Monday, June 30, 2008

SOMEWHERE IN QUIAPO LAST WEEK














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posted by Señor Enrique at 8:38 AM | 8 comments


Saturday, June 28, 2008

SANTA CRUZ, MANILA ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON















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posted by Señor Enrique at 10:52 AM | 8 comments


Friday, June 27, 2008

A DELUGE IN JUNE PROTEST RALLY


In yesterday's protest action dubbed "Delubyo sa Hunyo," the militant group Bayan and its allied organizations staged a parade of wooden push carts, each depicting the pressing economic problems facing the country. They marched from Welcome Rotunda in Quezon City to Quiapo's Plaza Miranda where they held a short program.

The themes of their push carts ranged from the global crisis and its impact on the Philippines, high prices, low wages and unemployment, demolition, landlessness and food crisis, lack of social services, foreign plunder of natural resources, onerous taxes, and others.

The protest groups stressed that since the start of the year, the pump price of diesel has already jumped by P12.54 per liter; unleaded, P13.51; and kerosene, P13.53. Food prices rose by 14% in May, with rice soaring by 32 percent. Overall inflation, or the rate with which prices of basic goods and services is increasing, has reached a nine year in May. Meanwhile, the cost of living has already reached P858 per day while the daily minimum wage (including the cost of living allowance) of workers has remained low at P382 in spite of a recent wage hike order.


















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posted by Señor Enrique at 7:59 AM | 8 comments


Thursday, June 26, 2008

A FIRE IN QUIAPO


I was coming out of a barber shop in Quiapo yesterday when several firetrucks with sirens blaring raced by me on Quezon Boulevard. Intrigued, I looked up in the sky towards the direction where they were heading and realized the fire was nearby.

When I arrived at the scene, the firemen had basically contained the blaze. There was, however, a loud explosion which startled the people in the area. It was later reported that the blast was caused by an LPG gas container.

The fire hit a two-storey commercial and residential building located at the corner of 325 Barbosa and Arlegui Streets. It gutted several commercial establishments on the ground floor, including the Maguindanao Restaurant. This area is infamous for its number of stores that sell pirated DVDs and cellphone accessory products.

Dozens of firetrucks responded from various volunteer fire brigades of Metro Manila from as far away as Malabon. The actual cause of the fire and the resulting property damage remain undetermined at this point.



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posted by Señor Enrique at 8:30 AM | 4 comments


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

MAN CLIMBING UP THE STEPS


Camera: Canon IXUS 65 Point & Shoot
Aperture: F2.8
Shutter: 1/800 sec





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posted by Señor Enrique at 11:58 AM | 16 comments


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

ART IN THE PARK ... AFTER DARK


On June 28, to coincide with Makati's Salcedo Market’s fourth anniversary, a section of Velasquez Park will be transformed once again into an outdoor art gallery for the fifth edition of Art in the Park.

From 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., art lovers, enthusiasts, and collectors can wander the tents and browse artworks at leisure, perhaps, even, find a gem of a bargain or two All paintings, prints, photographs, and sculpture will be priced at P20,000 and below, in keeping with Art in the Park’s intent, that art be made accessible and affordable to as many people as possible.

And as a different take on this year's anniversary celebration, Art in the Park transforms into Art After Dark -- an evening art fair.

Beneath the warm glow of lanterns hung on trees, and in an atmosphere made mellow with jazz music from saxophonist Vince Lahorra, visitors can pop into any one of six “art spaces,” and interact with, or handle, the pieces on display—wield the cold, weighty steel of a sculpture, or sweep a hand over the smooth, fine finish of a chair—as well as discover more treasures in the assortment of paintings, photographs, and prints.

Right outside the “art spaces,” cocktail tables will also be set up, while Terry’s will be providing a cash drinks and tapas bar, inviting visitors to linger awhile and admire the art, with a plate of tapas or a glass of wine in hand.

This first-ever, evening art fair, to be held from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., will showcase the works of an impressive line-up of artists and art groups like Agnes Arellano, Space Philippines, Avellana Art Gallery, Charlie Co, Art Cabinet and Alliance Française. The pieces on sale are guaranteed to be beautifully provocative, one-of-a-kind, and well worth the investment.

Now a bi-annual event (held every June and November), Art in the Park features a mix of established and emerging artists, art galleries, and art groups, ensuring a diverse range of interesting and unique pieces. Among the participants this June are: Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan, Art Inday, Art Wednesday, L’Arc en Ciel, Neo-Angono Artist Collective, Philippine Association of Printmakers, Putik, Sheer Joy, Art Informal, Blanc Art Space, Galeria de las Islas, Galerie Astra, Nineveh Artspace, Tin-Aw Art Gallery, Jay Camus, John Silva, Whitebox Studio, Ral Arrogante, Anthony Palomo, Jonathan and Mariano Ching, FEATI University, U.P. College of Fine Arts, Far Eastern University and finalists from the PLDT-DPC Visual Arts National Competition.

Proceeds from Art in the Park and Art After Dark will go towards supporting the projects of the Museum Foundation of the Philippines and the National Museum.

For more information, contact Menchie Duremdes or Elvie Magpayo at 404-2685, or send an e-mail to info@museumfoundationph.org. Office hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesdays to Fridays; and from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays.


Luna by Charlie Co



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Related links:

Scenes: Art in the Park




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posted by Señor Enrique at 8:33 AM | 12 comments


Sunday, June 22, 2008

MANILA'S FLOODING PROBLEMS


The downpour continues all day this Sunday as Typhoon Frank (international codename Fengshen) sweeps over Metro Manila with public storm warning signal 3.

According to local weather bureau reports, Frank has maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph, which means I have a lot of cleaning up to do in the yard tomorrow with all those fallen twigs and leaves. Nonetheless, except for the brownout from early morning until noon, everything else is all right at home.

Haven't gone out at all today; thus, unsure of the road conditions. But I'm quite certain that there's lots of flooding all over the city due to the constant rainfall throughout the day. And anyone smart enough would do well by simply staying put.

Incidentally, there was a torrential-like downpour around noontime last Friday. Although it lasted no more than an hour, the accompanying floods created horrendous traffic all over the city. Many taxi and jeepney drivers took some time off from work until the water receded, stranding many commuters.

With all the digging and drainage improvement projects done during the past few months in Metro Manila, I thought the flooding problem has been finally resolved. But alas! Check out the video below that I took at a corner near where I met a friend for lunch on that day near La Loma in Quezon City.

I went to Quiapo afterwards and decided to take a jeepney; however, what usually takes me no more than half an hour's commute, took almost two hours that Friday. Be that as it may, I've got to hand it to our local folks, though -- despite such a
troublesome affair, they took it lightly and had fun with it.







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posted by Señor Enrique at 12:29 PM | 24 comments


Friday, June 20, 2008

OLD MANILA


The above photograph is courtesy of Museo ng Maynila. It is part of its Curt Teich postcard collection.

The YouTube video presentation below is a travelogue entitled "
Manila. Queen City of the Pacific" created in 1938 by André de la Varre, a self-taught filmmaker who began his career in 1919, at the age of 17, when he bought a camera and went off to Europe to start making films -- 11 to 22 minutes long that ran in movie theaters after the newsreels and before the main features.

André used a small Leica, powered by a spring-wound motor, crafting his technique through trial and error as he traveled the world. And one of the places he visited and documented was Manila.




Many thanks to Noypetes for having given me the heads up on this treasure.


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posted by Señor Enrique at 11:01 AM | 30 comments


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SOMETHING ABOUT JOSHUA


He is one of the kids in a Quiapo neighborhood who calls me lolo. His mother runs an eatery popular among the residents and students of this university belt area. It offers an array of local dishes, including hamburgers.

I told Joshua once that his name happens to be one of my favorites; first heard it when one of the characters had that name in the epic movie "The Ten Commandments." And with a name graced with biblical provenance, I reminded young Joshua to be a good boy always. He promised to be one with an almost whisper-like tone.


The common haircut among the local young boys during the summer is the buzzed or crew cut. I sported it when I was a kid. And when Joshua had it early this summer, I noticed for the first time that he has two cowlicks, or puyo in Tagalog. And young boys with such characteristics, according to local folklore, personify the epitome of unadulterated recalcitrance, or 'double trouble' in simple parlance.

Invariably courteous and gentle with smaller playmates, I was convinced Joshua was an exception. Most interestingly, whenever seeing me, he's quick to grab my hand to place it on his forehead and say, "Mano po, Lolo," -- a local tradition that shows respect to elders. And this endearing gesture never ceased to impress me. What a charming young lad, I thought.

"Better not be too hasty with your praises," said my friend, the godmother of Joshua's baby sister. Prompted by the puzzled look on my face, she began to relate a story that happened a year ago.

Joshua's parents gave his eldest sister a cellphone -- a means for the parents to communicate with Joshua and his two sisters while they're in school. One day, the cellphone mysteriously disappeared. A couple of days later, Joshua's teacher dropped by their house after school to return the cellphone. She said Joshua gave it to her as a gift. The father gave the young boy five whips with his belt.

The following Valentine's Day, the teacher once again dropped by their house after school, this time to return a bundle of fresh flowers. Joshua later admitted that he had been pinching some change from the eatery's cash box in order to come up with the money for some flowers to give to his teacher. This time, the father opted to spare the rod, or belt for that matter. He instead convinced Joshua that he is much too young to be in love. He added that there was no way a teacher in her late twenties, though unmarried, would ever engage in such romantic liaison with a boy of eight.

I couldn't help but let out a whole-hearted laugh after hearing Joshua's adventures. Told my friend that I, too, had a crush on my religion teacher from Espiritu Santo when I was a fourth grade student at Bonifacio Elementary School. However, unlike Joshua, I never acted on such puppy love, I'd be too petrified to do so. Perhaps, it was because I don't even have single cowlick on the top of my head, I think.





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posted by Señor Enrique at 7:33 AM | 30 comments


Monday, June 16, 2008

PAMANTASAN NG LUNGSOD NG MAYNILA


Its main campus is composed of 13 undergraduate schools, two professional schools, and eight graduate schools. It offers a wide range of curricular programs in Medicine, Law, Nursing, Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology, Business, Architecture, Education, Mass Communication, Physical Therapy, Tourism, Government, Arts, the Social Sciences, and the Pure and Applied Sciences.

Several thousand faculty serve a diverse student body of different ages in different academic divisions, from undergraduate to postgraduate levels.


Continue reading here.


















The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila in English, commonly abbreviated as PLM, or simply Pamantasan), is the largest city government-funded, tuition-free, university in the Philippines.

It also holds the distinction of being the first Philippine institution of higher learning to have its official name in Filipino. The Philippines' Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has considered PLM as a model for public institutions across the Philippines.

Furthermore, it has cited several PLM programs and departments as Centers of Excellence. A study using cumulative data from 1999 to 2003 showed that during the said period PLM was among the top five schools in the Philippines in terms of board exam passing rate. In the same study, it was one among three public universities in the top ten category.


Continue reading here.



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posted by Señor Enrique at 8:42 AM | 13 comments


Sunday, June 15, 2008

SIDEWALK VENDOR CLEAN-UP OPERATIONS






These photos and video depict two separate operations conducted by the Manila City Hall authorities in their attempt to control the growing number of illegal sidewalk vendors in the city. The photos were taken about a month ago in the university belt area along C.M. Recto Avenue, while the video was shot at Plaza Miranda in front of Quiapo Church last Friday.

Many of the city's indigent folks often resort to peddling various wares and produce out in the streets as a means to earn some money. Through hard work and determination, many of these street vendors eventually become successful enough to afford renting stalls or store spaces; thus, becoming legitimate business operators.

For those who remain as sidewalk vendors, some claim they have to pay from 100 to 300 pesos a day depending on the location and amount of space that they occupy. However, some barangay offices sell permits at a more affordable rates on a daily basis; hence, preventing crooked cops and other shady city officials from extorting protection money from these vendors.

Pedestrians, on the other hand, often complain of the decreasing space on the sidewalk for their use due to the growing number of sidewalk vendors and peddlers who park their push carts right on the pedestrian walkways instead of the streets. And this is an issue that the current mayor, Alfredo Lim, is also addressing.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that the growing sidewalk vendor problem has been a nagging headache not only to the administrators of the City of Manila, but also to those who manage more affluent cities such as New York City.



video



Related links:


Mayor Lim and Manila's Illegal Vendors

The Virtually Unpassable Sidewalks of Quiapo

Barangay Meeting With Street Vendors

The Mayor Might Have Been Right





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posted by Señor Enrique at 6:36 AM | 8 comments


Friday, June 13, 2008

PAIN AT THE PUMP


The price of gasoline in Manila has now reached a record high of 54 pesos a liter, and many are even expecting for it to go as high as 60 at any time.

That's about a hundred percent increase since I moved to Manila only a few years ago. And with such drastic increase in fuel cost, the price of many basic consumer goods had also gone up in lockstep.


Without a similar increase in income, many households have been severely trimming their budgets as well. One parent I spoke to lamented how her son had to be enrolled at a public elementary school instead of the private parochial school that he had been attending since kindergarten.

Another parent, on the other hand, saw a sliver of light, so to speak, in such a dreary situation -- her family is getting slowly convinced, she claimed, on the nutritional value of certain cheaper foodstuffs such as kamote (sweet potatoes).

Personally, I've opted to driving less often than usual, and had taken to commuting whenever safe and possible. I just feel guilty burning all that gas especially when alone. Sometimes, I plan to do as many errands as possible on a single trip.

As for the kids, their biggest complaint is the dwindling loose change they receive from their parents which they use for playing computer games at the neighborhood Internet shops.

When I told them that they should consider it a blessing in disguise -- and now make use of their new-found free time to play and enjoy tumbang preso, piko, taguan and all those fun outdoor games -- they merely stared at me with spaced-out look in their eyes as if tripping on acid or something


Oh well ...




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posted by Señor Enrique at 1:50 PM | 14 comments


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

ENJOYING A SHORT BREAK


With nothing much happening in Manila these days, except for the end of the summer and back to school activities, I've decided to take some time off from blogging and have all the applications in my Macbook updated.

Doing this project online with a dial-up connection would only prove to be an exercise in futility, or sheer madness, so I brought instead a USB memory stick to the Power Mac store where I make my Apple product purchases. The staff were nice enough to provide me with all the necessary updates I needed.


I also took the opportunity to learn how to make use of my iPod video -- transfer all my CDs into it as well compile some of my photographs as music videos. It was indeed a lot of work, but I finally got everything working.

The only thing I need at the moment is to find the best DVD ripper so I could copy all my music videos and movies into my iPod. The free software recommended to me,
iSquint, I couldn't get to work. If anyone is familiar with it , or knows of another more effective and user-friendly DVD movie ripper for the Mac -- freeware, of course -- please share with me.

Once I truly learn all these without a hitch and make all these toys to work synergistically, I may include some videos and slides into my future blog entries.






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posted by Señor Enrique at 10:41 AM | 23 comments


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A CHILD IS WAITING


Some believe that it isn't necessarily due to exhaustion from too much play when a child sits quietly for a lengthy period; more often than not, he's simply waiting for the next fun thing to do. I'm truly uncertain where children draw their energy from because their stamina can sometimes equal those of marathon runners whenever engaged in some exciting activity.

In one neighborhood in Quiapo about a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised when a child of five told me that she wasn't waiting for her playmates as she sat patiently in front of their house. She was instead waiting for her mommy to come home from the office.

When I told her that she had a long wait ahead of her since it was only eleven in the morning, her grandmother leaned over and whispered that the child's mother is a domestic worker in Dubai while the father is a jeepney driver. They told the child that her mother was just in the office so as to cushion the harsh reality of her mother having gone to a far away land for a very long time.


What astonished me even more was when the grandmother added that many children in the neighborhood are being raised by single parents or by grandparents because many residents are OFWs (mostly contract workers in the Middle East or seamen). She also mentioned that students do not make up the largest group of tenants or bed space boarders in the area but seamen who come from the provinces but maintain a room or bed space in Quiapo even if away for most times.

In the barber shop in the neighborhood I once went to, I was told by the barber that their customers are mainly seamen who are about to leave for another assignment or those who've just returned home. And sure enough, while I was getting a haircut, I was treated to a chatter of news with an international mix from the seamen customers.

What an intriguing neighborhood, I thought -- although looking old and comprised of many old houses, with some left to decay -- its people harbor an international bent, and most certainly their children as well.




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posted by Señor Enrique at 7:21 AM | 46 comments


Monday, June 02, 2008

LITTLE MUNING AND HIS GIANT SHADOW


Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, she is an African-American poet, memoirist, actress, and civil rights activist. She was an unwed mother. To support her young son, she danced in night clubs, conducted cable cars, cooked at a Creole cafe, removed paint at a body shop, and was a madam and prostitute at a San Diego brothel.

She authored I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and was given a lifetime appointment in 1981 as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


Angelou once claimed that every time she started to write a new book, a sense of fear would engulf her. Although she had written eleven books, she would say, “Oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.” She overcame her fears by just doing what she had to do.

She may be one perceived as modest. However, according to a Psychology Today article, attributing one's drawerful of trophies to mistakes, luck, and deception may be taken in as a sign of Impostor Syndrome — the conviction that others grossly overestimate one's abilities.

"The 'impostor' feels she doesn't deserve her accomplishments and fears that eventually she'll be unmasked as a fraud," claims the article.


Some psychologists and educators call it 'intellectual self-doubt.'

Valerie Young, an expert on the condition, identifies several at-risk groups: "the first few people in a field, such as women in science; first-generation professionals; people who work alone; those in creative fields; children of high-achieving parents; and perfectionists. For many, the feelings result from expectations of failure from parents or others."

Be that as it may, I am one of those, especially in my creative work, believe that ideas do not come from me but merely through me. Once I mentioned this to a couple of photography buddies, but they seemed unsure how to react to my claim.

Anyway, I attribute it to what Carl Jung once hypothesized as the Theory of Synchronicity which I had once blogged about in my entry,
Duet.




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posted by Señor Enrique at 7:43 AM | 14 comments


Sunday, June 01, 2008

LITTLE SAGALAS OF QUIAPO














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posted by Señor Enrique at 12:20 PM | 18 comments


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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