Lourdes prepares to rise from an afternoon nap. Lourdes has full support from her two children while the other three work and live abroad.
Lourdes Pablo has lived during the Japanese era and Second World War. Pablo is now 94 years old with five children who resides in a small neighborhood in Cubao.
“I was not able to enjoy when I was a teenager. We would hide because that’s what we need to do. Japanese men, you wouldn’t know what they were thinking, so it’s safer to stay inside our houses because there’s always the existing fear of getting raped or kidnapped.”
The daylight reveals the soft detail of Lourdes' face. Lourdes goes out every day to watch the passing cars and people walking around the area.
Lourdes' old possessions are not currently present due to a house fire. The coal burning cast iron is one of the few items that has been recovered from their old house.
Lourdes waits outside on a Sunday night for her son to arrive together with his family from church.
Mel passes the drink to a customer fresh from the coconut shell. Mel parks her wooden cart along the street of Kamuning to sell her product to students, employees and residents around the area.
It is very rare to encounter an elderly woman who pushes a wooden cart filled with coconuts in the middle of the day. One of them is Mel Fabio, a 72 year-old widow with two children who has been working as a street vendor for fifteen years.
Mel Fabio has a skill in extracting juice straight from the coconut's hard shell using a sharp bolo knife. The task requires full-strength and speed.
Fabio tells her experiences as a hawker or street vendor. She expresses the daily threats of pollution affecting her health and the unknown danger along the roads.
Fabio talks about her devotion in selling coconuts and the possible perils from being exposed in public areas.
She described her daily situation as dangerous and risky, "What if someone grabs me and take my money? I would not be able to run after him, and fight because I'm already old and weak."
Salve arranges the wrapper in preparation for the customer's order. The alleyway serves as her second home and temporary entertainment while her daughter is away working.
Along the narrow alleyway is an elderly woman named Salve. The 88 year-old woman traverses five blocks from home to spend her time in selling fried banana and maruya.
Salve puts the maruya (a filipino dessert) inside the wrapper for a customer.
Victor double checks the change for a buyer. His stall contains items designed for calamities and extreme weather.
Along the hidden halls in the market is a mini-stall owned by Victor, an 85-year old man with two children.
Victor is a former farmer who now resides in Quezon City and runs his own business in the market.
"The war had already begun when I was nine years old. I remember I just turned ten when the Japanese came here. The Japanese lasted here in the country for three years."
Victor expresses rapture from recalling his childhood memories during the Japanese era.
The population of the elderly in the Philippines is soaring. The total of the elderly in the country recorded in 2012 is 5,905,000 and that is 15.3% of our population and expected to reach 23, 633,000 by 2050. The life expectancy of the male is 66 which is comparably shorter than the 73 year-old life expectancy for females.
Lourdes, Mel, Salve and Victor have outlived the expected life of the ordinary.
The four lives the conventional life-letting the process of life control their fate. The number of days are getting faster, the people are unceasingly innovating and changing, the world is evolving with the rise of modernization, technological inventions and humans developing cures for illnesses.
They represent the past-the tangible and living history. As their bodies deteriorate, their physical beauty are continually fading and their memory are piece by piece withering-the elderly still settle for a simple and peaceful life in their own definition of "home."