Corners Of Quiapo

ho doesn’t know Quiapo? Manila’s busy downtown diversely populated by people from different walks of life. Colors everywhere. I have been planning to go back to the streets of Manila and shoot. So when a friend invited me for a walk around this district, I bumped a couple of appointments that day and said yes.

Axl and Dennis are friends who like me, loves the city. But what sets them apart is their immense knowledge about its history. I love walking with them as it makes me feel that when we talk about history is something common and a part of our daily lives.

Quiapo Photowalk

We met up at Kasa Boix, a Spanish era house currently owned by the Jesuits. The house has a long history of neglect bounded by the unwelcomed settlers. About a hundred families live in the house. Just imagine the stress it gives to the structure. Not that I am heartless, but you are living free and uninvited at least respect the structure and do not alter it. Anyways, its a long story though.

Axl’s group are trying to help survive the house with its beautiful and intricate architecture. The battle has been long and still is on to save the house. But they are not giving up. I got interested with the history of the house. The smell of mold invading the house as the wind blows was a bit of a challenge for breathing. I wonder how these families keep up. Axl enthusiastically retold  a bit of the stories of the house from the spanish till the early 70’s when it became a boarding house.

Quiapo Photowalk

We moved on through alleys I’ve never been to. There were are lot of old houses with bits of history told to me as we walk passed by and sometimes through them. Sometimes it gets a bit sad hearing how elegant these houses used to be but has now been left to despair. After a few minutes we found our selves along what used to be Manila’s most beautiful street, Hildalgo street.

Hidalgo street used to be lined with magnificent houses of Manila’s elite. It used to be called as calle San Sebastian as it leads to the beautiful sole steel church in Asia imported all the way from europe, The Basilica of San Sebastian.

Quiapo Photowalk

 

Quiapo Photowalk

The church is specially popular for weddings, no wonder that there was one when we arrived. Walking pass the side of the church I was reminded how the church was endangered by a former parish priest.  He attempted to bore a hole at the back of the church using an acetylene torch to the horror of conservation activists. Quiapo Photowalk

Quiapo Photowalk

Quiapo Photowalk

I was telling Axl and Dennis about this eclectic looking building that I found somewhere within the depths of the internet. So I was really excited to find out that we are actually going to visit this iconic heritage building, the Ocampo Pagoda. I wanted to go inside but apparently the structure has been converted into a dormitory and people actually live there. It may not be an ideal situation for the structure but as long as it would help survive the building, I am for it. At least they didn’t tear the thing down.

Quiapo Photowalk

Quiapo Photowalk

The original property was huge. We can find various remnants of the entire compound. Even the fire box can still be found near one of its former gates. Thank God, no one has attempted to take this! Further down in one of the alleys, Axl took us to one corner. We found a statue of three people dear to the owner’s heart. His wife and two kids.

Quiapo Photowalk

Quiapo Photowalk

Next  on the list is the Quinta Market. The district’s old market was demolished to give way to the new one. I didn’t take photos inside the new market. It was just sad and too dark inside. Outside though is a different story. Commerce is alive, everyone is busy transporting their goods from one place to another.

Quiapo Photowalk

Quiapo Photowalk

Quiapo Photowalk

Furthere down the street is this conic building being used by SM as their outlet store. This used to be a hotel with the top as a revolving restaurant, the first in the country.

Quiapo Photowalk

Quiapo Photowalk

a lola waiting for the bus to pandacan

Quiapo Photowalk

Later that day, we found our selves at the famed street of Escolta. Coffee was good at The Den found in the ground level of the First United Building. This artsy cafe’s interior will just stimulate your creativity and make you want to work more on your projects. It was a nice breather before going to our last stops. The coffee shop was a perfect oasis from that day’s scorching hot air.

Quiapo Photowalk

Dang, I could really never get a perfect photo of this building. I just don’t know what’s wrong. This is the central Post Office of the Philippines. I am not sure if it is the light or something but I could never be satisfied with my photo. We decided to call it a day at Estero de Tondo. It was a fun and productive day for my brain. I can’t wait to go on a walk around this city again with these awesome duo!

Manila Bay Sunset Cruise

Manila Bay offers a spectacular world renowned show every single day that we all call sunset. Wouldn’t it be nice to look at that dinner and the beautiful Manila skyline while you comfortably cruise on the bay with music on your background? Sounds lie a good plot for a romantic movie ey!? But no, this is for real…. Here’s a short video of our Sunset Cruise after our Adventour Challenge in Corregidor.


Valenzuela: Piyesta Ng San Roque

Every 12th of May Valenzuela celebrates the feast of San Roque in Mabolo, Valenzuela.

It is said that during the feast’s procession if a girl gets caught in the middle of a group of dancing men the girl would have a boyfriend or get married that year. And for the men they’ll be blessed with someone as well.

The feast has been celebrated for more than 300 years since the spanish era and is continued to be practiced today with the support of the city government.

Here’s a video of the procession that I took last 2011.

 

TIPS

  • Pack/travel light, there’s gonna be a lot dancing so just bring a water bottle and small towel and extra clothes
  • Enjoy the procession and don’t be a kill joy if some one asks you to dance with go on and dance.
  • Enjoy the caridad drinks. There are drinks along the procession route that you can drink as much as you like. They are called caridad.
  • The procession usually starts around 9am, be sure to be there by 9am

HOW TO GET TO MABOLO/ SAN ROQUE CHAPEL

  • Take any Malanday bound bus or Jeep. Get off at the end of the route (Mercury/Meralco Malanday)
  • Take a sidecar/pedicab going to Mabolo