Wawa river, Bacoor, Phillippines

When it relaunched in its new Berliner format, the Guardian added a wonderful new feature, Eyewitness, which occupies the centre pages of most editions of the paper and fills the entire double-page spread with a single photograph. Some wonderful pictures have appeared in this slot, and they really benefit from the huge size (approximately the same as a 30″ x 20″ print).

Last Saturday was perhaps the most eye-grabbing I have seen yet – simultaneously fascinating, shocking, disgusting and thought provoking, with that added “WTF” factor which has one heading straight for the accompanying caption. The photo showed the head of a boy emerging from water among a flotilla of junk. It instantly prompted thoughts of death, bodies thrown up in some tsunami or other natural disaster, but this boy appeared very much alive, if rather wary of his surroundings. The caption read “Risking it all: A Filipino boy beats the heat in the Wawa river in Bacoor, south of Manila. Almost all major rivers in the region, Metro Manila, are now considered biologically dead”. The photograph is credited to Mike Alquinto/EPA.

I have searched online for a version of this photo, without success, but somebody has posted another photo obviously from the same set to Livejournal.