Saturday, June 30, 2007



posted by Señor Enrique at 7:21 AM | 33 comments

Friday, June 29, 2007


It was Amadeo of Ignatian Perspective who initially made me aware of Carvajal Street in Binondo, or Manila's Chinatown. Supposedly, this was where he sometimes went for lunch while he worked at the nearby Bank of the Philippine Islands at Plaza Cervantes.

I promised to look for it; however, almost forgot to do so until I came across Carlos Celdran's list of recommended places to visit in Manila, which includes Carvajal Street. So one day, I went to Binondo specifically to find this place.

The first narrow street from Binondo Church along Juan Luna Street is where it is located. A mere alley closed to vehicular traffic, Carvajal Street boasts a wet market for seafood and poultry (dressed duck and black chicken included), as well as various fresh vegetable and fruit stalls. There are also processed meat stores, bakeries,
and grocery stores selling native delicacies. And of course, affordable eateries abound, popular to the many employees of various banking and commercial establishments in the neighborhood.

A lively and interesting street, indeed, which I plan to return to and try its other tasty offerings.


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:48 AM | 29 comments

Thursday, June 28, 2007


By Oprah Winfrey

I live in the space of thankfulness - and I have been rewarded a million times over for it. I started out giving thanks for small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased.

That's because what you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.

"Say thank you!" Those words from my friend and mentor Maya Angelou turned my life around. One day about ten years ago, I was sitting in my bathroom with the door closed and the toilet lid down, booing and ahooing on the phone so uncontrollably that I was incoherent.

"Stop it! Stop it right now and say thank you!" Maya chided. "But - you don't understand," I sobbed.

To this day, I can't remember what it was that had me so far gone, which only proves the point Maya was trying to make. "I do understand," she told me. "I want to hear you say it now. Out loud.

'Thank you.'" Tentatively, I repeated it:

"Thank you - but what am I saying thank you for?"

"You're saying thank you," Maya said, "because your faith is so strong that you don't doubt that whatever the problem, you'll get through it. You're saying thank you because you know that even in the eye of the storm, God has put a rainbow in the clouds.

"You're saying thank you because you know there's no problem created that can compare to the Creator of all things. Say thank you!"

So I did - and still do. Only now I do it every day. I kept a gratitude journal, as Sarah Ban Breathnach suggests in Simple Abundance, listing at least five things that I'm grateful for.

My list includes small pleasures:
the feel of Kentucky bluegrass under my feet (like damp silk); a walk in the woods with all nine of my dogs and my cocker spaniel Sophie trying to keep up; cooking fried green tomatoes with Stedman and eating them while they're hot; reading a good book and knowing another awaits.

My thank-you list also includes things too important to take for granted: an "okay" mammogram, friends who love me, 15 years at the same job (and loving it more than the first day I started), a chance to share my vision for a better life, staying centered, having financial security.

I won't kid you, having money for all the things I want is a blessing. But as I look back over my journals, which I've kept since I was 15 years old, 99 per cent of what brought me real joy had nothing to do with money; it had a lot to do with food, however.

It's not easy being grateful all the time. But it's when you feel least thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: PERSPECTIVE.

Just knowing you have that daily list to complete allows you to look at your day differently, with an awareness of every sweet gesture and kind thought passed your way. When you learn to say thank you, see the world anew. And as Meister Eckhart so eloquently stated: "If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is 'Thank you God', that would suffice."

Many thanks to Cathy Babao of
for sharing this with me.

* * *

So what are you most grateful for at this very moment?

For me, I am most grateful for my cameras and laptop because they are the tools I use to share my world with everyone.

I am also most grateful to all my blogosphere friends and readers, because they give me the reason to go out there and explore my beloved City of Manila.

Thank you!


posted by Señor Enrique at 12:35 PM | 12 comments

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Stare and Salivate

Camera: Canon IXUS65
Aperture: F2.8
Shutter: 1/320 sec
Flash: No


posted by Señor Enrique at 11:38 AM | 50 comments

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


With only until this Saturday left in Mayor Atienza's term, the incoming City of Manila administration couldn't wait but start demolishing the public seating areas on the Rizal Avenue Pedestrian Mall, a project spearheaded by the outgoing mayor.

Word on the street suggests that incoming Mayor Lim wants vehicular traffic to once again ply on this avenue beginning this Monday as he reports for his first day of office.

Is Manila Zoo next?


posted by Señor Enrique at 10:00 PM | 42 comments

Monday, June 25, 2007


Many Filipinos may not realize -- as evidenced by the rare coins, tradewares, and other unearthed artifacts -- there were extensive contacts between the Chinese and Filipinos long before the arrival of the Spaniards.

Early records also indicate the active trading between the Chinese and our northern and southern islanders by the late 10th century in which bartering was the medium of their transactions. There were also archived journals about certain Filipinos visiting China; foremost of which was the one made by the Sultan of Sulu Paduka Batara. The Sultan went to Beijing to pay tribute to the Imperial Court of Emperor Yung Lo in 1417, but died on his way back home.

From these longtime trading relations, the Chinese subsequently began to immigrate to the archipelago in large numbers to escape a harsh life back home in China. However, what they experienced in the archipelago was an even harsher life full of hard working conditions. It was the Galleon Trade -- which linked the junk trading system from China to Acapulco (and to the rest of Europe for 250 years) -- that firmly planted the Chinese immigrants on the Philippine soil, as well as continue to attract more Chinese into the archipelago.

Sangley, the term used by the Spaniards for the Chinese, comes from the word siong-tay, literally "often comes" in Hokkien. The Sangleys came as merchants, laborers, and artisans; becoming the integral backbone of the Spanish colonial economy in no time. But because of their growing population, which outnumbered the Spanish presence, the local authorities grew fearful and distrustful of them; resulting to persecution and harassment including large-scale massacres of the Chinese.

The Spanish authorities separated them in quarters called parian.
Due to massacres or fires, the Spaniards changed the location of the parians nine times. In 1790, when the last parian was destroyed, the Chinese were allowed to join the baptized Chinese in Binondo and Santa Cruz. In fact, it was the Chinese craftsmen and artisans that brought affluence to the Jesuit-controlled parian of Santa Cruz in Manila much to the astonishment of the Dominicans.

At the end of the 19th century, with life becoming even more difficult for the Chinese settlers because of continued Spanish harassment, the Chinese started to form institutions for self-protection. They also built their first school, hospital and cemetery. The first business institution, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce was also formed, and pioneer businesses like China Bank, Destileria Limtuaco, Yutivo and Ma Mon Luk started to appear.

Bahay Tsinoy takes its visitors through the saga of the Chinese Filipinos as their identities in the archipelago transform and evolve from merchant seamen, to immigrant laborers, to mestizos, to ilustrados, to revolutionists and to Tsinoys which continue to help build our nation.

Bahay Tsinoy
Kaisa-Angelo King Heritage Center
Anda Corner Cabildo Streets, Intramuros, Manila
Telephone: 526-6798 and 527-6083
Admission: 100 pesos for adults; 60.00 pesos for students

You may also want to check out my previous posts about the Chinese influence in the Philippine Archipelago:

Banking and the Early Chinese Traders

Ysla de Binondo and the Chinese Revolt

Don Carlos Palanca Tan Quien-Sen

Herb for the Nerve

The Chinese Cemetery


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:55 AM | 27 comments

Sunday, June 24, 2007


A cigarette factory once stood on this four-hectare lot purchased by FEU on the corner of Claro M. Recto Avenue and Quezon Boulevard. It was soon to be transformed into an Art Deco campus.

The university was founded in 1928 by a group of educators led by Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr., then head of the Department of Economics at the University of the Philippines. With Dr. Reyes were Dr. Francisco Dalupan (who later founded the Philippine College of Commerce and Business Administration in 1946, now known as the University of the East), Professor Antonio Aquino, Emmanuel Deymek and Clemente Uson, all professors at the University of the Philippines.

In celebration of Manila Day, Ivan Mandy gave a free guided tour of this finely restored UNESCO award-wining Art Deco campus last Saturday. Another walking tour is scheduled for next month, so please check out his website for details.

I will also be featuring additional photo essays on the various facets of the FEU campus soon.


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:14 AM | 32 comments

Saturday, June 23, 2007


We could learn a lot from crayons . . . Some are sharp, some are
Pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different
Colors, but they all have to live in the same box.


Camera: Canon IXUS65
Aperture: F2.8
Shutter: 1/100 sec
Flash: No


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:41 AM | 16 comments

Friday, June 22, 2007


You may be only one person in the world,
But you may also be the world to one person.


Camera: Canon IXUS65
Aperture: F2.8
Shutter: 1/100 sec
Flash: No


posted by Señor Enrique at 9:03 AM | 33 comments

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Accept that some days you're the pigeon,
And some days you're the statue.


Camera: Nikon D80
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/10
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO Speed: 200


posted by Señor Enrique at 11:54 AM | 22 comments

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Instead of reopening Avenida Rizal to vehicular traffic as a means to ease the overall congestion in the Santa Cruz and Quiapo areas of Manila, it might proved wiser for the newly-elect Mayor Lim to first start by getting rid of the vendors that make it impossible for pedestrians to comfortably walk along our sidewalks. Take for example those along both sides of Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo that are no wider than ten feet, but two-thirds of which the vendors occupy quite freely.

These photos were taken a little after two o'clock in the afternoon; however, imagine how extremely crowded the sidewalk would get during the rush. Such condition, as we know, would eventually proliferate pickpockets, and quite exponentially at that. Furthermore, it wouldn't be surprising if Avenida Rizal's sidewalks would also become just as crowded once the avenue is reopened to vehicular traffic.

What's even more alarming is that some of these sdewalk vendors openly admit they pay between one to 300 hundred pesos a day to certain authorities. On the other hand, the legitimate shopkeepers also extend their alloted store spaces by occupying the sidewalk right in front of their shops, or rent them to other vendors.

Mayor Lim, whose recent election campaign platform was law and order, may do well by allocating his attention to these alleged collusions between the sidewalk vendors and certain officials of our barangay and national police force. In so doing, he may discover those sidewalk vendors who occupy large segments of our sidewalks (as in these photos) and streets (such as Raon and Evangelista) as a major cause of traffic snarls that plagued the city's downtown area.

Anyway, glance through these photographs and tell me if you'd be comfortable enough to stroll along these crowded sidewalks. Some of you may just opt to just walk along right on the street, but only to end up hindering vehicular traffic in the process.


posted by Señor Enrique at 2:41 PM | 37 comments

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


She is a sister of Cain, she is jealous, and asks her fiance:

"Did you think about me all the time? After so much traveling have you forgotten me? So many beautiful cities, so many beautiful women ...!"

He, too, a brother of Cain, knew how to evade such questions, and was a bit of a liar, so he said:

"Could I ever forget you?" he answered, charmed. He looked into her eyes. "Could I break a vow? Do you remember that night, that stormy night when you, seeing me alone and crying next to my mother's lifeless body, came toward me and put your hand on my shoulder, the hand that for so long you refused to let me hold, and said to me: 'You have lost your mother, I never had one.' And you cried with me. You loved her, and she loved you, as if you were her own daughter. Outside it was raining and lightning, but I heard only music, and could see only the smile on my mother's ashen face. Oh, if my parents could only live again and see you! I took your hand and my mother's and I swore to love you, and make you happy whatever fate heaven had in store for me. I have never regretted that vow, and tonight I renew it."

"Could I ever forget you? Your memory has followed me everywhere, has saved me from the perils of the road, has consoled me in the solitude of my soul in foreign lands. It has been the antidote to the lotus-blossom of Europe that erases the memory of many of our countrymen's hopes, to the utter disgrace of our homeland. In my dreams I saw you standing on the beach of Manila, looking toward the distant horizon, wrapped in the soft light of early dawn. I heard a languid, melancholy song that awakened in me my dormant feelings and evoked the early years of my childhood in the memory of my heart, our joys, our games, the whole happy past that brought me to life when you came to our village. To me you seemed like a fairy, a spirit, the poetic embodiment of my homeland, beautiful, simple, loving, frank, a child of the Philippines, that beautiful country that brings together the great virtues of Mother Spain and the fine qualities of a youthful people, as you in all your being, bring together the finest and most beautiful facets of our two races; so your love and the one I profess for my country have melted into one."

Excerpt from a dialogue between Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra on the day after the latter arrived in Manila from his seven-year stay in Europe.
Written by Jose Rizal
Translated by Harold Augenbraum
Penguin Classics


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:01 PM | 43 comments


As a gift to the Filipino people on Independence Day, the Department of Labor and Employment staged a major job fair along the grounds of Rizal Park which offered 30,000 local and overseas job employment opportunities, including vacancies for overseas Filipino seamen.


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:18 AM | 16 comments

Monday, June 18, 2007


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:23 AM | 34 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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Name: Señor Enrique
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