Within Frame

PARIS, 2016. She stretched out her arm as far as possible so she could properly frame herself and the Eiffel Tower on her tablet. She tried sitting down and re-angling multiple times, but the tower was massive and her reach inadequate.

She was just about to leave her spot when I finally rose from the bench.

“Ako na lang po mag-picture,” I offered.

“Ay Pinoy! Naku, okay lang ba? Hindi ko mapagkasya.”

I asked her to walk farther away from Eiffel, but she refused. “‘Yung amo ko baka isipin umalis ako. Dito na lang.”

After telling her it would be impossible to include the entirety of the tower in the photo at this distance, she settled with “basta kita na Eiffel.”

Right on cue, Vins arrived with his camera and wide-angle lens. We took this photo. It was a little bit blurred and defocused — we didn’t have a tripod and the light conditions under the glittering Eiffel were dismal — but when she saw this, her face brightened up.

“Gusto ko lang i-send sa family ko na nakapunta ako dito,” she shared while squeezing my left arm.

After we sent her the photograph, she was so happy she introduced us to her boss, an elderly man on a wheelchair, who thanked us profusely for helping her companion. They were not from here. But when her boss decided to travel to Paris, he insisted that she join him.

“They’re also Pinoy!” she told him. “Pinoys help each other.”

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