Renowned Filipino historian Ambeth Ocampo recently had a remarkable encounter with a museum visitor from Davao City, Veronica Balayo, who garnered attention on social media for her striking resemblance to Ocampo’s late mother, Belen Ocampo. The serendipitous meeting took place at the National Museum, where Veronica stumbled upon a portrait of Belen Ocampo, known as a foto-oleo, sparking curiosity and fascination.
Ocampo took to social media to share the memorable moment, posting a photo of himself alongside Veronica next to his mother’s portrait. In his caption, he recounted how Veronica, during her visit to the museum, was captivated by the resemblance between herself and the woman depicted in the portrait, even jokingly asking if she might be a reincarnation of Belen.
The intriguing resemblance didn’t go unnoticed, prompting Veronica to make a journey back to Manila to meet Ocampo in person. Upon their meeting, Ocampo couldn’t help but acknowledge the striking similarity, remarking, “Mukhang kamukha,” affirming what many had observed.
During their conversation, Veronica expressed her admiration for Belen Ocampo, aspiring to emulate her qualities and lead a fulfilling life filled with joy and accomplishments, including the dream of raising a family. In response, Ocampo offered heartfelt advice, emphasizing the importance of pursuing one’s career and finding a supportive partner, drawing from his mother’s example of being a career-oriented woman who pursued various endeavors while maintaining her independence.
As a token of their encounter, Ocampo gifted Veronica one of his books, symbolizing a connection forged through their shared experience and mutual admiration. The encounter between Ocampo and Veronica serves as a testament to the power of chance encounters and the enduring impact of remarkable individuals like Belen Ocampo, whose legacy continues to inspire and resonate with others across generations.
In a world where coincidences often lead to profound connections, the meeting between Ocampo and Veronica stands as a testament to the enduring power of human connections and the ability to find glimpses of familiarity and inspiration in unexpected places.