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


Blogger carlotta1924 said...

oohhh, no. what else can we expect from the new administration of manila?

i've read that mayor lim spearheaded the demolishing of "little vietnam" along the esteros on arlegui st. sana yung pag demolish nalang ng mga shanties sa mga estero ang unahin nya.

July 09, 2007 8:45 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Shanties and enclaves that harbor violent crimes should be his priority to eradicate, Carla, as you said.

And those products of the previous administration that enhance the life of our populace he should continue to support and sustain.

Are our legitimate merchants in these areas so intimidated by these burgeoning street vendors?

July 09, 2007 9:13 AM  

Blogger christine said...

My gosh, he's really wreaking havoc in the area, isn't he? I was just reading over at Carlos' blog about how he's wasting other recent efforts that were put into developing Manila. Why?

July 09, 2007 10:37 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It may be attributed, Christine, to the supposedly traditional city politics of undoing the previous administration's tangible accomplishments.

July 09, 2007 10:54 AM  

Blogger pusa said...

so the ukays are back in hidalgo along with many other stuff! i really hope mayor lim knows what he's doing

July 09, 2007 11:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dang, this is sad. It's one step backward for Manila. While I wouldn't commend Atienza's administration as a whole, what he did in designating areas for particular purposes was a good move. And here we go again. Sad.

July 09, 2007 3:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh ... No, that is not good at all; looking at the growth of vendors along the photography haven. Is it not possible to write a proposal to the Mayor to remain that strip as a photography haven?

July 09, 2007 4:43 PM  

Blogger reyd said...

Naku, ayan ang headache ni Mayor. I'm not sure if most of these vendors voted for him during the election. Maybe, a payback by Lim for those who voted for him. :)
I stay in between on both sides of this issue.

July 09, 2007 6:35 PM  

Blogger nerdluck said...

Carlos was devastated about Avenida... and now this? I'd hate to think these reversals of the former mayors policies as just a matter of ego. That would mean so much power vested on somebody so childish... God! I hope I'm wrong.

July 09, 2007 8:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Senor Enrique,

I came across your blog while researching on Carriedo and Avenida. Interesting blog! Congratulations on your award!

I felt so sad, however, reading your posts on Carriedo and Avenida. I also love photography and unfortunately, being based in Makati, I only recently discovered the beauty of these 2 Manila streets. I feel "cheated" that I have just been introduced to them and am now about to lose them. I took some photographs of my Carriedo adventure ( But seeing that everything will be gone soon, I need to shoot more. Will be going back to document the whole place. I hope I still have time. Sigh.

July 09, 2007 11:33 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Allow me to take a quote from your comment Eric. Instead of "undoing the previous administration's tangible accomplishments", why not be more creative and enhance the functionality of the previous admins project? The budget spent then goes into improvements as opposed to destroying something that has a lot of potential to improve business and life in Manila which many believe is a waste of the peoples hard earned tax money....Oh sorry, I forgot about the kickbacks from all the contractors that will handle the demolition and building projects! Take it easy on your critiu on the present mayors demolition projects, youmight wake up the next day with a big bold red letter sign painted over your front door saying "CONTRALIM"! Aside from the poisoned Tikoy and mami siopao deprivation I warned you about from your comments on your Bahay Tsinoy blog, now you also have to worry about Mr. Gung Ho's ire...pang bangketa ang mentalidad nitong tao na to!

July 10, 2007 5:19 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not believe that in a matter of one election,Hidalgo street has returned to the dark ages again.Can they actually see how clean and nice Hidalgo street was before they won the elections?Is this how politicians really behave in our country today?Someone has got to talk to Mayor lim about this.Is he reallly that powerful and vindictive? Gosh!


July 10, 2007 6:38 AM  

Blogger Aura said...

I dont understand the mentality of politicians..there must be a law or constitution regarding govt.projects that has been aproved & constructed by the outgoing govt.or mayor that whoever takes their positions should continue w/ the said project or plan.
This construct & destruct system is wasting the tax payers hard earned money!

July 10, 2007 6:56 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Pusa. They're back! And before you know it, they will build a more permanent stall right in the middle of the street as they had done before Hidalgo was transformed into a photographers' haven.

July 10, 2007 7:12 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Good point, Reyd! Payback time. Not to mention that a number of corrupt city hall and police officials make a lot of money from these street vendors.

Let's see what happens on this one.

July 10, 2007 7:14 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Neither do I know much about Atienza's overall deeds as mayor, Ced, but I do appreciate his revitalization programs. But nonetheless, certain good projects should be left alone, and the new mayor should initiate further improvements.

July 10, 2007 7:18 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I think, Kyels, at present, it's like "wait and see" stage for all of the city's movers and shakers. But at the same time, the vendors are taking advantage of the "lull."

July 10, 2007 7:19 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I agree, Nerdluck, because in the end, it's the general public that will suffer the most from such silly and childish attitude by our "leaders."

July 10, 2007 7:21 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I just checked out your site, Cris ... I think it's great! More power to you. We need more people to document the various facets of our cities.

Keep up the good work!


July 10, 2007 7:26 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...


You never fail to bring laughter as I enjoy my morning mug of decaf coffee, Pete! Very witty!

Oo nga, I have to tone down my entries ... hahaha!

Okay, let's go back to street fashion photography ...

July 10, 2007 7:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Although I don't blog much about this part of Hidalgo Street, I happen to love this area, IndioBravo. I proudly take my balikbayan friends to walk around and check out the various photo shops in the neighborhood. It's quite reminiscent of Manhattan's West Side with its photo and electronic shop zone.

However, with these encroachment of street vendors, this once photographers' haven is not as comfortable a street as it used to be.

July 10, 2007 7:48 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Truly disheartening, Aura!

How can something so beautiful in the midst of Quiapo's hustle and bustle be allowed to decay and revert back to its once ugly state?

July 10, 2007 7:51 AM  

Blogger Senorito<- Ako said...

I'm $ure the honorable mayor lim ha$ a good rea$on for doing it.

July 10, 2007 8:00 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...


No comment, S.A!

July 10, 2007 8:12 AM  

Blogger pusa said...

honga pala, i forgot to mention un mga con artist jan sa hidalgo before, im sure they back... offering their "free" soap pero pagpasok mo dun sa stores nila your forced to buy some medicinal ekek. thankfully nd naman ako naraket dun pero i believe na-feature un raket na un sa tv.... hay gud luck sa mga photogs na pupunta ng hidalgo, ingats!

July 10, 2007 10:00 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Pusa.

Thanks much for the head's up!

July 10, 2007 12:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really sad. I do remember that time when you wrote about mayor Atienza's designation of that area as a photographers' haven.
I was in fact anxious about this the moment I've learned that Mayor Lim just won the mayoralty position there thinking that he is the kind of administrator who doesn't really
have strentgh in beautification and street cleanliness---he is as they say the Dirty harry who is more on crime prevention and peace and order.
Perhaps it would be advisable that as a group you could write a petition to the City Hall, informing them that the area was in fact designated before as
a photgraphers' haven and that maybe Mayor Lim could see to it that it stay that way. Maybe if Mayor Lim be reminded, he would just be mindful of the problems there, especially of the pernicious street vendors.

July 10, 2007 5:12 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Major Tom. That was one of the most exciting times since having returned to Manila. To witness a deteriorating area turned into a wonderful enclave right in the heart of Quiapo for the benefit of photography enthusiasts.

But you're right! I shall drum up the interest of as many people as possible to sign a letter reminding Mayor Lim of the intended purpose behind the concept of revitalizing this neighborhood.

Thank you!

July 10, 2007 6:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

2tally devastated disapponted and sad.:(hayzzzzz..what's his thinking ba?

July 11, 2007 1:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

after much publicity, babalik lang pala sa street vendors. sayang.

July 16, 2007 11:00 PM  

Blogger richard tuason-sanchez bautista said...

what annoyed me in R. Hidalgo was, one time I bought something, it was crowded, and the usual sidewalk and road vendors are blocking the way. I was rushing to get out, and i was very polite to say excuse me to a lady infront of me. Imagine she even had the nerve to tell that (im 5'9" weighing about 90 kilos); bawal kasi ang kasing laki ko doon. Imagine that lady was buying from a road vendor had that guts to accuse me that i am wrong. I just yelled at them saying kayo at sila ang mga bawal dito (referring to the vendors and their buyers).

July 17, 2007 3:26 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Someone said that sidewalk vendors and tricycle and pedicab operators are rejoicing that Lim won the mayoralty race, Anon.

July 18, 2007 6:45 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Talagang sayang na sayang, Estan. Ang laki pa naman ng iginanda ng Hidalgo.

July 18, 2007 6:46 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The vendors purposely make the sidewalks narrower with their carts and temporary stalls, Richard! This way, the passersby will be forced to "see" their wares. And look at the space behind them, too -- so much empty space that could be used by the pedestrians.

Those with carts also block the roadways and will not move an inch to allow cars to pass by.

July 18, 2007 6:50 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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