Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I rarely go to Greenbelt, but whenever I do, I always try to take a couple of snapshots here and there; discreetly, that is.

Much to my amazement, last weekend, the security guards never stopped me or my friends from taking some pictures. My friends were even shooting with gargantuan lenses yet all the security guards appeared unperturbed. And this was inside the mall. It was so much fun because Greenbelt is, unarguably, very photogenic, and taking pictures inside this mall or any property with the Ayala name attached to it has always been strictly prohibited.

On another note: When I returned to Manila after many years of absence, I was at first unsettled but eventually got used to the way some friends and relatives would sometimes set up appointments with either before or after lunch as the prime indicators. Coming from New York, I was more used to providing or being advised of a more precise meeting time. Come to think of it, I even show up earlier than expected at most times.

Nonetheless, instead of getting twisted about the way some locals conceive meeting times, I've learned to interpret before lunch as anytime between ten and noon; whereas, after lunch could be any time after 1:00 o'clock and the evening news broadcast.

Oh, well ...


Labels: ,

posted by Señor Enrique at 11:51 AM


Anonymous jervis said...

Great pictures! very homy actually :)
Whenever I take photos inside malls, I am usually more worried about the persons being my subject on a guerilla style shooting, than those pesky guards! :D

August 07, 2007 3:15 PM  

Blogger carlotta said...

lolz! kakaiba talaga ang philippine time, no? kahit ang mga palabas sa tv kakaiba ang mga oras narin. =)

August 07, 2007 5:10 PM  

Blogger nerdluck said...

Haha.. I think they have become a lot more lenient now. I have done photoshoots at greenbelt 3 garden twice already (for the magazine Im working on) and the guards were there watching. They we're even nice enough to keep people off my background once.

August 07, 2007 8:18 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

If you really enjoy taking pics of people inside the malls, and I'm sure the malls you frequent are quite swanky, why not try what I had once suggested -- become a fashion street photographer ala Bill Cunningham of the New York Times (just google the guy's name).

You may then present some of your shots to a couple of our leading broadsheets, and who knows? They may you a regular space even if only once a week.

You have got to check it out, Jervis :)

August 07, 2007 9:38 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

And that is the main reason why I never got to follow any of the more interesting local news magazine-type TV shows, Carla. I'd always end up waiting and waiting and waiting ...


August 07, 2007 9:40 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Well, I'm sure you had a permit in those occasions, Nerdluck. And so sweet of them to even assist you in your shoot.

However, it is altogether another matter to just whip out your camera and start shooting ... hehehe.

But if they have indeed become more lenient, then I say "Hallelujah!"

August 07, 2007 9:43 PM  

Blogger cacofonix said...

Greenbelt indeed is a beauty to shoot! 'been to Ayala's Trinoma the other day (as well) and the zen-inspired patio garden with its water fountains surrounded by restos and cafes is a dream at night!

Been in Manila a week now (for a month-long vacation) and lovin' it. Got a li'l blog to go with it.

August 08, 2007 8:26 AM  

Anonymous Jervis said...

hi Señor Enrique, thanks so much for the tip! I actually reread it a couple of times to really get the juice of the advice.
I've always wanted to be part of the print media since the time I realized that writing and shooting photos are so much better than working for a 24/7 factory.

August 08, 2007 8:46 AM  

Blogger nerdluck said...

No permits Sir Eric... There was one occassion when I was too early for a seminar at PowerMac Center and started shooting at the pond (refer to blog) then other people started snapping as well. Greenbelt looks so nice that it should be a crime not to allow people to snap photos.

August 08, 2007 9:33 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That's some site you got, Jervis! The photographs are impressive!

By the way, please check out this URL:


Since you're into photojournalism, you might find this thread interesting, too.

August 08, 2007 10:45 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Welcome home, Cacofonix :)

And don't fret when upon your return to Toronto, you find yourself heavier that when you had left it. Happens every time to all balikbayans ... hehehe!

Iba talaga Pinoy food dito sa ating bayan!

Nonetheless, enjoy!

August 08, 2007 10:48 AM  

Anonymous niceheart said...

Looks like a nice charming place.

Leave it to pinoys to give you vague answers talaga. Parang yung kasama ko dito sa bahay na ang laging sagot ay bahala na. Minsan ay nakakayamot. :) Ako rin, I would rather be early on appointments.

August 08, 2007 11:01 AM  

Blogger BW said...

The last time I visited Manila in 2005 we stayed at a hotel near Greenbelt Makati a few days before we departed for home and boy has the place changed ! The expansion continues but I hope they stick with the theme of being "green" and preserve the greenery that sets the place apart from the rest. The food is unbeatable and the place rocks at night too :)

August 08, 2007 11:38 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

I've never tried taking photos when I was at Greenbelt; maybe because I was used to the fact that we can't take photos when in the malls over here in Malaysia, especially KLCC.

Hence it crossed my mind that I should keep my camera in the bag. However, I like the photos you took. It has yet to be filled with people and I like the silence.


August 08, 2007 11:39 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Ay, naku, Irene, totoo nga! The other that never fails to irk me -- "bahala ka" or "bahala kayo" ... hehehe.

Greenbelt is really a charming place, though pricey. The only reason I don't like hanging around here is it makes me miss Manhattan and my NY friends. I leave the place pondering on taking the next day's flight back home ... errr, I mean to New York. Darn, I'm confused na!

August 08, 2007 11:41 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Wow! That can only mean one thing, Nerdluck -- it is now okay to shoot in and around the Ayala-owned malls :) Yessss!

August 08, 2007 11:44 AM  

Blogger daniel palma tayona said...

"bahala na"... my aunt explained it pretty well why we pinoys are fond of saying this phrase.

she says that as a people, we are essentially both shy and got used to abundance.

as a sahy people, we say "bahala na" to avoid taking the lead on anything. we also say it as a form of giving others the chance to speak first and decide. it stems from an innate concern on how others would feel. we always speak of the "them" and not the "i" or "me".

it's a term coined out from a sense of abundance. being in the tropics where natural resources are abundant (stick a piece of plant or throw seeds on the soil and a few days later it'll sprout), we tend to take things for granted. there are only two seasons - the dry and wet season. the weather is humid, we don't walk fast (it's crazy to walk fast unless you want to drip wet from sweating) and therefore, time is slower for us. "let one's concerns be at the mercy of the wind and things will just eventually fall into place and grow" she says.



i gave up watching tv altogether with those awfully bad and unpredicatable time slots for almost a decade now. and besides, are there still good shows on the boob tube that won't make you feel stupid after watching them? just a thought.

August 08, 2007 12:48 PM  

Blogger INKBLOTS said...

Good observation about meeting time, Señor Eric!

Actually, we are unconscious about it that it is growing into the consciousness of the Filipino psyche.

I have attended some meetings when, I, myself agreed "after lunch" or "before lunch". Again, we have different definitions of the "before" and "after" time. For me, it is at at most 1 hour before 12nn--that is 11:00AM. After lunch for me differs in some situation. For private companies, it is after 1pm or between 1 and 2pm. But if I meet with government agencies, that would mean between 1:30 and 2:30pm--maybe because I allow them to take their time to enjoy their lunch which actually starts at 11:AM for some government agencies and ends at 1:30Pm after a catnap during "lights-off". (Smile!).

Also, perhaps, it has some connotation with who's footing the bill for lunch. If the other party says "after lunch" then that means he/she does not want to treat you for lunch (or vice versa), or they do not have budget for that. "After lunch" would mean you are already full and whoever calls for the meeting would mean spending less than what would be paid for lunch "lunch". Mga pinoy kasi, mahilig sa "free ride" or "free lunch."

August 08, 2007 8:31 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I am one to attest to the awesome variety of fine cuisine available in Metro Manila, BW. But then again, some of our local chefs were trained abroad and even gained much working experience over there prior to coming home to either open their own restaurants, or work for the fine eateries in the country.

You picked a fine location for a hotel during your stay here, BW. Yes, Ayala malls are well-designed as opposed to those owned by other major mall developers.

August 08, 2007 9:43 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Kyels. It was indeed the calmness of the place that I wanted to capture.

Really disappointing to not be allowed to take some pictures in such nice places, right?

August 08, 2007 9:45 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Wow! Many thanks for such insightful explanation, Daniel. And you know what? Your aunt may be right!

When I returned to NYC after spending some time in Manila, I found myself blocking traffic; pedestrian traffic, that is. While in Manila, I have completely lost that certain briskness with my walk that is suitable to Manhattan's faster-paced rhythm.

August 08, 2007 9:49 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Aha! you had just demystified for me this whole thing on "before lunch" and "after lunch" time frames, Ding ... hehehe.

Thank you very much!

August 08, 2007 9:54 PM  

Anonymous Luke said...

an awesome place for photos, nice series!
I find the meeting times very funny!

August 09, 2007 6:44 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It may be so Luke, but if you find yourself waiting around for hours on end --- spreading your butt to unsightly proportions and consuming an alarming dose of caffeine, while solitarily gnashing your teeth 'til they chip (or crack if you happen to be wearing a set of dentures), suddenly things don't seem as funny anymore ... hehehe.

Thanks, Luke!

August 09, 2007 10:01 AM  

Anonymous sardonicnell said...

this is my kinda' place, tahimik! i like restaurants with outdoor sections, too. this is really nice, eric =)

August 09, 2007 11:46 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, you will definitely like Greenbelt, Nell, plus there's quite a selection for sumptuous dining.

August 09, 2007 2:39 PM  

Anonymous Major Tom said...

Greenbelt is such an elegant that I was astounded by its general looks the first and few times I got there in the past.

The architecture are grand and the place is not so tight at all. I wonder why other malls won't imitae this very good combination of convenience and style.

August 09, 2007 8:30 PM  

Blogger dave (",) said...

I like the peacefulness in your photos of Greenbelt. The mall in the morning, before the chaos of people, is a sight I have never seen. Don't get me wrong though, the customers of Greenbelt are one of the reasons why I like the place.

Recently, there's a new hangout that's making me smile wide, if not wider, like I'm in Greenbelt. It's Bonifacio High Street, and you may want to check it out too.

August 09, 2007 11:50 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The developer of Greenbelt does a good job in creating a mall that somehow includes certain parts of its environment into its overall design, Major Tom. This is why there's plenty of green left intact and incorporated with the new structures.

A newer one being developed by the same developer is Trinoma Mall which is near SM North.

August 10, 2007 6:39 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

This would prove that I rarely venture out of my beloved Manila, Dave -- last I was over at The Fort was almost four years ago and haven't returned, yet.

There was actually a photo shoot op at the NBC Tent yesterday in which I was invited but decided not to go because of the looming storm. All areas that lead into and out of my neighborhood are prone to serious flooding, that's why :(

August 10, 2007 6:43 AM  

Blogger punkiliciousss said...

WOW WOW WOW! simply amazing almost serene photos! i love this series! i have never been to greenbelt that early and it's so refreshing to see that place in this light... literally! =) nice job for promoting the place to us night crawlers, even if it's unintentional! ;p

August 13, 2007 12:58 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Punkiliciousss! I just hope that Ayala management sees it from the same perspective you do and open up Makati to photographers!

August 13, 2007 2:23 PM  

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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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