It was back in 2014 when a shocking photo of a naked baby lying alone on a busy staircase went viral. Photographer, A.J. Laberinto was in Manilla, Philippines, when he took this photo and uploaded it to his social media. The disturbing photograph shows a naked toddler lying horizontally in the middle of a bustling staircase as onlookers just casually pass him by.
Pedestrians walked by without even batting an eye while other people simply just stared. A.J. was completely stunned by what he saw. He couldn’t believe that no one was paying attention to this child. He wanted to document the moment in order to raise awareness for situations such as these. He says that the people there are so used to homeless and begging children that it is a common scene to see unattended toddlers by themselves or begging for money.
He went on Facebook to put some context to the iconic picture. ‘There I was, camera–[cellphone] rather, in hand turning around the corner when I saw the child. You see, only recently I’ve been taking pictures of whatever sight was in front of me strolling around Manila though not that many. So there I was, and for several seconds the baby lay there on the floor not dying but rather sound asleep. The passers-by having seen too many too much of street children and beggars knew already how to react: they just walked away. After having finished taking the photos I then asked some familiar faces in the crowd, people who actually lived near those stairs, as to where the parent of that baby was. Lo and behold, a woman somewhat bedraggled with dirty clothes on showed up and immediately carried the baby away. All of this in a span of seconds. I bought the child food, by the way, four days ago and he’s still living in the streets—the very bed to sleep in he ever knew.’
These images should serve as a stark reminder that we should be grateful for what we have but to also be caring and sympathetic to those who may not be as fortunate.
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