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


Blogger NOYPETES said...

More colors and less energy consuming neon lights and high wattage light fixtures to brighten the city. One of the pioneer burger fastfood places changed its interior color from orange to yellow after it was discovered that customers were uncomfortable being couped up in an orange colored environment hence less customers going in to eat. When the interior color was replaced with a bright yellow, they had more cheerful customers coming and the orders of food grew much more!

July 27, 2007 8:34 AM  

Blogger Urbano dela Cruz said...

that seems to be what BF has in mind.

will colors in the foreground improve the composition? I would think it would depend on the whole frame. -but your the photographer, you tell me.

July 27, 2007 9:02 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Pete, colors play a significant role in our environment. The local fastfood chains, Jolibee and Chow King, use bright colors for the overall color palette of their establishments.

Perhaps, then, the same idea applied city-wide might indeed produce auspicious results :)

July 27, 2007 10:23 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks for the link, Urbano. Yes! The MMDA should be encouraged to utilize those candy colors to beautify our city :)

The modern edifices on the foreground with muted monochromatic tones, to me, are fine. They give a striking contrast to the surrounding old but brightly-painted structures.

July 27, 2007 10:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a law professor whose house is painted like Isetann in this pic. He is a widower living alone as his children already have their respective families. He says it's his way of brightening up his days - to have bright colors splashed all around him.

True, colors play a big role in the psyche of man. :)

July 27, 2007 10:54 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I agree with that law professor, Rhoda.

When I first came back to Manila after a long absence, what stood out the most were the rows of drab buildings whose facades were made worse by the accumulated soot from pollution.

And then during the pedestrianization of Rizal Avenue, the buildings on both sides of the strip were repainted; those with bright colors truly enhanced the overall good mood of the area. What a difference these colors made!

That was then I started thinking that the city ought to consider encouraging property owners to use bright colors, and in return, they would receive tax incentives from the city for cooperating.

July 27, 2007 11:19 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tax incentives, you say, Eric?

OMG! Knowing how every taxpayer would jump at any opportunity to lessen their taxes, Manila will be transformed to Alice's Wonderland! hehehe.

July 27, 2007 11:26 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Even better. Then it'll become a wonderful metropolis like Las Vegas, which attracts millions of visitors annually.

July 27, 2007 12:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very eye catching building. I like the bright colors!

Have a happy weekend Eric.


July 27, 2007 4:40 PM  

Blogger ladybug said...

I agree...sometimes a new coat of paint will work wonders for an old building. Nice pic.

July 27, 2007 7:28 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It is actually an old building, Kyels, but the owners do a very good job of maintaining it.

Thanks, Kyels :)

July 27, 2007 7:40 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Ladybug.

Like I've mentioned, Miami's South Beach looks great with its use of tropical colors.

July 27, 2007 7:43 PM  

Blogger Aura said...

Bright colors lighten up that crowded area, its agood way of attracting attention as if telling everybody " Im still here, come & visit my place". I agree with the owners to paint their building in bright colors. It really stands out in that crowded place of C.M.Recto

July 27, 2007 8:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Manila is already colourful, but you are right - it does need more colour in a lot of areas. The thing with being a tropical country (and quite polluted at that) is that a lick of paint semi-annually is necessary to keep the building facade neat and attractive. Your photo brings back memories of scorching afternoons in the heart of Manila.

Norwich Daily Photo

July 27, 2007 8:47 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

A good example, Aura, is the Nicanor Reyes (formerly Morayta) strip. Property owners in the area have begun to repaint their weather-beaten buildings (most with bright colors) in lockstep with the FEU campus' restoration program.

Not sure who was responsible, but trees were even planted in the middle island of the street!

July 28, 2007 6:21 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Joy,

It's sad that most locals have no sense of appreciation for Manila; with most awestruck with the glitzier Makati, Pasig or Taguig.

Worse, some even go so far as consider any efforts to revitalize this city of old as downright frivolous and a waste of taxpayers' money. Dimwits they are, I say.

Lovely pictures you got of your city (I assume)! The bridge with those wild flowers is my favorite so far :) By the way, a regular visitor I will become.

Thank you for dropping by and for your appreciation of our old city :)

July 28, 2007 6:33 AM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

I don't think I'll see something like that in Makati CBD soon. But the bright colors remind me of a Gawad Kalinga community.

July 29, 2007 11:20 PM  

Blogger raqgold said...

i love old Manila, studying at UST, old Manila used to be the 'in' place for us because it was the nearest and it was as colorful as now -- we love going around the real good Chinese eateries and the old bookstores. your photos invoke good memories that would need revisiting soon!

July 30, 2007 1:41 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Many thanks, Raqgold! A number of UST graduates do pass by this site :)

BTW, there will be a major UST celebration soon, right?

Hopefully, Mayor Lim will continue with the heritage preservation and beautification of Manila so as to promote increased tourism in the city :)

July 30, 2007 6:47 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Dave! I've seen some pictures of those colorful Gawad Kalinga communities.

I think the Ayalas will be more aggressive in maintaining the glitzy Makati image, considering there are now a number of ageing buildings along Ayala Avenue alone; not to mention that many major firms have been migrating to the newer and even glitzier Taguig as of late.

There is also the other side of Makati that many may not acknowledge as much -- the so-called Binay's Makati -- with dilapitating structures that could use some sprucing up.

July 30, 2007 6:56 AM  

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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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