PHOTO ESSAY: LONESOME TO LEGAZPI

September this year when the Philippine National Railways re-opened its line further down south to Legazpi City in what Bicolanos believed as the bringing-back-to-life of the Bicol Express — the ride which became the pride of Bikolandia. Is the PNR back on the rails? At first light today, I took a trip from CamSur to […]

Read More PHOTO ESSAY: LONESOME TO LEGAZPI

WHOOPEE

From where I strut is the Rinconada integrated irrigation system — an outstretched waterway right at the foothills of Mount Asog here in Iriga; rendezvous for bathing or doing the laundry. Who says you can’t wash your dirty linen in public? I started shooting around and the kids scampered to show off their platform diving […]

Read More WHOOPEE

THE BEASTS OF LUMBAC

There was this old Pinoy story about a man who was brought to the court for stealing a carabao. The man pleaded innocence saying he only stole a rope and — was not aware of a carabao at the other end. Another version grew from this gag: A man asked the parish priest if it’s […]

Read More THE BEASTS OF LUMBAC

SAGRADA VALLEY

I don’t remember getting forgetful. A small band of Lenten penitents appeared on the road as I sped along the foothills of Mount Asog. The file was led by a “Christ” bearing a bamboo cross — very atypical from the standard Pinoy Holy Week fashion — followed by a horde of equally strange looking disciples. […]

Read More SAGRADA VALLEY

PHOTOWALK MORONG

It seems we have destroyed the whole town and still could not find a decent jar of peanut butter. Morong is such a dormant little territory. Cut off to the west by the Manila bay and the mountains of Bataan, the town is in effect unheard-of were it not for a pair of notable pasts. […]

Read More PHOTOWALK MORONG

TAGAYTAY PHOTOBOMB

Dear Steve. Thank you for sharing this image on your fb timeline. I’ve been doing the same but via tweets! I know how you feel about this, considering how you adorn your site header. So today I’m veering off from my usual subject and spread this as viral as it could and maybe — at […]

Read More TAGAYTAY PHOTOBOMB

WALLED CITY. WALLED PHOTOGRAPHY

An attempt to tear down a wall. After flipping through my 10-no photography spots in Manila, BMSD founder photographer Mel Cortez messaged me asking how come Intramuros — the most notorious of all photo restricted places — was not included in the list. The Walled City, he said, is the hardest when it comes to […]

Read More WALLED CITY. WALLED PHOTOGRAPHY

MALATE EVENINGS

Yesterday being a holiday, I took an experimental walk to two contrasting places in the metro, Makati City and Quiapo. Contrasting since one is strikingly opposite in many aspects to the other. Makati being the central business district, Quiapo the center of underground economy. Makati is to upscale sector as Quiapo is to the reduced. […]

Read More MALATE EVENINGS

TRAUMANILA

Today marks my tenth year of living here in Manila. Malate in particular. The western end, the area by the bay. I know the place like the back of my hand now. And, as a small tribute, I won’t be going into its bad lights today. Even though the city best speaks of that ‘run […]

Read More TRAUMANILA

MELANCHOLY

One storm after another. The wind, shower and fog take turns in rattling the empty ferris wheel pods. A figure looms from what was zero visibility for a moment. The night, black as blindness. I’m two thousand feet up sea level and two thousand feet downcast.

Read More MELANCHOLY