CHASING LIGHT IN CHINATOWN

Feng shui experts say to avoid having bad luck for the whole year, one should wear something red which was given by someone else. Somebody instantly came to mind. Susan, I still have that red underwear you sent me. It’s either I slip into that thing or I will offend the Tai Sui and be wretched the whole year through. Anyway, I would really appreciate it if I could have a bigger size! Xie xie!

Kong Hei Fat Choi and welcome to Chinatown, Manila!

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

Chinese New Year 2014, Ongpin Street, Chinatown Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, malate.wordpress.com

HUMANS OF MANILA (2)

During the Walk For The Elderly parade at the CCP Complex here in Manila, I couldn’t help noticing an old lady on the phone, speaking in a distraught voice: “What? But we just spoke over the phone awhile ago!” she cried, stepping out of the crowd for a clearer exchange with the caller as her voice grew from frantic to hysterical. The caller is surely breaking a terrible news. (I would later on find out that somebody she’s supposed to be meeting with, met his fatal end along the way.)

She slipped in-between two parked cars and right there, the weight of the news brought her down to her knees. The horde of spectators still stuck on the colorful procession. How could someone be so alone in a street full of people.

For more on the drama of the life of our times, in this stage called Manila, I give you this my second Humans of Manila:

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

IMG_1208

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

Humans of Manila, Elmer Valenzuela, Manila, Malate

T’WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR

In July of 2013, I jumped on a bunch of farm workers somewhere in the plains of Camarines Sur.
Rice field worker, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

This is in pursuit of NYR2013′s photo competition titled Capturing Rice. They’re pitching rice awareness/conservation campaign across the nation (in this lavish era of rice-all-you-can) via arts and photography and packed with handsome prizes.

I’m a bounty hunter preying on big ones like this.

Planting rice, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur
This is the period when harvest time meets planting season. Where summer ends and the wet season begins. This day the heavens must’ve facilitated me with such an amazing light.

Rice field worker, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

I’m a perfect stranger to these Rinconada-speaking people as I am a foreign body to paddy fields. Let photography tear down walls.

Rice field worker, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

As an alien, I have always kept in mind to be courteous but bold. Cordial but not stripped.

Bicolanos are — in my experience — amiable folks. Hands down. The pack I chanced upon here were more than cooperative. They even pushed me to go deep into the hamlet so I’d experience this picturesque scenery I have never gotten close to ever — RICE THRESHING.

Rice threshing, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur 

Rice threshing, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

Rice threshing, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

Rice threshing, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

Rice threshing, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

Rice threshing, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

Rice threshing, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

Rice threshing, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

Rice threshing, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

Rice threshing, San Jose, Iriga City Camarines Sur

This acreage lies in the idyllic town of San Jose, just outside Iriga city proper. 15 miles away from here, I trooped down to shoot another farming spectacle in Monte Calvario, Buhi town.

Rice field worker, Monte Calvario, Buhi Camarines Sur

Rice field worker, Monte Calvario, Buhi Camarines Sur

National Year of the Rice 2013

After that day in the mud, under the scorching sun, I received this one good triumph worth looking back in 2013!

NYR2013 Capturing Rice photo competition winner 3rd place, Elmer Nev C. Valenzuela

Yo, excuse me while I brag

Elmer Nev C. Valenzuela, National Year of the Rice photo contest, Capturing Rice, NYR2013

RAINBOW OVER THE RUINS (ENDNOTES)

It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home. Now to continue on with The Ruins:

Today, the Sta. Maria stands as one of the The Most Fascinating Ruins of the World. Who would ever thought a memorial for a dearly departed would one day put Talisay City on the map. For 60+ years it stood godforsaken deep in the acreage. It has withstood the test of wars, natural calamities, and human misdeeds, until sometime in 2007 when conservationists discovered the structure which led to its restoration to what it is now today.

The Ruins — as it is now called — was named by The Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) as the best landmark in the Philippines. The 4th recipient of such acclamation as an architectural accomplishment (following the Banawe Rice Terraces, Summer Cross and Capas Shrine, both part of the Death March in World War II to Bataan).

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

The Ruins, Negros Occidental, muscovado mill chimney and 4-tiered fountain

The Ruins, Negros Occidental

The Ruins, Negros Occidental

Roger Lucero. The riot tourist guide of The Ruins

The Ruins, Talisay City Negros Occidental

The Ruins, Negros Occidental

Rainbow Over The Ruins, Talisay City, Negros Occidental

RAINBOW OVER THE RUINS

For the love of Maria, he built her a palace. 

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Called it the Santa Maria.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Mariano’s a sugar baron. He is boss.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Maria, a ship captain’s daughter. Pure Portuguese charm.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Mariano wanted nothing but the best memento.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Of a one truelove.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Because none is more painful, than to outlive a beloved.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Deep in the heart of the hacienda, the Sta. Maria.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Forged with the finest mortar. Sans pareil.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Carved with two lovers’ monograms.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Like hearts on a tree.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

But then, the brutal war came.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

And the need to burn the house down.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Burn the whole testament down.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

For days, Sta. Maria defied the inferno.

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

The Ruins, Talisay Negros Occidental

Because she just wouldn’t let go.