Childhood cataracts are a major cause of treatable blindness. Early recognition, surgical intervention and appropriate follow-up after surgery can result in good visual outcomes. However, several factors may impact on the availability of such services, including lack of an available, affordable and accessible comprehensive eye care centre, financial limitations affecting coverage by the national healthcare provider, and household socioeconomic status. We report a case of congenital cataracts in a 12-year-old male adolescent from Northern Samar, the Philippines, who was left blind since birth. This case highlights the disparities in essential health services in the developing world and the challenges patients face in getting the care they need.