Monday, May 28, 2007


Title: Sampaguita Vendors
Aperture: F2.8
Shutter: 1/640 sec
White Balance: Auto

Sampaguita garland vendors grouped under the shade in front of Santa Cruz Church while waiting for their usual customers. The entire exterior of this historic church in Manila was recently refurbished and repainted; now, it looks even more majestic.

This church was originally founded by the Jesuits to serve the growing number of Chinese parian residents of Santa Cruz who had converted to Catholicism during the Spanish colonial rule. Comprised mainly of highly skilled craftsmen from China, Santa Cruz soon became the most affluent of all parians in the whole of Manila; inciting much envy from the Dominicans.


posted by Señor Enrique at 1:08 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It reminds me of those vendors who sells Rosaries outside the church in Quiapo.


May 28, 2007 2:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! This is one of your most beautiful and evocative shots, Eric.

I hope though, that the refurbishing did not actually alter the original look of the church. Minsan kasi mahirap i-restore talaga yung original - maybe because the materials used before are no longer available now.

May 28, 2007 4:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, well - I forgot, refurbishing means to restore to functional state, not the original state... Guess that answers my own question. hehehe.

May 28, 2007 4:20 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

No doubt the Jesuits are smart !
Nice tones... it gives your picture a "timeless" feel.

May 28, 2007 8:56 PM  

Blogger Francesca said...

once, Lolo and I passed by a church and a sampaguita vendor offered us for sale the flowers.
Lolo asked me, what is that for. And I said, its for the altar you put with.
Lolo said: Oh, i thought, its for eating salad...

Eric, the photo shot is good. I dont know how you do it, but its really interesting and impressive shot!!!galeeng!

May 29, 2007 1:06 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Truly a pinoy tradition! Sampaguita leis, the Catolic devotees common offering to the icons in church along with prayers for salvation. Also find them hanging on the Jeepneys rear view mirror as a sign(receipt)that "tong" or "kotong"(nowadays)have been paid to the sampaguta vendor acting as the cop's(assigned in Quiapo for the day)collector. Another "resibo" for kotong is the "bimpo" or mini towel/towelette that we see oftentimes resting on a drivers neck(nape)and also serves to wipe their sweaty brows from the heat of the daily grind combined with the diesel engine temp reaching under the jeepney dashboard section. I have a nice ink drawing of a sampaguita lei that I have been conteplating on to copy for my arm tatoo, like a vine wrapped around my arm. Maybe you can help me out with another nice close up shot of a sampaguita lei for more details on my planned ink job on my brown colored skin. It is always nice to know that most of you readers can relate to your photographs...a basic ingredient in good photojournalism!

May 29, 2007 4:31 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Sidney, a smart bunch they were. I've a feeling it was this seething envy that caused their expulsion; not the alleged collaboration with the British that they were accused of.


May 29, 2007 6:24 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wherever they have churches, Kyels, there will be a band of sampaguita, rosary and pryer book vendors :)

It has become quite a Manila tradition :)

May 29, 2007 6:26 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

How I wish, Rhoda, that our other structures in the city would also be so well-maintained as this church by their owners. Then this city will be just as regal.

May 29, 2007 6:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Francesca! I bet you enjoy being with Lolo because of his sense of humor ... hehehe!

Many thanks!

May 29, 2007 6:29 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Okay, Noypetes, will gladly take a couple of shots for you. Hope you're in no great hurry, though :)

Speaking of "kotong" -- you can hardly walk comfortably along the sidewalk of Quezon Boulevard because of the many street vendors that somehow overwhelm the walkway. Heard they pay anywhere from 100-to-300 a day to some cops. This is the reason why I prefer walking along the pedestrial mall of Avenida Rizal.

Thanks, Noypetes.

May 29, 2007 6:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

An excellent analogy by "Noypetes" about the "kotong" part. Good Lord, these cops are just bent on getting their share from these poor kids!
During my travels, when these kids approach me in restaurants, night clubs, or in a car, I'll just ask how much for the whole thing, give the kid the money without me taking the flowers. Now, I wonder if he gets to keep the money I doled out or share some with Mr Kotong. Just hate people with no mercy in their hearts. Goodhealth to you...Uh oh, maybe next time, a full view of that church in color.
Thanks again.

May 29, 2007 8:34 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I really hope it isn't so, TruBlue, but many had told me that some of the vendors, including the kids, are part of a syndicate. Sad.

I will try and go back there to take mor pics of the church and post them. Thanks and best wishes as well!

May 29, 2007 12:50 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Thank you Eric, I will patiently wait for the Sampaguita pix. Thank you also to Trublue's consideration of my "kotong analogy".

May 29, 2007 11:27 PM  

Blogger Daisy said...

Thanks for sharing the details of the photo Senor Enrique. It really helps to know what the masters use :) to capture the moment.

Are we the only country that sells sampaguita leis at the entrance of churches? If indeed we are these images are priceless because of their uniqueness.

what seems ordinary is not.

May 30, 2007 12:37 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

My pleasure, Noypetes. This gives me a reason to look at these "leis" from another point of view. Fun!

May 30, 2007 7:31 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Our other fellow bloggers who had traveled in Asia may share with us what they know about this, Daisy, but in the States, there are no vendors of any kind that I had seen within the church premises.

Glad to share the technical data of my shots, BUT I am no master, Daisy ... not even near it ... hehehe. This is one great interest of mine which will be an ongoing learning process for me 'til kingdom come. There's so much to learn!

May 30, 2007 7:38 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I've forgotten what the sampaguita smells like.

Do you have any pictures of this flower?

June 01, 2007 12:48 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Sampaguita flowers are like mini daisies, Irene, and therefore, not too photogenic. A garland of it is much prettier. Check out this URL:

Hmmm... wish the Internet has scent-o-rama as some folks tried inventing many year ago ... hehehe.

June 01, 2007 5:33 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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