Friday, August 31, 2007


Although not officially named as such, the street of Carriedo is now being enjoyed by Manilenyos as a pedestrianized shopping mall of sort ever since Mayor Lim evicted the street vendors and revoked their agreement with the former mayor Lito Atienza, which allowed them to build stalls right in the middle of the street.

Mayor Lim may have reopened the pedestrianized Rizal Avenue to vehicular traffic -- much to my disappointment at that time -- but he had since began cleaning up heavily-traversed downtown city streets clogged by street vendor stalls.
Villabos Street by Plaza Miranda in Quiapo is another in which such stalls were recently demolished. It is now being enjoyed by pedestrians as well. Indeed, it seems that walking and driving in and around downtown Manila is becoming comfortable and pleasurable.

Incidentally, despite my having previously blogged about it (General Carriedo and Fr. Huerta), for the sake of new readers, I'd like to once again highlight the man behind the name of the popular street (where the original ShoeMart Store once stood) and the water fountain that adorns Plaza de Sta. Cruz.

He was General Francisco Carriedo y Peredo — the Spaniard who bequeathed P10,000 in 1743 as an initial endowment for the creation of the first water system in Manila to provide free water for the poor in perpetuity. Entrusted to the Obras Pias, this sum of money was to accumulate in the Galleon Trade until it should grow by way of profits and interest into a sufficient fund to build a water system.

Unfortunately, in 1762, an iron chest with P250,000 and labeled Fondo de Carriedo was among the spoils carted off by the invading British forces when it looted the city. Consequently, buried under tons of governmental archival documents, General Carriedo’s will was forgotten until a Franciscan friar, Fr. Felix Huerta began the search, found the documents and calculated that by 1878, the sum had grown to P177,853.44.

Fr. Huerta then spearheaded the efforts in actualizing the wish of General Carriedo, and within four years the water system was completed at a total cost of P742,509. With 153 hydrants, the system was inaugurated on August 23, 1882.

The Carriedo Water Fountain (photo below) was built in May 1882 as part of the Carriedo Waterworks System headed by the Governor-General Domingo Moriones in 1878. It was named in honor of General Francisco Carriedo y Peredo by Governor-General Primo de Rivera on July 24, 1882.

Originally installed in Sampaloc, it was moved in 1976 by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System to Balara, Quezon City to commemorate its hundredth year of existence. It was later moved again to its present location in front of the Santa Cruz Church in Plaza de Santa Cruz, Manila.


posted by Señor Enrique at 9:36 AM | 31 comments

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Now, here's something interesting I found in Wikipedia: The services performed by barbers of olden times were not mere hair cutting and shaving off facial hair, but also minor surgery -- stitching of wounds, blood-letting, cupping and leeching, and enemas; as well as dentistry -- the extraction of teeth.

The barber I used to go to when I was a kid was my father's, and performed strictly haircutting and shaving services. He was a kind man who also managed that thriving barbershop with about ten barbers working for him; two were his sons. I would go to his shop with my cousins or brothers usually on a late morning or early afternoon on weekends.

The style of choice for young boys back then was the military crew cut in which besides the usual electric clipper, a pair of scissors, and comb, a sharp razor is also used for shaving the bottom sides and back of the head.

Unfortunately, I was one of those who'd get ticklish once that sharp razor touched my nape. So much so that I'd get goosebumps and would noticeably shiver at times. The old man was cognizant of my dilemma, so before that sharp razor touched my head, he'd warn me about it. You see, he knew that I could get a serious cut and spill blood all over the place should I suddenly shiver while that razor was scraping down the back of my neck.

However, there came a time when the old man had to assign me to one of his sons, Junior -- the unfriendly and grumpy son. Unarguably, Junior wasn't up for becoming a professional barber to begin with; if he had his own way, I was sure he'd rather just hang out at the corner studying the racing forms and drinking gin with his buddies.

Anyway, he made my trips for a haircut a living hell, which I had to endure for quite some time. He'd also sport a menacing sneer as he sharpened his razor against that strip of leather tied to the back of the chair.
I almost peed once in my pants as I fought off that torturous tickling sensation derived from his razor. Junior could easily have been a student of Marquis de Sade.

Fortunately, the moment of salvation came when the Beatles came rocking the world. Suddenly, long hair was in. Even more fortuitous was my high school principal -- she was lenient when it came to the students' hair style and length.

Nonetheless, I'd avoid meeting Junior's contemptuous gaze as I passed by their barbershop when coming home from school, while my flowing hair bounced as if in slow motion with my gait.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:29 AM | 48 comments

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


It was originally called Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry; its initial purpose was to meet the country's steady progress towards industrialization by providing technological training to those seeking careers in local industries. Inspired by this economic trend, three Greek cousins — Dr. George Lucas Adamson, Alexander Adamson and George Athos Adamson — founded the Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry on June 20, 1932.

The School, which was set to train young men and women in Industrial Chemistry, was housed at the Paterno Building at
Plaza Goiti. It opened on July 1, 1932 with only 42 students. A year later, the population grew to 300, which necessitated its transfer to more spacious quarters.

After the war, Dr. George Lucas Adamson re-opened the school, this time, in the premises of the Vincentian Fathers at San Marcelino Street. In 1964, the University was turned over to the Vincentian Fathers, which signaled the transformation of Adamson University to a Catholic Institution of learning.

The Church of San Vicente de Paul (photo below) was originally built as a chapel in 1883 and used as parish church of Paco from 1898 to 1909. The concrete parish church was built in 1912 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of the Vicentians and Sisters of Charity in the Philippines.


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

Monday, August 27, 2007


“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems
of the human race” -
Calvin Coolidge


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:23 AM | 9 comments

Thursday, August 23, 2007


This sampaguita vendor's wide-faced smile and overall physical features remind me of Tia Inez -- my second mother, my yaya.

Tia Inez was the sister of my father's sister's husband. She enjoyed her simply appointed, though airy, two storey house in Subic across the street from our house next to my aunt's. She lived there alone after her husband had left her for another woman.

She wasn't embittered by it nor whined about it. She simply went on her life making dresses and smoking those dark cigarettes with the lit end inside her mouth. She never had any child. If anything, I was the closest to being her own child.
She came to Manila to live with us when I was born to help my mother with my rearing right until I started school.

There were times my parents would send me off to Subic for a few days with Tia Inez. Now, although Tia Inez despised alcohol and claimed it to be the devil's invention, in the evenings, she often hosted a small group of barrio folks for a game of cards. Unfortunately, there were times when they were interrupted by my screaming from my aunt's balcony, "Tia Ineeeeez! Tia Ineeeeez!" I would relentlessly call out for her until I hear her scream back, "Ukinana di ubing!"

And just like clockwork, as I craned my neck from the balcony across the street, I'd see each of her friends march out of her house disgruntled as she was. Moments later, after locking up her house, Tia Inez would come over to pick me up from my aunt's and take me to our house. By then she wouldn't be angry anymore. As she helped me change into my pajamas, she'd ask me how my day was, or if there were any picnics planned for the next day. Right after that, we'd share the same bed -- scaring the bedbugs away with our boisterous snoring.

Tia Inez and I were not to be deprived of exciting adventures. Being a sickly child, she regularly took me to Luneta in the early morning and let me run around; invigorated by the air of Manila Bay. Afterwards, we would get on a boat that circled the bay for about 15 minutes or so.

Regrettably, we had to stop riding those boats after a nearly disastrous incident. All that I could remember was that I kept eating those saltine crackers as people screamed when the boat we were on started taking in water at quite an alarming rate. Had it not been for those alert seamen aboard a nearby anchored ship, we would have been the headlines of the next day's papers.

There were also the afternoons when she would drag me to Cine Noli to watch a double feature of local films. However, I'd come out of the theater with the back of my thighs littered with welts from the surot bites. She'd make me wear my pajamas so that my father wouldn't notice them, though it worried him just the same upon seeing me in my bedtime outfit when arriving home from work; fearing I might be once again ill. Nevertheless, I'm sure it sometimes intrigued my father how his four-year-old could be so knowledgeable with the faces of local film stars -- Rosa Mia, Leopoldo Salcedo, Cesar Ramirez, Paraluman, Rogelio de la Rosa, and etc.

Although my mother intensely craved for bananas when she was pregnant with me, Tia Inez would rather starve to death than eat one. During the war, while holed up in some cave up in the mountain and surviving on a mostly banana diet, she may have suffered the perils of potassium or fiber overdose. Be that as it may, it was only Tia Inez who'd know for sure why she hated this fruit with a passion.

Incidentally, speaking of the war, Tia Inez proved her quickness with her feet when she outran and thereby escaped getting raped by a Japanese soldier at the start of the war and by a sex-starved American G.I. at the end of the war. Ironically, she ended up chasing away the man she chose to cozy up with for life. C'est la vie.

During my final two years of high school, whenever in Subic, I'd spend an hour or two visiting with Tia Inez. She remained occupied with dressmaking, smoking her cigarettes, and hosting evening card games at her house. Our times alone together needn't be laced with smart conversations. I'd usually browse through her collection of local magazines or read a pocket book I've brought along with me, while she worked that manual Singer sewing machine of hers with amazing precision -- just the two of us hanging out together at her house.

And before leaving her to join my cousins to Baloy or White Rock Beach,
just like with my mother, I'd bug her for a buck or two. But just like my mother, her initial reaction would always be tinged with overt annoyance; however, in the end she would give me even more than I asked for. Kids can be manipulative all right, and perhaps, my acting like one somehow actualized their wish for me not to grow up too fast too soon.

When I finally left Manila for New York, the first package I sent Tia Inez contained genuine Bicycle playing cards, which she loved and raved about. Sadly, I never saw her again; she passed away while I was in the States. But from what I was told, Tia Inez played the cards dealt to her by fate with admirable inner strength and peace until the very end.

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 9:36 PM | 34 comments

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


posted by Señor Enrique at 11:20 AM | 28 comments

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I was roused from sleep by the sound of creaking wood, as well as by the gentle yet highly unusual swaying of the bedroom. It felt as if I were aboard an ageing wooden boat. The thought of my father who was buried only a day or two immediately came to mind. I suspected that he might have returned to haunt us. But why in such horrific manner?

Suddenly my eldest brother, Junior, came to turn on the light in the bedroom. And with alarming urgency, he ushered me and my visiting cousins out of the bedroom and into the living room.
It was then I realized that this was something beyond some ghostly visitation.

Through the huge windows of the living room, what greeted me was an eerie sight: In the middle of the night, the whole neighborhood was up with their lights on; silently looking out their windows as if expecting a major parade about to pass.

And then suddenly, another tremor shook the earth. But this time, there were screams that echoed from every direction. We stood there terrified; others cried while crouched in a corner. My religious aunt repeatedly shrilled that the world was about to meet its apocalyptic end; heightening the already distressful situation. She finally stopped when Tia Inez hurled a rubber slipper at the back of her head.

It was August 2, 1968. An earthquake that registered 7.7 on the Richter scale hit Metro Manila and the rest of Central and Northern Luzon killing 1,700 people; injuring 3,000 individuals; and displacing 148,000 more in Luzon. Estimates of property and infrastructure damage were placed at $2 billion.

Manila was the hardest hit with reports of 268 people killed and 261 more injured. The buildings near the mouth of Pasig River with huge alluvial deposits suffered the most damages. Some of them were irreparable, while others required mere cosmetic mending.

But far from the river, over on Doroteo Jose and Teodora Alonzo streets in Sta. Cruz, Manila,
the six-story Ruby Tower apartment-building collapsed. Reports of 260 people buried alive by its rubble filled the headlines. Allegations ensued that the building was poorly built; that low-grade materials were used extensively in its construction. Soon thereafter, rumors emerged that its owners and builders hurriedly left the country to avoid criminal prosecutions.

And from that time on, on account of this disaster, every time I see a high-rise building being built, I always say a little prayer; hoping that a tragedy akin to Ruby Tower would never recur in Manila or anywhere else.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:43 AM | 54 comments

Monday, August 20, 2007


Now, here's an exciting photo contest that I found out from
Shutter Box Philippines:

Sponsored by the New York Institute of Photography, the contest's
overall theme is hometown -- the place where you currently reside or have lived or were born.

One of its four categories is Local Music, which I wonder if perhaps, I could submit the photo above. The other categories are Main Street, Faces in the Crowd, and Pets and Wildlife.

The winner in each contest category will receive a Nikon D-40x digital camera with two Nikkor lenses (18-55mm, 55-200mm), a $1000 retail value, and a Lensbaby 3G. The grand prize winner, on the other hand, will receive a 5-day trip to NYIP's hometown, New York City.

It is an international contest and therefore, open to all amateur and emerging professional photographers from anywhere. There is no entry fee, payment or purchase required. Contest duration is from July 9, 2007 to September 9, 2007.

As in any photo contest, all entries must be the contestant's original work -- either in color or black and white, and taken with any type of camera. Entries must be submitted digitally on in JPG or TIF format and
as low resolution files to prevent unauthorized copying or appropriation of the photograph. Full size files and/or photographic transparencies or negatives will be requested from selected finalists.

For more information, visit Shutter Box Philippines.


posted by Señor Enrique at 10:12 AM | 22 comments

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Woke up this morning convinced that the rains had finally subsided as evidenced by the sun peeking through the remaining dark clouds; however, at around nine, it started to rain once again. These five straight days of intense downpours may have solved our impending drought dilemma, but they can be a bummer as well. There's nothing to do but to stay inside the house and raid the fridge every now and then.

Some photography enthusiast friends made the best of the situation by going out to document the effects of this recent typhoon, but I wasn't one to join them. I've decided not to fill my consciousness with scenes of flooding and gloom; I've opted instead for images of bright, fun colors.

So for this Sunday's post, I've put together some photos that celebrate our local true colors with the hope that they help brighten your day as well.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:21 AM | 24 comments

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Anyone who does a walking tour of Manila's downtown areas -- Quiapo, Santa Cruz and Binondo -- I'm sure, will ultimately notice the ubiquitous presence of the city's hospitality industry. In certain locations alone, such as those within the university belt area, two or three hotels coexist within a 50-meter radius.

I sought refuge in one of these hotels. It was during my early days of exploring the city on my own shortly after moving here from New York; a time when my internal system still hasn't completely acclimated locally that even ices cubes (made from tap water) with a glass of soft drinks could cause serious diarrhea. And what made matters worse was that I am one of those unable to use just any public toilet -- a quirky habit that stemmed from childhood.

So, without any other recourse, lest I wanted to experience something that I would later regret with extreme shame, I checked myself into one of these hotels in great haste; asking the guy at the front desk to also get two bottles of Gatorade to send up to my room immediately.

After a couple of hours, when fully confident that I could at least cab it back home without any further threat of a sudden need to go to the bathroom, I turned off the TV and got ready to leave. Just then the phone rang. It was the guy at the front desk, asking if I were expecting a female guest. I said no and added that I was on way down to check out.

I did make it back home uneventfully.

A week later at some birthday party, I told my cousins about this almost catastrophically shameful experience. They were very much amused by it, especially the part in which I received a call from the front desk. Supposedly, it was a subtle, yet typical way of front desk personnel to ask their lone guests if some female company is desired. Turns out, it was a common practice at hotels of such caliber.

How convenient, I thought. No longer is there a need to roam the streets to search for a temporary partner for some warmth and comfort, especially during those chilly nights that come with the monsoon rains.

Nonetheless, I couldn't help but notice some irony in all this -- that despite the stringent stance of the church on lechery, Manilenyos, for the most part, remain to be a promiscuous lot; keeping the city's hospitality industry thriving in the process.


posted by Señor Enrique at 10:57 AM | 33 comments

Friday, August 17, 2007


These dolls were being sold by a street vendor right by the stairway of Quiapo's pedestrian underpass the other day. Despite their endearing looks, they somehow reminded me of the major toy recall that is going on in the States right now.

Discovering excessive amounts of lead used by its Chinese vendor, toy-maker Fisher-Price issued a worldwide recall of about 967,000 plastic preschool toys sold in the United States between May and August. This involves about 83 types of toys — including the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters.

It is a first recall by Fisher-Price Inc. (parent company of Mattel Inc.) that involves lead paint. Mattell is looking at about $30 million charge for this recent recall -- the largest for Mattel since 1998 when Fisher-Price had to recall about 10 million Power Wheels.

This is, undoubtedly, another alarming incident that only heightens global concern about the integrity of products manufactured in China.

And with all these recalled toys eventually heading back to China, I am most concerned that some Chinese smugglers might later try to slip most of which into some unwitting Asian markets.
God forbid we end up seeing some of these US-banned toys in Divisoria's 168 Mall, or out in the streets of Quiapo right by the stairway of the pedestrian underpass.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:56 AM | 34 comments

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Because of the three holes at its base that resemble a happy face, 15th-century Portuguese explorers named it coco, which means a grinning face. My brother Taba, on the other hand, thought of them as deadly projectiles; attributing the common cause of death amongst Filipinos to these falling giant nuts. It was a joke, of course, but he would deliver it with such a deadpan tone coupled with a serious look on his face.

He did it simply to tease a fellow Filipino co-worker and friend who would get mortified as he watched their American colleagues clinging to my brother's every word; horrified by the ghastly tale. To make matters worse, my brother would not recant. He would leave it to his friend to set the record straight if he so desired. But everyone would eventually realize that my brother was just being silly.

Like most people in the medical field, my brother espoused a peculiar sense of humor. But then again, while driving to Quezon Province once, I couldn't help but notice all those towering coconut trees that filled our southern landscape. All kidding aside, I did wonder how many people, in fact, met such violent and unexpected deaths from those falling coconuts.

My aunt's house in Subic (which is just as old as the one in the bottom photo), has a coconut tree right next to it. Certainly, every now and then, a coconut would suddenly land on the roof with such thunderous noise. Based on this startling sonic disturbance alone, I can only imagine the great damage that a falling coconut of such velocity can cause on someone's head.


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:49 AM | 32 comments

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


An alley too narrow for even a one way vehicular traffic -- between Claro M. Recto Avenue and Bilibid Viejo Street -- boasts affordable eateries that offer various local dishes from the ever popular adobo to grilled pork liempo.

There are typical budget meals that range in price from 20 pesos for a plate of rice and vegetables up to forty pesos for those combination plates with both grilled meat and vegetables; a small cup of broth often comes free of charge. But there are eateries that offer even lower-priced budget meals which includes a free glass of iced tea with every order. Moreover, mobile food vendors -- from sorbetes to fish balls -- also ply this alley to add even more variety to the already dizzying selections of available foodstuffs.

Students, workers, and some residents of the neighborhood patronize these eateries
from the early morning hours to past midnight. Besides the affordable prices, what makes this food alley even more appealing is the consistent efforts of establishment owners to keep this entire strip clean and safe for their patrons. And of course, there are videoke machines available for those students who wish to while away their free time between classes by singing a tune or two.


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:26 AM | 36 comments

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


THEME: BRIGHT CHILD: Karapatan nasa 'yo, Isigaw sa buong mundo!


The eyes have always been the window of our soul. Whether happy or
sad, vengeful or triumphant, the eyes can easily tell it out. No
matter how the mouth tries to deny it, the eyes can reveal the
secrets of the heart.

In this community, no matter how good and pleasant things might be in
the outside, it can not hide the fact that inside we are struggling
to free ourselves from the bondage of uncertainty. We are still
living in violence, poverty, graft and corruption and all the worst
things that the world can offer. It also reveals.

The children, no matter how young they are, no age can bar them from
being a carefree soul. They also do not lie.

The eyes, community and children have commonality. TRUTH.
Combining the three to come up with a cause is a task definitely a
photo contest will suffice. With this year's theme, "Bright Child:
Karapatan nasa 'yo, Isigaw sa buong Mundo!", photographers
professional and non-professionals are encouraged to join the photo
contest. With their cameras as their eyes, they will capture
community scenes that will best captivate the children's month theme.


The contest is open to all Filipino photo enthusiasts, amateur and
professional photographers in the Philippines. CWC officials and
staff, including the CWC Communication Committee Members and their
relatives are disqualified from joining the contest.


All entries must depict the theme "Bright Child: Karapatan nasa 'yo,
Isigaw sa Buong Mundo!". Photo should reflect Filipino children as
they enjoy their right to a family, rights to survival, development,
participation and protection. Previously published photos as well as
photos that have won in any national or international contest will
not be accepted in the contest.


Entries should be plainly 8" x 10" on photo paper. Inkjet print-outs
are not allowed. Borders are optional not to exceed one inch on any
side. Film or digital camera output on photo paper should be
processed by photo labs only. Alterations after exposure, digital
darkroom, painting, airbrushing, paste, on or assembly are not
allowed. No infrared. Only normal darkroom techniques such as
dodging, burning in and cropping are allowed. Any creative effect
must be done like camera at the time of exposure, such as multiple
exposure, flash fill, light painting, filtration, etc.


Only 2007 photo shots are allowed to join. Each entry must be
accompanied with a duly accomplished entry information sheet (to be
provided by CWC and also available on-line ph).
Information sheet includes:

1. full name of the photographer;
2. Age and Sex
3. complete mailing address;
4. telephone/ fax numbers;
5. tax identification number (TIN) or Community Tax Certificate (for
children participants, CTC or TIN of parents should be included
6. title of the entry (optional)
7. short description of the family/community in the submitted entry,
including, but not limited to the following:
name of the models;
site of the photo shoot

NOTE: Strictly one photo, one entry information sheet


There is no limit in the number of photo entry.


Entries must be received by CWC PAIO on or before Oct. 15, 2007. All
entries must be submitted to:

Public Affairs and Information Office
10 Apo St. Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City, 1114
(for inquiries- please contact-
Ms. Dey Gamboa/Ms. Len Macaraig at
Tel. nos. 781-1039 loc. 1006 or 781033 loc. 1005

Judging of entries will be on Oct. 18, 2007 at CWC Office, 10 Apo St.
Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City. Awarding of winners will be on Oct.
20, 2007 at SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City

First Prize : P30,000.00
Second Prize : P20,000.00
Third Prize : P10,000.00
4th-10th Prize : Consolation prizes

The top 30 entries will be given a Certificate of Recognition. All
prizes are subject to 10 per cent (10%) tax.


Top thirty (30) entries and other selected photos will be featured in
a special exhibit in one of the Malls in Metro Manila on October 19,
2007 in observance of Children's Month .

All entries CHOSEN FOR EXHIBIT shall provide the Council a soft copy
of the photo with a 300 dpi resolution, JPEG file. Winning entries
will become property of the CWC with all the rights and privileges to
use all these entries in information campaigns and with
acknowledgment of the concerned photographers without additional
compensation to the owners of photographs used. However, non-winning
entries may be claimed from CWC-PAIO after the photo contest.

The decision of the Board of Judges is final- No appeal shall be entertained.


posted by Señor Enrique at 9:05 AM | 10 comments

Monday, August 13, 2007


I was in Araneta Center's Gateway Mall yesterday for a business meeting. Afterwards, I asked the guys to walk with me to check out the Marikina Shoe Expo where I used to buy my shoes while a senior in high school.

In this tiny enclave is also Cubao X, a group of quaint shops reminiscent of New York City's Greenwich Village -- galleries, cafes, a bookshop, an Italian restaurant, a furniture shop, a toy store, and antique shops -- most of which are owned by artists . On weekday mornings, some of the shops are either quiet or closed, but from 4 pm onwards, the entire community begins to stir with life. This is because most of the artists who own these shops have day jobs to support their art.

And of course, there's still some shoe stores; most probably remnants of the original group of establishments that mainly occupied this area way back then.

But what I found most captivating was the row of children's shoes neatly displayed in front of one of the stores (bottom photo). They remind me of some of the shoes sold in the old favorite store of mine when I was a kid, Ang Tibay Shoes, in which I wrote an entry about,
"Ang Tibay Naman."

And what what makes this whole thing quite uncanny was that throughout the rest of the afternoon, I was saying to myself that I should have had this photo to go with the entry when I posted it back then. It would have been just perfect.

And then last night, a comment was posted on this previous entry, but it wasn't until this morning when I saw it. It reads:


I stumbled upon your post on google while researching on various information about Ang Tibay Shoes. I would first want to congratulate you on a wonderful entry. I am Lorenzo Teodoro, the great grand son of Don Toribio Teodoro. I am currently researching on more facts that are known about him on the internet. I come from the line of Francisco Teodoro (one of the sons you mentioned in your entry). He passed away the day after my birthday in December 2, 1993. Anyways, I would just like to add that Ang Tibay no longer exists, but they are now known as Good Fit shoes, but I am unaware of its success. Thank you so much for this info and it truly makes me proud to know that a lot of people do respect him for everything he has contributed to the country during his time. He still remains an inspiration to me.

Keep up the good work with your blog... its great!

Talk about Carl Jung's theory of synchronicity!

I must admit, Lorenzo's comment makes such a wonderful read, especially on this early Monday morning.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:13 AM | 34 comments

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The puddles have all dried up, while everything else has returned to its usual condition, though only a few days ago, life in the city and some northern provinces were once again disrupted by a tropical storm, Chedeng.

Motorists being stranded due to flooded roadways and schools suspended for two days were some of its adverse effects; however, PAGASA weather bureau chief Nathaniel Cruz said in a radio interview, "the good part about it is the winds are not too strong and it may bring the rain that we need.”

As widely reported, Metro Manila and western Luzon has been experiencing an alarming
dry spell expected to continue through August and September.

PAGASA, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration, claims an average of 20 tropical cyclones hits the Philippines every year; two to three typhoons are expected to hit the country this month, but so far, only two typhoons have entered the country. That is only 25 percent of the average for the period of January to July.

What we may be lacking in typhoons, PAGASA had compensated by having an ample supply of names prepared for them all the way to the year 2016. These names supposedly come in four-year cycles, which means typhoons in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013 will have the same names in alphabetical sequence.

Therefore, right after the recent typhoons, Chedeng and Dodong, the incoming one have already been assigned the names of Egay, Falcon, Goring (formerly Gilas), Hanna (Harurot), Ineng, Juaning, Kabayan, Lando (Lakay), Mina (Manang), Nonoy (Nina), Onyok, Pedring (Pogi), Quizel, Ramon (Roskas), Sandong (Sikat), Tisoy, Ursula, Viring, Weng, (Wang-Wang), Yoyoy, and Zigzag.

Historically speaking, cyclones used to be named after women as started by Australian weatherman C. Wragge before the end of the 19th century; whereas, before then, cyclones were arbitrarily named. Eventually, naming storms became so popular that military forecasters named storms after their wives and girlfriends.

In 1942, the United States press named a storm after President Truman and later on named another one after his wife Bess. For more on this trivia, check out Rudy Fernandez' article on Philippine Star, "Typhoon names? No shortage here."


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:40 AM | 22 comments

Friday, August 10, 2007


Mixed with juice -- orange, cranberry or lemonade -- vodka is my choice of drink during special occasions. I have no special preference for any specific brand, but I won't deny my penchant for Absolut, which I used to always have a bottle of in my freezer -- not for solitary drinking bouts during desolate times, but chilled and ready for when friends drop by during those bitter winter months of New York.

It isn't, however, an appropriate tropical drink, at least for me, for vodka tends to uncomfortably heat up my body. Discovered such unpleasantness when after a glass of Screw Driver, on a very muggy evening at home with some cousins, I had to suddenly excuse myself so I could take a lengthy shower to cool off. Ever since then, a bottle of San Mig Light has become more ideal during local soirees.

Incidentally, my fondness for the Absolut brand of vodkas may be largely attributed to its whimsical print ads that date back 25 years ago. Among its earliest was a signature silkscreen by pop artist Andy Warhol with the message "Absolut Warhol." There was also a golf green shaped like an Absolut bottle -- "Absolut 19th," and an art deco bottle -- "Absolut Miami."

There are supposedly 1,500 versions of print ads built around the shape of this bottle of Absolut, which was modeled after those vintage medicine bottles in Europe.

The print ads playfully made use of cultural icons, landmarks and trends with the bottle. They did, however, set the standard for today's high-style, image-oriented spirits advertising. There's even a book that covers the evolution of Absolut's print advertisements and the people behind the creation of the ads, which I wouldn't mind having a copy of.


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:44 AM | 38 comments

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Want to get published?

Mabuhay Magazine, the in-flight travel and lifestyle magazine of Philippine Airlines, is looking for photographs of the following:

- Trinoma Mall

- Alaminos, Pangasinan

- Las Piñas Bamboo Organ

- San Francisco restaurants

- Gangwon-do, Korea

Please send via email or drop off your photo CD to the attention of Ms. Ira Inquimboy at:

Eastgate Publishing Corp

Unit 704 Prestige Tower
Emerald Avenue, Ortigas Center
Metro Manila, Philippines

If you have any questions, just email Ms. Ira Inquimboy at

Incidentally, you may also ask for an appointment to show her your portfolio, but the photos that are important for them as of now are those listed above.

Good luck!


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:58 AM | 12 comments

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I rarely go to Greenbelt, but whenever I do, I always try to take a couple of snapshots here and there; discreetly, that is.

Much to my amazement, last weekend, the security guards never stopped me or my friends from taking some pictures. My friends were even shooting with gargantuan lenses yet all the security guards appeared unperturbed. And this was inside the mall. It was so much fun because Greenbelt is, unarguably, very photogenic, and taking pictures inside this mall or any property with the Ayala name attached to it has always been strictly prohibited.

On another note: When I returned to Manila after many years of absence, I was at first unsettled but eventually got used to the way some friends and relatives would sometimes set up appointments with either before or after lunch as the prime indicators. Coming from New York, I was more used to providing or being advised of a more precise meeting time. Come to think of it, I even show up earlier than expected at most times.

Nonetheless, instead of getting twisted about the way some locals conceive meeting times, I've learned to interpret before lunch as anytime between ten and noon; whereas, after lunch could be any time after 1:00 o'clock and the evening news broadcast.

Oh, well ...


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posted by Señor Enrique at 11:51 AM | 32 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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