Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Not a real fire though but a fire drill exercise… it is a fire simulation and the man nearest the fire is demonstrating how to use the fire extinguisher properly. Photo taken this morning at my work place. Annually, buildings in the Philippines are required to have a fire drill exercise in compliance with PD1185 otherwise known as the Fire Code of the Philippines. During the fire drill, the special rescue unit and emergency responding team demonstrates various techniques, which include extraction of trapped victims, unfortunately there is no rappelling this year, cause according to the main man, there is an ongoing fire somewhere in manila and well of course real firemen are more needed there. I've also learned that a burning LPG tank does not explode like we see in the movies. Yes this isn’t in Manila but in Makati, it is one of the cities that comprise Metro Manila.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Monday, May 28, 2007

old house

This is in Real St. inside the Intramuros and what you're seeing is a typical house built during the spanish colonization... the bahay na bato... or house of stone. the foundation or the first floor is made of stone but the second level is made of wood with big windows and of course with veranda or balcony... i guess it was designed that way because of the hot weather here in the philippines. Sadly these type of structures are fading away...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

manila city hall

The Manila City Hall at night.... I'd been meaning to post a picture of the city hall at night because it is a spectacular sight but i can only give you a blurry image, my hands are shaking as usual and i really need to get a tripod and a decent camera. Anyways what you see in front is the famous Philippine jeepney. Not sure what is the problem though why the driver is checking out its engine.

Friday, May 25, 2007

just another night

Just another night in the city, taken when the sun is almost out of the horizon... with just enough light to give the city the pink glow before darkness. You're looking in at Gen. Luna St., still inside the walled city of Intramuros, on the left is my alma mater... and on the other side of the road is the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) building. I still remember back in college where we witness an almost daily scene of rallies and protests just in front of DOLE. Looking further down the road you can see the distinct 2 towers of the Manila Cathedral.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

intramuros at night

This is how the walled city looks like at night, i'd guess it looked the same way hundreds of years before, with the calesa's standing by waiting for its passengers. The area on the right err left, the area where the horses are, is the Puerta Real Garden, a beautiful place usually rented for wedding receptions… giving the old romance atmosphere. The area opposite is the garden or the backdoor of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, my alma mater.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

manila cathedral

Manila Cathedral is also known as the basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The original structure was built in 1581, made from nipa and bamboo, the typical structure of houses and buildings in Manila during that time. From its construction, the church has been damaged by typhoon, razed to the grounds by fire, toppled by numerous earthquakes, and destroyed into ruins during the world war ii… but always it gets rebuilt from the ashes and is still standing today from its original foundation ... resilient like the Filipino people. The church has been photograph many times before and its facade is known all over that's why my photo just shows its tower to check if a true manileño can guess.

From the official website: The story of the Manila Cathedral is not only a story of the Church, it is also a story of Intramuros, a story of Manila, a story of the Philippines. Manila Cathedral is a time narrative; it is about ruins and ravages, rising and restorations.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

the enchanted gate

here's the gate of yesterday's photo... isnt it enchanting? the way the sunlight plays with the statues inside captivated me and for a while i thought i was going to see an aparition or a spirit of a dead friar.

that place looks so mysterious, as if time stood still and nothing has changed... from the dust that covers the tables and whatnots inside, i wonder what was the place for... is it a lounge of the priests or was it a place they say their prayers.

i have a confession to make, yesterday i said that i didnt want to break a law inside the church, but the truth i would have... except that there was an old lady praying in the front pew who keeps an eye on me. i was afraid if i dared go inside the "lola" would scold me with her umbrella :)

UPDATE: sorry for confusing you Zsolt, lola means grandmother in tagalog, our native tongue. an old lady is considered a lola :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

looking through

we're still inside the san agustin church, and right now you're looking through on one of its "forbidden" chambers. this chamber is on the right side facing the altar, it drawn me because of its beautiful gate and the way the sun shine reflect what's inside. i was very tempted to go inside but the warning on the gate strictly prohibits a "tourist" to go inside. i dont consider myself a tourist, i'm one of their locals, but when you go around the place taking photorgaphs... i guess they can say that you're tourist enough. the gate was slightly ajar and the church was empty but i didnt dare break a law inside the house of god... so i just contented myself peeking through centuries ago... years before the devastating war... i'm just so glad that the war didnt destroyed this church.

tomorrow i'll show the enchanting gate of this "forbidden" chamber.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


actually this is the bottom of a pulpit inside the san agustin church. i just love the details and doesnt it remind you of pineapple? the cute painting on the wall serves as bonus. to see the whole pulpit click here. have a nice sunday everyone.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

beautiful door

As promised yesterday, here's the picture of san agustin church's door. I love the intricate details of this carved wooden door. Actually the one in the photo is just the side door, the main door looks the same except for the figures at the center.

Friday, May 18, 2007

san agustin church

It is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines (built between 1587-1606) and the only building left standing after the war that destroyed intramuros during the Battle of Manila in 1945. The building adjacent to the church is its museum full of antiques and relics from the past era. The church looks simple from the outside but the inside is spectacular, the ceiling and walls of the church are amazing.

Here's how it look inside.

Tomorrow, I'll show you the detailed carvings of its doors.

PS. Manila City has a new mayor, Alfredo Lim is declared as the winner yesterday after Ali Atienza, the incumbent mayor's son, concedes. Mayor Lim was the mayor of Manila when i was still in college. For more story about the election click here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

city under attack!!!

Well not really, dont worry our city is safe. It just seem to appear that this cannon is aimed at Manila City Hall's tower from this view. This is one of the cannons that lined up the main front of the intramuros walls. For more pictures of the cannons click here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

looking out

a continuation of my journey within the walls of intramuros... from the ruins of yesterdays photo, a wall still stood on the right side and i peeked in its window. from there you could see whoever is coming in or walking within the walls. which made me wonder if the soldiers who were guarding the fort ever noticed how beautiful their watch tower is or were they too busy looking out for the approaching enemy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Revisited the walled city and i am still in awe at this magnificent structure within the heart of manila. I’ve spent my college days wandering in its walls and hanging out at the numerous dungeons and I cant help but reminisce.

Shame on me because I dont know anything about this circular wall at the center or what is the purpose of this structure within the walls, all i know is that it is lovely and spent countless times looking at it. there is a stair going down which would lead you to a garden. I guess i have to join in on Carlos Celdran tours to know more about this.

Intramuros was constructed in 1571, during the period of Spain's colonization of the Philippines and was completed in 1606. It’s design was based upon a medieval castle structure and covered 64 hectares of land, surrounded by 8 metre thick stones and high walls that rise 22 metres. It is a city within the wall, housing several churches and schools . During World War II, much of Intramuros was destroyed by bombings.

Monday, May 14, 2007


“Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others...for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy." - Albert Einstein

Today is election day here in the Philippines, and i'll cast my ballot hoping for a brighter future, exercising my right of suffrage and my duty to my beloved country. To my countrymen, please vote wisely.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

happy mother's day!

a beautiful flower for the most important person in our lives. here we call our mothers as inay or nanay.

let me share with you this classic song for mothers, Sa Ugoy ng Duyan by Levi Celerio.

Sana'y di magmaliw ang dati kong araw
Nang munti pang bata sa piling ni Nanay
Nais kong maulit ang awit ni Inang mahal
Awit ng pag-ibig habang ako'y nasa duyan

Sa aking pagtulog na labis ang himbing
Ang bantay ko'y tala
Ang tanod ko'y bituin
Sa piling ni Nanay
Langit ang buhay
Puso kong may dusa
Sabik sa ugoy ng duyan mo Inay
Sana narito ka Inay

Sana'y di magmaliw ang dati kong araw
Nang munti pang bata sa piling ni Nanay
Nais kong maulit ang awit ni Inang mahal
Awit ng pag-ibig habang ako'y nasa duyan

it's difficult to translate in english but google helped me :)

I hope that my old days will never fade
As a small child in my mother's arms
I wish to hear again my beloved mother's songs
Songs of love while I was in the cradle

In my deep, deep slumber
My keepers are the stars
The stars are my guardians
In my mother's arms
Life is heaven
My heart full of pain
Longs to rock in your arms again Mother
Mother, I wish you were here

I hope that my old days will never fade
As a small child in my mother's arms
I wish to hear again my beloved mother's songs
Songs of love while I was in the cradle

to hear Lea Salonga's interpretation of the song, click here

Saturday, May 12, 2007

left behind

photo taken on my way home... wanted to share this with you because it gave me the feeling that the world is moving so fast and that somehow i'm being left behind. have you ever felt that too?

LRT trivia: The Light Rail Transit System Line No. 1 consists of the 15 km elevated railway system servicing the Taft Avenue - Rizal Avenue route between Baclaran, Pasay City and the Bonifacio Monument in the City of Caloocan. It passes 3 cities. and it is considered to be the first LRT system in Southeast Asia.

Friday, May 11, 2007

pick the odd one

have you seen which of the figures is different? that is my nephew posing in front Peter Pan, one of the attractions in Star City which is located at CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, a 35,000-square meter amusement theme park. to know more about the fun visit their site here

Thursday, May 10, 2007

chicken out

One of the many stores in Manila selling lechon manok (roasted chicken). Filipinos are crazy about it, need proof? in our area alone there is four lechon manok stores within a block. The one in the photo is just below the R. Papa LRT station and right now i'm crazy about Mang Bok's chicken, their gravy is so delicious and the chicken is so tasteful and juicy. Now i'm getting hungry!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

let's play

... hide and seek. my playful niece under the high chair saying peek-a-boo. i am always amazed by kids, they can always find ways to play and have fun even in the simplest of things.

haven't been out that much this week, so i am just posting this photo from a children's party at Max's restaurant. i can say that Max's have the best tasting fried chicken in town! sorry no picture of the delicious chicken but tomorrow i'll give you roasted chickens.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

make a wish

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a typical scene within the vicinity of quiapo church... candle vendors. they say that if you light a candle and say a prayer, your wishes will come true. They even have a color coding for each candle, red is for love, white for peace, and so on.

Monday, May 07, 2007


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You can never say that you’ve experienced manila life if you’ve never been to Quiapo. One of the oldest districts in Manila and is a cornucopia of everything that is Filipino. Here you can find a variety of goods ranging from street foods, amulets, herbal cures, native handicrafts, camera and electronic equipment, and pirated DVDs. Although Quiapo is best known for its catholic church, the Basilica ng Nazareno, the area is also home to the Muslim residents in Manila.

The Quiapo church in the photo above is the home of the famous Black Nazarene, the life sized statue of Jesus christ from Mexico, which is believed to produce miracles hence thousands of devotee flock the parade on its feast day every January 9th.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

manila bay sunset

another beautiful sunset at manila bay... dont you just love the way how the sun colors the sky? guess we're all artist trying to mimic God's wonderful creation... forever trying to capture nature's beauty

Saturday, May 05, 2007

sunset lovers

I love sunset, thankfully we have the best sunset view from manila bay. People from all walks of life come here to enjoy the serenity and calmness that the sunset bring. Cant help but feel romantic so I stole a shot of this lovely couple.

"people come from everywhere, waiting for the evening sun, gathering for a special moment that is yet to come, in the sunset atmosphere, we all go quiet standing there, and when the sea embraces the light, the day has gone, born is the night."

Friday, May 04, 2007

are you ok?

When was the last time somebody asked if you're ok? It seems to me that that is what the statue is asking the old man who is passing by. This is an early afternoon scene in baywalk. The place is starting to get crowded as the sun is beginning to set... afterall Manila Bay has the most beautiful sunset in the world. You're probably getting tired of seeing my baywalk scene, but promise tomorrow i'll give you the sunset.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

manila baywalk

The photo above is one of the many outdoor bar along the baywalk. I love the statues lined in front of this bar with the Philippine flag standing proudly. Also the bar is actually an old bus, what a way to recycle.
In case you dont know yet, the Manila Baywalk is in front of the Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard. The promenade is a two kilometer stretch between the US Embassy and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) just past the Manila Yacht Club. The place is dotted with coconut trees, giant lamp posts, cafès and restaurants, bars, and live bands. The perfect place to hang out when you're in Manila.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

manila dog

This guy aptly named his moving store as the Manila Dog. The store sells hotdogs and soda along Baywalk. Got a nice marketing strategy naming his hotdogs after the city's prominent figures - Atienza Dog (after the city Mayor of course), Bagatsing Dog, and Lacson Dog among others. Well I've chosen to eat Manila's Finest Hotdog from the menu, and it is delicious!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


This blog is all about Manila, ayt? And you may ask what is Subic doing here? I have participated in the May 1st theme of the Daily Photo community which is "City Exchange". I've chosen this particular photo from Subic because I miss the beach. I also wanted you to feel relaxed and enjoy the beach scene, escape the summer heat for the meantime and chill.

At least 80 sites are participating in the May 1st theme, kindly check the links below to visit them.

Monte Carlo, Monaco - Rome, Italy - Singapore, Singapore - Tenerife, Spain - Rotterdam, Netherlands - London, UK - Montréal (QC), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Naples (FL), USA - Bastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Mazatlan, Mexico - Buenos Aeres, Argentina - Manila, Philippines - Arradon, France - Madison (WI), USA - Evry, France - Seoul, Korea - Shanghai, China - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Sequim (WA), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Budapest, Hungary - Baziège, France - Hamburg, Germany - Toruń, Poland - Nelson, New Zealand - Madison (WI), USA - Vantaa, Finland - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Mainz, Germany - Dubai, UAE - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Cork, Ireland - Stockholm, Sweden - Menton, France - Tel Aviv, Israel - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Kitakami, Japan - Stayton (OR), USA - Szentes, Hungary - Stavanger, Norway - Grenoble, France - Villigen, Switzerland - Paris, France - Hyde, UK - Moscow, Russia - Joplin (MO), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Greenville (SC), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Asheville (NC), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Madrid, Spain - Auckland, New Zealand - Oulu, Finland - Lubbock (TX), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Vancouver, Canada - Seattle (WA), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Manila, Philippines - Lyon, France - New York City (NY), USA - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Brookville (OH), USA - Hayle, UK - Wailea (HI), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - San Diego (CA), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Torino, Italy

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