24 responses

  1. Jojie Alcantara
    November 21, 2011

    Thank you for sharing. Filipinos who live in foreign places and still retain their distinct character mostly stand out for their warmth and openness. I think it’s one of Asian’s positive traits.

    Have a safe journey always.

    Jojie

    • The Longest Way Home
      November 22, 2011

      Hi Jojie,

      Long time! I hope you are well.

      Yes, I’ve come across many Filipino’s outside of their home country and those traits stay there. And for the most part it’s a positive one. Again, I don’t really like the wealthy Filipino’s I’ve met as the ego’s compared to the everyday Filipino make me cringe.

      • Jojie Alcantara
        November 22, 2011

        Haha I won’t disagree with you on that, but I wish you were able to meet the other wealthy low-keyed ones who are so down to earth and well-loved by their employees. These are role models that I would be proud to write about. But they shyly keep their philantrophic lives private from the media. Every now and then we get surprising glimpse from those less fortunate ones they were able to help along the way, without any fanfare and media buzz. :-)

        On a sad side, I’ve known of those in my race who lives in a tight community in a foreign land, who would turn in their own kind, because it fetches a good reward fee per person. :-)

        Oh well.

        Jojie

      • The Longest Way Home
        November 24, 2011

        I’m sure there are some great wealthy people in The Philippines. But as you say, they seem to be very low key. So low key I really couldn’t find any in my time there. Maybe I look too deeply :)

        It only leaves one thing Jojie, you better make a couple of million from your great photos pretty soon! 😉

  2. Kristina
    November 21, 2011

    Sounds like one of those magical travel moments we all hope for.
    I do wish you could have posted her photo because I’m sure she was just lovely (but I understand why you could not).

    • The Longest Way Home
      November 22, 2011

      I have her photo. And, at some later stage, when no one will know the context, will publish it under the guise of something else. She doesn’t have internet, but I gave her my card just in case things change. If she ever get’s in touch, at least, I hope, it will make her smile.

  3. Leslie
    November 21, 2011

    Sad that she is born in Malaysia and considered an illegal immigrant because of her grandmother’s place of birth. In the US some people want to change the definition of a citizen to exclude people whose parents are illegal immigrants. Clearly that isn’t working very well in Malaysia…

    • The Longest Way Home
      November 22, 2011

      Immigration is a cantankerous issue in Malaysia. Hence I wrote the little byline, just in case some haters tried to turn the post around. But yes, no matter the country this issue is a hard one to settle. In countries where immigrants made it so successful it’s even harder. I think is someone has been living a productive life in a country, illegal or not, then they’ve proven their commitment to becoming a resident. Not all would agree, but then I am a little biased.

  4. flipnomad
    November 21, 2011

    great post man…. the more i travel the more i see now that despite our cultural and physical differences, (most if not all) people are basically the same… take care on your next trip…

    • The Longest Way Home
      November 22, 2011

      Thanks Flip, yes most of us all want the same thing. How we go about it is what’s driving us as cultures apart though. Two steps forward, one step back.

  5. Victoria
    November 21, 2011

    Another deeply-rooted post :-) We understand the loneliness you feel in the search for “home”.
    I’m very grateful for blogs (and the internet) that we can share and connect with like-minded travellers, as well as staying in touch with a precious few who carry our hearts.
    Connections like this (unexpected) one, are the jewels of life.
    Where are you off to next? Bon voyage!

    • The Longest Way Home
      November 22, 2011

      Thanks Victoria. Yes, that communal bond is the answer to loneliness on any journey. I think that’s apart of many people lives who are constantly out there “finding themselves” or “looking for something”.

      It’s strange to be traveling this long, with a purpose, only to figure out some of these things now. Then again, there’s not an instruction guide to this journey either!

      Next … A stopover in Bangkok then, either more humidity or a new wardrobe for a colder climate 😉

  6. Jason
    November 22, 2011

    It’s a really great point you raise about the photographing of people Dave. I for one are someone that at times likes to photograph people from a distance (many of which I post to my blog). I will continue to do this, and feel that I can capture people in their normal state, every day state.

    I also enjoy (where possible) getting to know a person, whether it be for only a quick chat, before I then take their portrait. The dilemma you faced in Tibet and others like it can raise a few problems when people have what ever type of media that captured the moment.

    By making it public, it (as you point out) could be used by the government to round up any people they believe may have been responsible for what ever insane law may have been broken.

    On the other hand though, if every single piece of media of an incident was withheld then it would to the rest of the world, as if the incident never took place. Catch 22 in a way.

    I suppose it just needs smart decisions by the people who posses the images of video to not release anything that can be used to identify, but still get it out there, for the rest of the world to see.

    On a brighter note, it seems that you made a great connection with the girl you met, and a good feed as well. Safe travels mate….

    • The Longest Way Home
      November 22, 2011

      I agree with you Jason, there’s definitely a boundary between photographing for the sake of art, reportage, personal usage etc. Where quite we draw that line is up to us as people I think. Which realistically means not a lot considering some of the ethics out there.

      If this girl was about to be deported tomorrow, leaving behind her children etc. And, she wanted her story told. I’d have no problems in running with it. The reality is, she wanted to remain working and hidden. One little photo could mean she’d have to go back, and then lose her children.

      I think about this quite often. I took a photo of a man sleeping in boat at the same docks and wondered if he too would get caught. Sleeping on the job. Then again maybe he was on a break. Then again should I be photographing him sleeping?

      Deep breaths of thought!

      What the future holds, I think. Is that slowly big photographic news agencies will close off this area with “model releases” required for everything. And, we the independents will need to do the same. It will cost money though. The price we must pay for respecting people’s privacy, or the price we are paying for a less free society?

  7. elixe
    November 22, 2011

    I love your posts about looking for home. Although I’m not a world traveler (yet) I understand the search.

    “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.” -George Moore
    http://arrangiarsi.wordpress.com/

    • The Longest Way Home
      November 22, 2011

      That’s not a bad quote!

      But for every quote, there’s another that counters it!

  8. wandering educators
    November 22, 2011

    i LOVE this. those personal connections with people who GET it? truly, truly, a gift.

  9. Anna Mark
    November 22, 2011

    By making it public, it (as you point out) could be used by the government to round up any people they believe may have been responsible for what ever insane law may have been broken.

  10. Anna Mark
    November 22, 2011

    On a brighter note, it seems that you made a great connection with the girl you met, and a good feed as well. Safe travels mate….

  11. hayadith
    November 22, 2011

    what a story..
    u, me, Tina, and the rest 2 million illegal immigrants in Malaysia have our own story. I think the it defines who we are, where we come from and how it shape us to what we become today..
    i always believe that things happened for a reason..:)

    anyway, thanks for sharing your travel stories with us. keep on writing, even if u have found your home..

    • The Longest Way Home
      November 24, 2011

      Not found it yet, just putting the this idea of a communal bond to paper. Well … digital paper at least :)

      You are right about what defines us though. Our stories not only shape us, but I think and hope they shape those around us too!

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