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Photographer's Note

"By the way, Sir, my name is AJ." He said this in our dialect. That was his parting words while joyfully staring at the 20 peso bill I gave him.

Actually, I normally don't give money to people I take a picture of. AJ is a different case. I met him twice during the five days that I stayed in Boracay, and everytime, he begged me to take a picture of him. The first time, I took a picture of him and his brother. Before I could say my "thank you", he ran away. The second occassion was quite different. He way playing near the boat and I edged closer. He smiled at me. When I pointed my camera at him, he smiled so wide I couldn't help but smile back at him. He said he said he wanted another photo, this time, not smiling. He asked me it that was posiible. I told him he could do whatever he wished to. And what followed was almost 40 shots of him. The time was 5:00 PM...I asked him if he was hungry. He said "yes". Then I gave him the money. I said that if I wanna take a photo of him again, I would look for him at the same spot. That's when he gave me his name.

I was so lucky to have encountered such a friendly little man. I felt different because having spent so much of my photographing life in Thailand, I barely talk to people I photograph. Language does make a lot of difference. So, this is AJ, the little young man of Boracay.

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Additional Photos by Manuel Librodo (manny) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2595 W: 86 N: 4067] (21833)
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