Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Snake oil, most especially in the States, is commonly equated with fake miraculous medicines. It is also used as a metaphor to succinctly describe any aggressive marketing campaign that's fueled with insidious intent.

However, according to Wikipedia, snake oil originally came from China, where it is called shéyóu, and to date, remains popular as remedy for alleviating inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, and other joint pain.

Supposedly, fats and oils from snakes are higher in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which is considered to have inflammation-reducing properties when rubbed on the painful area of the body. However, such claims were ridiculed by rival medicine salesmen from established pharmaceutical companies.

The Chinese laborers who came to America to help build its coast-to-coast railroad system introduced snake oil in the West. Today, it is still sold in traditional Chinese pharmacy stores and, as I've discovered one Saturday, along the Avenida Rizal as well. Hard to believe, indeed, although I've read about this somewhat infamous product a day or two before at Christina's World.

Chris is a photojournalism student who chanced upon a snake oil merchant when she spontaneously decided to get off at the LRT station one day to explore and take some pictures of the Santa Cruz district of Manila.

I invite you all to read her entry to know more about this snake oil from Davao.


Labels: ,

posted by Señor Enrique at 8:59 AM | 20 comments

Monday, July 30, 2007


We were introduced to Manang, a popular amulet and talisman vendor in Quiapo, by Carlos Celdran when we joined his Escolta and Quiapo walking tour some time ago.

During my visits to Quipao, thereafter, whenever passing by the rows of street vendors on Evangelista Street near Plaza Miranda, almost always it is only Manang whom I notice to carry quite an impressive variety of these items believed by some locals to exude certain magical powers.

Now, although both amulets and talismans are locally referred to as anting-anting, they are not at all necessarily the same.
According to the book, Quiapo: The Heart of Manila, edited by Dr. Fernando Nakpil-Zialcita, a talisman is either offensive or defensive; whereas, an amulet is always defensive and/or protective.

Moreover, the anting-anting is further grouped into two types: the positive Right Hand Path (Kanan) which is created by God's angels and saints, and 2) the Left Hand Path (Kaliwa), powered by demonic spirits and dark, elemental spirits. Why anyone would buy the latter kind is somewhat bewildering when it only attracts ill health and bad fortune to its owner.

Most buyers of these magical items are Filipino overseas workers who, on their return trip abroad, either give them as pasalubong (gifts) to friends and co-workers, or sell them to fellow Filipinos in their destinations. The most expensive amulet is the aluminum or brass figurines of the naked Santo Nino which cost 200 to 250 pesos each. The medal of Saint Benedict (or San Benito) is another very popular amulet but costs less. It is believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits and demons.

Here are ten of the most common amulets and talismans sold in Quiapo:

1. Medallions with cabbalistic engravings that prevent general to specific accidents;

2. Large Ivory medallions with the decapitated head of Saint Paul, which confer bravery in adverse circumstances;

3. Assorted brass medallions that protect against witchcraft;

4. Kambal Tuko, a figurine showing a couple in Siamese embrace that is meant for lovers or married couples, or for making one more attractive to the opposite sex;

5. Atsuwete (annatto-colored) hand, which is meant to attract good fortune in business;

6. Brass figurine of Santiago Apostol, (or Saint James the Apostle, often shown in combat while mounted on a steed), earlier used to acquire courage in battle, and today used to acquire courage in business;

7. Nazareno's face, to guide travelers;

8. Branch from a palaypay tree, to get lovers unsure of each other; finally hitched;

9. Green quartz colored egg, to obtain good luck in business;

10. Crystal quartz, for not very smart children.

Most of these items sold in Quiapo come from Cavite. A few come from as far away as Ilocos Norte and Baguio; some as near as Quezon City.

Supposedly, vendors did a brisk business of these magical wares during the '90s; however, with the start of the new millennium, business has slowed down. Perhaps, these vendors could use some extra help and should keep in their person an atsuwete, a brass figurine of Santiago Apostol, and a green quartz egg.

Edited by Dr. Fernando Nakpil Zialcita
The Cultural Heritage Studies Program
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Ateneo de Manila University

Metropolitan Museum of Manila


Labels: ,

posted by Señor Enrique at 7:30 AM | 24 comments

Sunday, July 29, 2007


"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many;
not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." - Charles Dickens

* * *

Highly recommended read: Blogging My Blessing: House
by Liza

* * *


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:36 PM | 10 comments

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Located in the midst of Manila's university belt, adjacent to the University of The East on S. H. Loyola Street (formerly Lepanto) is the Gota de Leche, which means "drop of milk." Designed by Arcadio Arellano in 1915, one of the founding fathers of Philippine architecture, this exceptional structure was built to serve as the home of La Proteccion de la Infancia, a charitable organization that provided free pediatric care and food to the indigent children of Manila.

Modeled after the Ospedale degli Innocenti, an orphanage in Florence created by renowned Renaissance architect Brunelleschi, the Gota de Leche has been hailed as a prime example of a successful adaptation of Italian Renaissance architecture to the tropics; an icon in Philippine architecture since its completion in 1917.

Oftentimes, as soon as heritage buildings in Manila start showing signs of significant decay, their owners succumb to handsome offers by real estate developers. However, the owners of the Gota de Leche opted instead to restore their building to its former grace and stature. The UNESCO Asia Pacific eventually recognized such restoration efforts, awarding the Gota de Leche an Honorable Mention in the 2003 UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation.

Today, the charitable organization of Gota de Leche continues to provide services to the area's indigent families. A part of the building's space is leased to an NGO organization on women's rights, while its main facilities and grounds are rented for private functions.

Gemma Cruz Araneta (right), president of the Heritage Conservation Society.
Photo was taken during HCS' general assembly held at the Gota de Leche last June.

* * *

859 S. H. Loyola Street,
Sampoloc, Manila

for more information, contact
Dorie at the HCS office: 521-2239/522-2497


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:36 AM | 31 comments

Friday, July 27, 2007


The interplay of lines, curves, shapes and forms, as well as the mix of vivid colors and muted tones in this photograph may at first suggest a cityscape from a modern urban setting such as Makati. On the contrary, folks! This was taken in old Manila -- at Claro M. Recto Avenue and Evangelista Street. And those structures are the Isetann Mall and the new MRT station.

I wonder if perhaps, an effective way to brighten up our city is to convince the owners or administrators to paint with bright tropical colors the facades of their relatively sound but ageing, weather-beaten buildings as done in Miami's South Beach. Imagine the joyful impact such candy-colored buildings would have on the city's general populace.

Have a good weekend everybody!

* * *

Camera: Canon IXUS 65
Aperture: F5.6
Shutter: 1/320 sec
Flash: No


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:51 AM | 20 comments

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Dismayed by what she deemed veritable excesses by the Marcos regime, Corazon Aquino, upon assuming her presidency, set up residence in this grand mansion in the San Miguel district of Manila instead of in the nearby Malacanang Palace.

This noble yet quirky decision of hers certainly created nightmares for her presidential security guard unit, because u
nlike Malacanang Palace which is located within a complex equipped with formidable security measures, this grand mansion is on a busy street with rows of private houses, including a private school at the corner.

Nowadays, with the current president making good use of the Palace, this grand mansion has become the office of the Press Secretary. Hence, everything now appears relatively manageable for the Palace guards.

Speaking of residential security, you may already possess an effective security alarm system without even realizing it.

Carla of Palaboy-Lamonster sent me an email suggesting to place our car keys beside our bed at night; should we hear of any suspicious noises outside our homes or detect someone making an attempt to break in, all we have to do is simply press the alarm button for our car. Undoubtedly, the piercing noise will scare off any intruders. Furthermore, the car alarm will continue until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

The neighborhood safety watchdog that created this home security tip also suggested that we carry our car keys while walking to our cars in a parking lot, because we can make the same use of their alarms for our added safety.

Thank you, Carla, for sharing this valuable information with us!


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:57 AM | 24 comments

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Interesting how in the Bahay Tsinoy museum, one of the things that caught my eye was this bench at the corner of the lobby's reception area. Perhaps, it reminded me of my penchant for mission-style furniture, as well as about a story that a friend in New York once told me.

While enjoying a cup of coffee in Manhattan's Soho district one late fall Sunday afternoon, after window shopping for some new furniture to spruce up her apartment, she told me a story that she must've read in some magazine many years ago. It was about two brothers only a year apart in age. The oldest was a successful Wall Street arbitrageur, the younger a radical artist whose avant-garde visions somehow relegated him to the fringes of New York's elitist art circles; thus, perpetually in dire financial straits.

Ever since being informed of his older brother's bout with cancer, he decided to take time off from his projects so he could stay with him throughout the remaining time he had left. Sibling rift existed between these two from their growing up years, but somehow during mid-life, their differences took on a mellower tone; they found themselves enjoying each other's company more so than realized.

The oldest had been a widower for about five years, and whose two daughters were already married and getting on with their respective life. The younger brother, on the other hand, had just gone through his second divorce; his only son, from his first marriage, made a career of his military service. Both were basically living solitary lives and greatly welcomed the idea of once again sharing the same roof. They decided to rent a condominium apartment somewhere In Florida's Fort Lauderdale area. However, it would only last no more than seven months.

My friend was unable to recall any details of what transpired between these two within that time period. I, for one, was intrigued to know more about it. Anyway,
during the reading of the will about a month after the older brother's death, everyone was supposedly in for quite a surprise.

His two daughters were astounded to learn about the extent of their father's wealth accumulated during his years in Wall Street; the bulk of which was willed to them. The younger brother, who was not expecting anything at all, but nonetheless appreciative for the time he had spent with his brother prior to his death, was equally astonished when revealed the recipient of his brother's summer house -- a humble abode in a sizable prime property in Montauk Point in Long Island, New York. Moreover, he was to do whatever he wished with it provided the proceeds would enable him to pursue manifesting his inner visions, though unappreciated by a mainstream art community.

When the younger brother finally went to visit the said property, he was even more dumbfounded to discover it filled with original Gustav Stickley furniture. There was also an impressive collection of signed Art Nouveau objets d'art. However, he wasn't one to live in such opulent setting. A couple of years later, after much soul searching, he decided to sell them off. And with the money raised, he developed the property and turned it into an artist colony to benefit struggling artists.


posted by Señor Enrique at 9:36 AM | 18 comments

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


About a couple of months ago, I was tasked to photograph this historic landmark for a calendar project. Not knowing its exact address, I decided to ask those in the street if they knew where Nielson Tower or the Filipinas Heritage Library is located. Sadly, no one has even heard of it; neither do the police officers lounging in their squad car parked by the Shangri-La Hotel. Finally, it was a lone security guard in his mid-fifties who was able to provide me with an accurate direction.

The Manila International Air Terminal was among the first airports in Asia. It is now the Filipinas Heritage Library, a one-stop research center on Filipino national-heritage information. The Manila Peninsula Hotel is right across the street, while the towering Shangri-La Hotel is at the corner.

Sometime during the 1930s, a construction team of about a thousand men built two principal runways which are now Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas in Makati. And right in between these two runways stood the Nielson Tower; an airplane-shaped Art Deco building which captured the romance of air travel of that era. The Filipinas Heritage Library has retained the original 1930s layout of the ground floor passenger terminal, as well as the control tower, which is now a function room.

Unesco recognized the library’s restoration efforts in 2001 by including Nielson Tower among the prestigious annual Unesco Asia-Pacific Cultural Heritage Awardees for outstanding conservation and architectural re-use.

The Unesco citation for Nielson Tower reads:

“The impressive conversion of one of Asia’s earliest airports into a heritage library represents a major achievement in preserving an important era of Manila’s history.

“Historical events and architecture are exemplified in the legacy of the structure and in the excellent choice to continue its livelihood as an educational facility.

“In a time of rapid urban development and expansion, the Nielson Tower is an excellent model for others to follow on how to appropriately readapt historic structures in the community.”

Makati Avenue
Ayala Triangle, Makati City 1224
Telephone: 892-1801 / Fax: 892-1810


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:05 AM | 31 comments

Monday, July 23, 2007


An article by PDI's Tina Santos, "Demolition of condemned Manila buildings sought," reports the City Council of Manila has passed a resolution urging the local government to implement the demolition of all old and dilapidated structures in Manila.

Councilor Ma. Lourdes "Bonjay" Isip-Garcia, author of the resolution and chairperson of the committee on housing and urban development and resettlement, claims that the city has too many condemned and dilapidated buildings overdue for immediate demolition.

Not only do they pose great danger to the public (should they suddenly collapse), but these unsightly structures also attract the homeless and street children, said the councilor. She also reminded owners of such structures that they may be facing civil and criminal liabilities. The councilor's stance is supposedly in accordance with Mayor Alfredo Lim's 11-point program calling for such demolitions to be given top priority.

Dr. Fernando Nakpil Zialcita of Ateneo and Heritage Conservation Society, however, is concerned that among those in the city's list of buildings to be demolished is the Boix house inherited by the Jesuits, which is right beside the historical Nakpil house on Bautista Street in Quiapo. According to Dr. Zialcita, although city engineers had condemned it, Architect Mico Manuel, who inspected it, claims it is perfectly sound, except for the azotea.

Since our city engineers
may not be all that familiar with our heritage-worthy buildings and ancestral homes -- like those in Quiapo, Binondo and San Miguel -- Dr. Zialcita is further worried that they might have also included other early twentieth-century structures in this condemned list.

Dr. Zialcita would like to remind Councilor Isip-Garcia that "tourism on the North Bank of the Pasig River has increased thanks precisely to these antique, but dilapidated, buildings. Carlos Celdran, Ivan Mandy, Tess Obusan and myself bring tourists (both local and foreign) around the old quarters of Manila. Regularly, members of the different embassies, French and Spanish, for instance, call us up because they want to see these 'dilapidated' but charming houses."


posted by Señor Enrique at 12:43 PM | 25 comments

Sunday, July 22, 2007


"A sensible man will remember that the eyes may be confused in two ways -
by a change from light to darkness or from darkness to light; and he
will recognize that the same thing happens to the soul."
~ Plato

* * *

Camera: Canon IXUS 65
Aperture: F2.8
Shutter: 1/15 sec
Flash: No


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:55 AM | 12 comments

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Photographers are invited to send entries to a photography contest that aims to depict Muslim integration in the Philippines, following the legacy of UK’s renowned photographer and Muslim convert Peter Sanders.

Sponsored by the British Embassy in partnership with Newsbreak, the competition has two categories: professional, for those who earn a living from photography or are hobbyists who have participated in photo contests; and amateur, for those who do not earn a living from photography and who may submit photos taken with their mobile phone cameras.

Each entry must consist of one (1) full color, 8” x 10” photograph, accompanied by a caption. The photographer should not put his name or any distinguishing marks on the photograph. A separate paper containing the caption and the name and contact details of the photographer should be submitted with the photograph. Contestants are requested to submit as well the original or raw files of their entries.

A contestant may submit as many entries as he or she desires. Employees of the British Embassy and Newsbreak and their relatives up to the fourth degree of consanguinity are not allowed to participate in the competition.

Entries should be received by Newsbreak before or on August 31, Friday. They may be hand-carried or mailed to Room 1402-A West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Centre, Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

A board of judges composed of professionals chosen by the British Embassy, the British Council, and Newsbreak will pick two winners in each category, or a total of four winners. In the professional category, P25,000 awaits the first prize winner, and P10,000 the second prize winner. In the amateur category, the first and second prize winners will receive P15,000 and P5,000, respectively.

Winners will be announced in the last week of September as the Peter Sanders exhibition tour starts its Mindanao leg. Winning entries will be featured on the British Embassy and Newsbreak websites.

Ownership of the photographs shall remain with the photographers, but the entries shall be made part of the British Embassy’s photobank, which it can use at no extra cost for future projects related to its Engaging with the Islamic World program.

* * *

Camera: Nikon D80

Aperture: F11
Shutter: 10/2000 sec
Focal Length: 27mm
ISO: 200
Flash: Yes


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:09 AM | 18 comments

Friday, July 20, 2007


I was finally able to visit Paco Park a couple of weeks ago, thanks to the street photography meet I joined in which this historical landmark was part of its itinerary. The main point of interest for me was Jose Rizal's grave; where he was interred right after he was executed by an eight-man squad of Filipino riflemen from the 70TH infantry regiment, The Magallanes of the Spanish Colonial Army, in the early morning of December 30, 1896.

Incidentally, Dhon Jason's site, Island Boy in the City, features a photograph of supposedly the very first monument of Rizal which is located in Daet, Camarines Norte.

Finally, I agree with Dean Jorge Bocobo of The Philippine Commentary. As a nation, we ought to celebrate Jose Rizal's birthday in June, not his death in December.


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

Thursday, July 19, 2007


This young boy and his dog were among those who used to add color to the life under the LRT along the pedestrianized Rizal Avenue between Plaza Lacson and Claro M. Recto Avenue. However, now with vehicular traffic back on this strip, I wonder where the neighborhood children safely play these days.

Meanwhile, with purses as high as $100,000.00, authorities estimate about 40,000 people in the United States engage in the illegal blood sport of professional dogfighting. CNN reports that the recent indictment against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and three other people highlight the problem.

Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states.
Nonetheless, President Bush signed a bill last May which makes the federal law against dogfighting even tougher with penalties escalated to felony level. The law bans interstate commerce, import and export related to animal fighting activities. Violators can now be sentenced to three years in jail and a $250,000 fine as opposed to the previous maximum sentence of only a year in jail.

* * *

This entry is my 500th post. I wish to thank all my fellow bloggers, friends and readers whose visits, comments, and emails inspire my tireless gallivanting and photographing of my beloved city of Manila.

Maraming salamat po!

posted by Señor Enrique at 7:24 AM | 36 comments

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


This sari-sari store in Quiapo reminds me of the one on our block when I was a kid growing up in the Santa Cruz district of Manila; owned by Manong, a Chinese immigrant from Hong Kong, and his wife, Manang, who hailed from Ilocos.

It was a wonderful store -- only three houses from ours -- where my sister Inday and I would buy our late morning snacks. On weekends or whenever we had no school, my father would leave us twenty five centavos each before he left for work. Twenty five centavos then would afford us a bottle of Cosmos sarsaparilla or orange, as well as a piece of Japanese hopia (hopiang Hapon).

As for the late afternoon merienda, rarely was there a need for us to buy anything, for there were always freshly-baked pandesal and machakaw on the table at home. But just in case, my father allowed us get anything we want on credit; Manong or Manang would just write the charges on a piece of paper that I would then put inside my father's can of Prince Albert tobacco. Included on this list, of course, were the essential household stuff that we'd run out of -- cooking oil, vinegar, sugar, and whatnot. On Saturday afternoon, my father would go over the list and pay what we owed.

That was usually how it went, except on two occasions. The first was when my father was surprised to find a higher than usual amount on the list. I immediately admitted that it was I who made the purchase, and it was for a nail cutter. Told him I was getting too old for my mother to trim my nails for me. Delighted that his youngest son was beginning to become responsible for himself, my father never made a big deal out of it.

The second time, however, was a different story. You see, after playing basketball one afternoon, I went to Manong's store craving for a chilled bottle of soft drink and hopia. But since my equally exhausted and famished playmates trailed me with sorrowful look on their eyes (they had absolutely no money to buy themselves anything), I foolishly decided to treat them all for merienda. Well, that was the last time I was allowed to buy anything on credit. From that day on, I had to go to my mother to ask for some cash.


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:44 AM | 46 comments

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


"Treat a friend as if he were what he ought to be and you help him
to become what he is capable of being." - Goethe

* * *

Camera: Nikon D80
Aperture: F7.1
Shutter: 10/5000 sec
Focal Length: 202mm
ISO: 100
Flash: No


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:59 AM | 26 comments

Monday, July 16, 2007


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:15 AM | 24 comments

Sunday, July 15, 2007


A self-centered man admitted: "Sure, I know that the Bible says to love
our neighbors as ourselves. But frankly, I don't believe
that my neighbors can stand all that affection.
- Anonymous

* * *

Camera: Nikon D80
Aperture: F8
Shutter: 10/2000 sec
Focal Length: 120mm
ISO: 400
Flash: No


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:31 AM | 11 comments

Saturday, July 14, 2007


"Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived." - Joseph Campbell

* * *

Camera: Nikon D80
Aperture: F3.5
Shutter: 10/600 sec
Focal Length: 27mm
ISO: 200


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:07 AM | 16 comments

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Libertad means freedom. And that was exactly what the artist Daniel Palma Tayona was in pursuit of -- the freedom to manifest his inner visions which eluded him while engaged in corporate life.

In his interview with Silver magazine, he claimed, "I remember telling a friend of mine that it feels like a freefall. You know, the kind of experience you get if you jump from a cliff. You don't exactly know where the winds will take you but you're bound to land somewhere. It is the exhilaration one gets if he lets himself be taken by an adventure - of just letting go. This is what I feel everyday when I am faced with an empty canvas. It's an adventure where I don't exactly know where it will lead me, but I do know that the end-product of it will be a drawing or a painting that tells something, and hoping that it's valid enough for others to see. And when it's done, I look at it and say, "Wow, it felt good. It was just right."

A true Manilenyo who grew up in Sampaloc, Daniel graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Design. However, it wasn't after many years of doing work as a graphic designer when he sensed a void within, which even the accoutrements of being a successful corporate executive could ever fulfill. And so as to appease an inner longing that gnawed at his soul, he gave up it all up and began to pursue a life of an independent full time artist.

Nowadays, with his condo in a tony neighborhood a thing of the past, Daniel soaks in the light that streams through the large window of his duplex loft right on Libertad Street in Pasay City. Therein he spends his day immersed in his work -- sketching and painting, while the hustle and bustle of the street below provide a cacophony of sounds and visions; additional inspirations for artworks that greatly celebrate the Latin soul nestled in our local culture.

Although he gave up a comfortable lifestyle when he quit his post as a creative director in a major firm, the universe somehow never scrimped with its blessings as Daniel follows his bliss; his paintings are now fetching anywhere from $200 to $1500. Even more important is his reserve of myriads of concepts that will keep him busy for years to come.

Aside from being a fine artist, Daniel also happens to be a wonderful storyteller. Some of his writings are posted on his blogsite, Romancing Pen and Palette. The characters of his stories also make up the images that prominently appear on his paintings.

"My works, and so are most artists'," further remarked Daniel in his Silver magazine interview, "are images plucked from my own life. You'd have to look at it like an oversized diary. If I were to clip my drawings and paintings into one notebook, I'll end up with a huge unwieldy journal. But unlike a journal, a visual artists' works cannot be solely kept by him for his own consumption. He can keep some, but I think it's crazy to keep everything. These works have to be 'released', to have a life of their own outside of the studio for the stories they bear to be told. Sometimes people who get to see these works create their own stories for it. That's the time when the painting becomes alive. The story it bears becomes full and living."

And so, on Libertad near Leveriza, lives an artist who has finally found the ultimate freedom to tell his many stories.

Daniel Palma Tayona's works can be seen at
1/of Gallery in Serendra, The Fort in Taguig, telephone 901-3152.
You can also email Daniel at daniel.tayona@gmail.com


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:35 PM | 30 comments


"The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us
our entire life,
is ourselves. Be alive while you are alive." -- George Carlin

* * *

Camera: Nikon D80
Aperture: F5.6
Shutter: 10/2000 sec
Focal Length: 142mm
ISO: 100
Flash: No


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:10 AM | 12 comments

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


"Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes,
music, plants, hobbies, sports, whatever." -- George Carlin

* * *


Camera: NIKON D80

Aperture: F3.8
Shutter: 10/10000 sec
Focal Length: 39mm
ISO: 400
Flash: No


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:29 AM | 37 comments

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away. -- Anonymous

* * *

Camera: Nikon D80
Aperture: F7.1
Shutter: 10/2000 sec
Focal Length: 27mm
ISO: 100
Flash: No


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:32 AM | 19 comments

Monday, July 09, 2007


In accordance with his pedestrianization agenda, this strip of Hidalgo Street -- from Plaza Miranda to P. Burgos Street in Quiapo -- was officially designated by the then Mayor Atienza as a photographers' haven; a sprawling pedestrian’s promenade intended to promote the local photo industry, as well as attract a new wave of photography enthusiasts. The festive ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on October 6th of last year(click here for my previous entry on this joyful block party).

But now, with Atienza out of the office and a newly-elected Mayor Lim barely warming the most powerful seat in the city's administration, the street vendors are back in full swing to reclaim their respective stake on the space once reserved for the enjoyment of pedestrians and photography enthusiasts. And no one from the new administration's office is doing anything to halt the eventual demise of a once wonderful idea.

Another pending victory for the ubiquitous street vendors, indeed.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:00 AM | 34 comments

Sunday, July 08, 2007


For a dash of added spice to our city life, especially for our local women, I think we need to have a fashion street photographer like The New York Times' Bill Cunningham, who, according to PopPhoto, is "the almost invisible but all-seeing eye of the fashion world, catching images of its traveling troupe of characters—models, designers, stylists, celebrities, and acolytes. Shooting at the corner of New York’s 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, he has captured fashion’s real life. His images, seen in the New York Times, suggest an awareness of the connections between the artifice of the self-conscious world of fashion and the everyday expressions of personal style."

It's a tempting enough proposition for me to even want to do it, but unfortunately, I don't know much about the fashion scene to become effective at it. But I'm sure we have enough fashion-conscious photographers out there who'd be up for such a fun job.

I'm also confident that our local broadsheets, such as The Philippine Star, would be receptive to such an idea and provide space for it -- a regular feature of sort.

I once knew of a couple of fashionistas back in New York who would always be on the lookout for Bill Cunningham; one was lucky enough to have finally run into him and had her picture taken with her brand new faux leopard coat. The next day, she frantically searched the New York Times' fashion section, and upon finding her picture, she immediately cut it out to get it framed professionally.


posted by Señor Enrique at 5:01 PM | 22 comments

Saturday, July 07, 2007


That's the bad news. You see, a New York-based reader who has gone on a short-term teaching post in Beijing emailed to say how astounded and disappointed she was to have discovered that the government's online media censors had blocked my site from those trying to access it from the mainland.

The reason could very well be the entries I had posted about the Chinese migration into the archipelago during the Spanish colonial period, including their eventual assimilation into our local culture (see
Inside the Bahay Tsinoy and the links at the bottom of which).

Oh, well. At least, unlike Salman Rushdie who had provoked the ire of the Indian Muslims after the publication of his Satanic Verses, my blog entries, to date, have not warranted death threats. Last I need is an assassin dispatched from the Shaolin Monastery to hunt me down as I navigate the narrow and crowded streets of Binondo.

But now, for some good news: the photograph I had taken of Binondo Church (above) which I used as the accompanying image for my entry, Ysla Binondo and the Chinese Revolt, is featured in the latest issue of i-Mag Photography Magazine under its Thousand Words section.

Thank you, i-Mag!

Volume One Number 8 issue


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:28 AM | 56 comments

Friday, July 06, 2007



posted by Señor Enrique at 5:36 AM | 42 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.


About Me

Name: Señor Enrique
Location: Manila, Philippines

View my complete profile


This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Flickr Badge. Make your own badge here.
Señor Enrique Home
Designed by The Dubai Chronicles.
All rights and lefts reserved.