and foot bridges.

Seeing him at the foot bridge doesn’t bother me at all. After a year of working overseas, I went back to the Philippines for a vacation, and everytime I pass by the footbridge I still see him on that same place in the same position. I went back overseas and again after a year I went home and saw him again in his usual position. Again, seeing him begging for a penny didn’t bother me until one late afternoon, i was crossing the foot bridge alone. There he was, on my front. The blind old man as usual was knelling, his right hand raised waiting for money to land on his palm. I look at him as I get closer and my mind says, you have been seeing this man for several times and you didn’t even give him a single cent. I continue walking until I passed him, and just before I went down the foot bridge, something in my mind was telling me to go back and give him something. And as my mind told me, I went back and I gave him 20 peso bill, and my heart broke as I saw his palm grasping for the 20 peso bill trying to know how much it was. Was that enough to feed his hungry stomach? At that point, I feel pity about him and somewhere inside me has felt his pain being there begging for money.

I just hope that what he gets from begging gives him a real food to fill his hunger. I hope that he is not being exploited by syndicates whose business is begging. This is a sad truth and I do hope time will come that this man will no longer beg for money and be able to find a descent home to accommodate him.

One thought on “The Old Man at the Foot Bridge

  1. It is a usual site in the Philippines…
    However pitiful they seem to be, most of the times I am numbed by their constant presence…
    However, like you, I sometimes give alms too..
    Its a way of tolerating them, I guess in my perception…
    But sometimes, I can’t help it…My heart just shatters seeing them…
    I commend you for finally listening to your heart…=)

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