It’s not uncommon to see street vendors here in Manila. In almost every corner, you would see someone selling candies, newspapers, cigarette etc. Oftentimes, they would even run to the middle of the street just to sell a few more items. The life they have is not easy, but it’s an honest way to make a few bucks.
Earlier today, Gary Liong sent WhenInManila.com a story of one woman who despite all odds continues to make a living by selling some goods by the road. What makes her work harder and more dangerous than usual is that Nanay Benny is actually BLIND. Read her story below.
“BLIND FAITH IN HUMANITY. Just want to share this photo I took of an old woman selling vegetables at the corner of the National Highway and “checkpoint” in Carmona, Cavite. She is Nanay Benny, and she is totally blind. She sells her meager goods near a police station at the edge of a dangerous curve oblivious to vehicles passing sometimes just a foot or two from her as they make a turn to enter the highway. She is brought there every late afternoon by a little girl she shares her shanty with, together with 6 other children. The first time I saw her in that location it was already dark and I was struck with concern for her safety. Her “sundo” hasn’t arrived yet but she patiently waits. I offered to purchase a few items left in her basket and asked if people sometimes take advantage of her handicap. She said she’s never experienced it before and thankful that all her customers didn’t cheat on their payment. She said the kindness of strangers is what sustained her and her grand children’s survival for many years now.I went home that night not just with a few strands of “sitaw” in my bag but also with some of my faith in humanity restored. If by chance, you happen to pass by the area and see Nanay Benny there, please buy something from her.
We admire Nanay Benny for her faith in humanity and for being the hardworking grandmother she is. However, we also hope the proper authorities are able to help her in her current situation.
What do you think of Nanay Benny’s story? Have you seen her?