“Unwed “, is a personal project that documents a 1930’s house that provides temporary shelter for abused and unwed mothers; the destitute and orphaned children of Manila.

The Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia that leads with the highest cases of HIV and teenage pregnancies. Yet it manages to be the first in gender equality rights. Access to birth control and basic sex education is somewhat limited. A contradiction in so many ways.

My mother is part of this organization. During a visit I found myself walking through the building; pondering on the four walls that have probably held countless yarns and secrets. Women with stories of incest, abuse, infection, molestation and rape.  The gravity of the situation is heartbreaking and depressing. It made me question my personal relationships and role as a woman in society.

On a fairly quiet afternoon, I finally mustered up the courage to capture the emotions I felt.

Like life this series is a work in progress.

Was I glad the hallways were empty?

Did it mean no bad news for the day? Or had they just not reached us yet?

1 Comment

  1. The Adopted Child

    Somebody’s adopted child today
    Will linger all alone
    Hoping her birth mother will call
    Before the day has flown.
    Somebody’s adopted child will weep,
    Heartbroken and stunned tonight,
    Because her first mother gone
    Forgot to call or write.
    Somebody’s adopted child somewhere
    Will kiss with lips of grief,
    Portraits of a birth mother unknown
    And cry herself to sleep.

    Judith Land


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