Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I was in Binondo today on my way to do an errand near the Manila City Hall when the urge to take a calesa tickled my fancy. So I did and once again immensely enjoyed it.

After attending to my business, on my way back to Sta. Cruz, instead of taking the LRT train, jeepney or cab, I decided to walk it and take some pictures along the way.

Incidentally, during the daytime, the off white paint job of the city hall's facade isn't that all pleasing; the original yellowish color was much better. However, at night when the entire structure is lit, it is simply stunning. And since I was in the neighborhood, decided to walk in and inquire where I could get a permit to do an evening photo shoot of the building.

I was told by the man behind the information counter that as long as I limited my shoot to the outside vicinity, I need not secure any permit. However, for the interior grounds, I would need one. I thanked him and left without telling him that I had already taken some shots of the interior grounds and no one bothered me although the place was swarming with uniformed law enforcement officers while I did it.

From the city hall, I walked through the Pugad Lawin Park and then crossed the street by the Metropolitan Theater to Liwasang Bonifacio (Bonifacio Plaza) right in front of the post office. And from there I headed towards MacArthur Bridge and ended up in Plaza Lacson (formerly Plaza Goiti). It was a fun walk. By the way, the railing along MacArthur Bridge, which is mid-thigh level, is much too low for comfort. A simple shove could send a pedestrian falling into the Pasig River.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:45 PM


Anonymous niceheart said...

Wow! another calesa ride ha. Yeah, that railing looks too low. Mababaw din ba yung tubig? :)

January 03, 2007 10:21 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Irene! That's the Pasig River, not a estero ... that is definitely deep, especially for someone like me who was never a good swimmer ... hehehe. But then again, the esteros in Manila are so clogged and toxic that they're probably deadlier than the deep water of Pasig.

Yup ... I really enjoy taking those calesa rides! Makes me feel like a kid, actually. But it's quite a struggle getting on and off them because they're so high :)

January 03, 2007 10:30 PM  

Anonymous manilenya said...

bakit yata pumangit na ulit yung plaza lawton? dati maganda na yan diba? ..pero nice shots pa rin nag-iimprove ka na senyor :)

January 03, 2007 10:55 PM  

Blogger cruise said...

ngayon lang ulit ako nakasilip sa liwasang bonifacio through your pics, nice. at may magandang gate na pala ang feati mula bridge papunta sta cruz. ok yun ah. at syiempre ang sarap kumain siguro dyan sa gotohan...

January 03, 2007 10:59 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


A calesa plying along Taft Avenue?

And is that Quiapo bridge to the right of MacArthur?

Very nostalgic pics. When jeepneys were on strike or there were too many passengers, we also used to walk from across the river all the way to Malate, along Taft. And enjoying then the many shaded lanes along the way - like along PGH, Women's, Faura, etc. Yes, Women's with their white-clad students being driven and picked by chauffeur-driven sedans.

January 04, 2007 1:24 AM  

Anonymous Corsarius said...

those are spectacular pictures; i envy your skill with the camera. you should make another site for your pics of the metro (and the philippines) -- it will be a good draw for foreigners as well! :D

i agree -- i like the city hall best when it's night. i don't know if it's just me, but i've always thought that many gov't buildings, parks, and monuments are awkwardly painted.

i've always been afraid to cross bridges on foot since i was a kid. that railing enforces my phobia! hehe.

January 04, 2007 2:30 AM  

Blogger Senorito<- Ako said...

The gotohan should be somewhere near isetann just beneath the carriedo LRT station. Just a guess. :)

Btw, what lense did you get with your d80 ? is it the 18-70 or the 18-135 ?

January 04, 2007 5:31 AM  

Blogger Senorito<- Ako said...

one more thing might want to switch back to SRGB. Because both the web and the printing labs use SRGB as default. The colors might be a tad off as well if you don't tell them that its AdobeRGB.

January 04, 2007 5:33 AM  

Blogger carlotta said...

i can't see the pictures yet, dunno why.

ang saya tumawid ng macarthur bridge no? i didn't realize na mababa pala ang railings nun. feel na feel ko lang siguro ang pagtatawid dun noon. =)

January 04, 2007 5:43 AM  

Anonymous bw said...

Nice shots.. I haven't been in this area for ages ! YOu should have a waterproof camer bag when you cross this bridge :) Man, that railing is loo low. That bolalohan and gotohan makes me hungry :)

January 04, 2007 6:22 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Tama ka, Melai, maganda ang Plaza Lawton ... at hanggang ngayon pa din. At yung mga underpass nila ay laging malinis. Pero, hindi sa Plaza Lawton kuha ang bulalohan photo kundi sa ... (see my response to Senorito Ako's comments).

Maganda nga, Cruise, pero mukhang hindi ata bukas at ginagamit ng mga estudyante ang entrance na ito. But then agan, baka mali ako kasi wala pa din silang pasok kahapon.

Nagandahan akong kunan ang kainan na ito pero iniiwasan ko na kumain sa mga ganitong lugar kasi kadalasan sobra maalat mga pagkain nila. Wala naman akong high blood kanya lang na-develop ko na ang magkaroon ng bland taste mula ng natira ako ng matagal sa NYC.

Nasa Switzerland ka pa ba ngayon?

Yes, Amadeo. And from what I was told by the kuchero, they are allowed on every major roadway in Manila. The only time they would get hassled by the police is whenever they have nothing to catch the droppings made by the horses, which could be really annoying should you step on one ... hehehe.

When I was in high school, there were times when weather permitting, I'd walk from our Intramuros campus back to our classes in Doroteo Jose. Yesterday, I retraced some of those steps. The added flyover from near Metropolitan Theater to the foot of MacArthur Bridge heading towards Plaza Goiti was what confused me; it wasn't there when I was young.

And thank God they never changed the name of Taft Avenue to a name of some dead senator!

Ay naku, Corsarius, you should have seen me inching ever so slowly close to the railing to take a picture of that barge on the river. Afterwards, I walked far from it; almost on the roadway itself. I ought to write Mayor Atienza about that low railing.

Thanks for enjoying my pics! I'll bring up the idea to Ia and see how it may be integrated :)

You are absolutely correct, Senorito! Melai, it wasn't taken in Plaza Lawton but under the stairs that lead up to LRT Carriedo Station ... hehehe.

Btw, I used my Canon point & shooter on this trip because it is so small I always have it with me unlike the bulky dSLR (sabi ko na nga sa sarili ko ito noon, eh).

I got the 18-135mm kit lens. Ok, will switch to SRGB.

Hi Carla! I was having lots of trouble uploading last night. In fact, the last pic (of the daily tabloids) I reposted this am because it wasn't loading last night.

First time ko since coming back to Manila to cross McArthur Bridge on foot. Now I'm inspired to do the same on Quezon or Quiapo Bridge. I used to do that a lot in NYC's Queensborough and Brooklyn bridges on my bike. But then again, the pedestrian lanes on those bridges were properly secured with well-designed railings to protect people against sudden ghasts of wind that might blow them into the water :)

Hey, welcome back, BW! Bet you're sporting a chic suntan now, huh? :)

Not only a waterproof camera bag, but also a life vest ... hahaha. Really! Also, why design the railing that low? Filipinos aren't that short! Katakot nga!

January 04, 2007 8:26 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

I had a wonderful and unforgettable time in Pinas, Eric! I'm going back again this year, seriously.

I rode on the calesa; twice and spoke to the driver too, they were really friendly!

I miss those moments when I was back there, in Pinas ... ):

January 04, 2007 9:13 AM  

Blogger carlotta said...

nakatawid na rin ako sa brooklyn bridge (dream come true!) at sa george washington bridge on foot. mas madalas nga lang sa GWB kasi sa fort lee nakatira tito ko and his family noon at dun ako nakitira for about 5 months.

January 04, 2007 10:22 AM  

Blogger BNY said...

Good photos.

January 04, 2007 10:24 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

We need more tourists here like you, Kyels!

Glad to know you had a fun and memorable time in Manila.

You know there are great schools here which you may someday consider for your post graduate studies :)

My brother raised his family in nearby Tenafly. I have some friends in Fort Lee, but I had never walked across GW Bridge. So I guess you immediately take the subway train upon reaching the BY side; venturing into the neighboring areas on foot may not be desirable.

Five months is along time; New Yorker ka na din!

Sent you an email regarding the photo session/firework events.

Many thanks, BNY!


January 04, 2007 11:09 AM  

Blogger ipanema said...

Beautiful photos Eric. Isn't a calesa ride more expensive? Not sure though. I think if you're planning to shoot photos, the best way is to walk. Mas maraming nakikita. Know what? I've been to the Lawton Post office only once. :(

January 04, 2007 3:49 PM  

Blogger sheilamarie said...

Hola Senor! Manila IS beautiful and unique, and your pictures just proves it :D I would have avoided the low railings too if I were there. I'm an accident prone person, I might fall in or something. Haha

Dito kakatakot maglakad to take pictures (I do it when inside the car). Baka masagasaan ang beauty ko o hablutin ang camera. Hehe

Pls a picture of my beloved UST to Recto area in the future... hehe... request lang po.

January 04, 2007 4:49 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, it is more expensie, Ipanema, compared to a jeepney ride. But a calesa ride is more of a treat than anything else! I love the ride -- ou sit higher and face forward at the direction you're heading. I might go back to the post office area to take more pics. Thanks!

January 04, 2007 5:21 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Ah, ok, Sheilamarie. I really wanted to and shoot more inside the campus of UST. Last time I only photographed the arch.

BTW, your site is one of the few I can visit but unable to post a comment on lately. The comment box would open but would just remain blank. Perhaps, when I changed my blog soon I'll avoid this problem.

January 04, 2007 5:24 PM  

Anonymous jepaperts said...

first of all, happy new year, eric! quite ot to the post but im going to ask that what are your plans for the upcoming black nazarene event? i want to go and document it. :)

January 04, 2007 8:12 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Jeff,

Been following Mr. Chua's post at PiPho about it and at the moment, not up to joining the fray. If I did go, might do it early in the day but won't stick around for the procession itself -- too crowded and overwhelming. Chances of my going is about 30%.

If you do go, go with at least one other person and look out for each other. Be careful.

January 04, 2007 10:39 PM  

Blogger Senorito<- Ako said...

Hello Eric,

Ehm, research about prime lenses. :) That should lighted up your SLR.

January 05, 2007 4:20 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The 70-200mm 2.8 VR is what I lust after these days, S.A. That is before the primes.

January 05, 2007 6:28 AM  

Anonymous kathy said...

i lived in manila for years, but never once had i ridden in a calesa. what a shame, huh? i guess i should try that the next time i find myself in manila.

nice pics, by the way. nostalgic indeed. the photo of the tabloid newspapers screaming headlines brings back a lot of old memories when i was commuting from home (i lived in Tondo) and the university.

January 06, 2007 9:55 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You have got to try at least once, Kathy! I personally love it...hehehe.

Many thanks!

January 06, 2007 10:30 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

I think 2 times lang ako nakasakay ng kalesa sa Binondo. 1970's pa.
Nilalakad ko lang from Recto to Sincerity or to Calle Nueva to eat lunch when I'm in Divisoria.

February 07, 2007 1:13 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Kung tutuusin, Rey, kaya lakarin lang Chinatown o Divisoria mula Quiapo at Sta. Cruz lalo na kung hindi kaiinitan.

Ang Calle Nueva ay pinalitan na ang pangalan -- Yuchengco. Ang laking sama nga ng loob ni Ivan Dy kay Mayor Atienza dahilan dito, eh.

Saan ang Sincerity at ano masarap dito?

February 07, 2007 6:14 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

Sincerity, is along calle Nueva also, medyo tago dahil nasa old building ito.
It is famous for its Oyster cake and fried chicken, the other food on their menu is for someone to experience on.
Very affordable prices, madalas TO GO pa ang natitira na food. :D


February 09, 2007 2:02 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thank you, Rey!

Next time I'm in Chinatown, I'll most definitely check out this restaurant and try the oyster cake and friend chicken.

I know many people who are talagang sawang-sawa na sa manok, but I happen to love it :)

February 09, 2007 6:47 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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