Taiwanese backpacker in Philippines mistaken for homeless woman

Taiwan office in Manila helped her to travel to New Zealand

A Taiwanese woman (left) was mistaken in Manila for a homeless person.

A Taiwanese woman (left) was mistaken in Manila for a homeless person. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Taiwanese woman seen spending a lot of time on the streets of the Philippine capital Manila was mistaken for a homeless person, even though she was only looking to practice religion, reports said Saturday.

The 31-year-old backpacker named Wang drew the attention of locals because she seemed to be staying in the streets of the capital’s Sampaloc area, the Central News Agency reported.

Because she was carrying luggage which looked rather old and as she played a violin, passersby assumed she was homeless and offered help. One bystander took a picture of her and posted it on her Facebook with a call for assistance.

The reporter found her sleeping at a convenience store on Friday night. She told him she had been spending two months in the Philippines, mostly staying at monasteries, where the sisters helped her extend her visa.

The Taiwanese representative office in Manila offered her a place to stay and emergency funding, but she refused. She also turned down a suggestion to return to Taiwan, but instead a Taiwan office employee accompanied her to the airport to help her buy a ticket to New Zealand, her preferred next destination, CNA reported.

Wang asked the Philippine woman to remove her from her Facebook, which she did straightaway, while the Taiwan office later contacted her relatives inside the country to tell them about her whereabouts.