Thursday, August 07, 2008


Right on the same corner as where Mang Inasal is located was the sight of this man working on I'm not sure, though, whether electrical, telephone or cable TV line. But how he was able to pick out the specific cable for him to work on was rather astonishing, I thought.

Bernadette remarked on my previous post, "T
he only thing I really find shabby with Manila are the spaghetti electric wires -- as well as isn't it like walking under probable electrocution? Sorry for the sordid thought but I usually find myself thinking like this when I'm there!"

She has good reasons to air such sentiment because the noodle-like cables that hang from our street posts are not only ugly to look at but they pose potential perilous threats, especially during severe typhoons. Only recently, a 9-year-old boy was electrocuted after he came into contact with a dangling live wire in Port Area, Manila. Certainly, there have been many similar tragic cases all over the city.

Actually, I had to give up altogether my plan to take a series of photographs of Manila's remaining old wooden houses because these wires obscure my intended subjects. Neither do I have Photoshop and the required patience to erase each cable line from the photograph as other fellow photographers had done.

Nevertheless, there are those like
Sidney Snoeck who had found some beauty in them. Check out his series, Cables and Wires.

* * *

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 2:46 PM


Blogger nutart said...

Thank you, Eric, for a special mention :-)!

I find these men (those who work nonchalantly amids all the peril their works entail) quite fascinating, funny and quirky. Imagine...going all through those wires! Is this it or is it not? Maybe trifling with it and some other establishment or house gets a brownout! :-). He doesn't seem to be in a Meralco uniform...

Rockwell, for instance, looks so urbane and classy. Why? No electric wires!

Merlaco should start organizing dem wires! Maraming jumpers o colorum kasi?

August 07, 2008 4:55 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

These hanging wires are obviously the result of Manila's lack of a master plan, which could have been implemented from the onset of the American colonial period.

Nonetheless, Manhattan is also free of hanging wires, Bernadette, but New York City's other boroughs have them -- Staten Island, Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn; however, unlike in Manila, they aren't as nasty looking :)

August 07, 2008 5:21 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Growing up in Manila, Meralco wires were always the obstacles in our kite flying adventures on the empty lots of Sampaloc. The kids who risked the dangers of climbing the supposedly galvanized but rusting rooftops(is it because of acid rain then!) always had the advantage of securing their kite's fly zones first as opposed to us taking so much time trying to maneuver our fancy kites to fly over and around these pesky meralco wires! Does Meralco have any control over the illegally connected wires? but i guess that's the Manila I know, without those hanging Meralco wires, it wouldn't be the same.

August 08, 2008 12:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Eric....hanging wires/cables equals poverty/very poor neighborhood, goes hand in hand. We only wonder who's next to death row, it's just a saddening view.

A friend who has a house in Baguio found out only a year ago his caretaker let most of his neighbors
tampered with his waterpipes. It actually looks like those wires only in assorted pipe forms going in every direction. Caretaker was collecting water fees but corrupt ways was short-lived and let go.
H2O thievery at least is hazzard free but it should not be encourage. Then again, we go back to the word "survival mode". Que sera, sera na naman and life goes on. Cheers to you and goodhealth.

August 08, 2008 1:38 AM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

cloning the wires one by one is really a tedious task and it takes away from the photograph i thought.

ako din takot ako sa ganyan, i may not even walk under it.

August 08, 2008 4:09 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Photo Cache, in serious documentation, the photograph may lose its integrity once digitally manipulated as with the cloning feature of Photoshop.

Naku, with hanging wires all over Manila, you may end up not walking its streets anymore ... hehehe.

August 08, 2008 7:31 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hi Eric,

These Meralco post & cables can be use for parlor games pag may Fiesta. The organizers will cut the black cables, so there will be brownout in the city. The contestants will climb the Meralco post in total darkness, "palo sebo style" the first to reached the top, will have to figure it out which of one of these thousands of cables was once connected. The first person who can connect the right wire & turn on the city's lights, will be the winner!!!

The next contest, will be the same game, but this time the contest will only be open to "Pilipino Politicians" at hindi sila gagamit ng "safety rubber gloves"

Padagdag ng padagdag ang mga malabrasong kableng itim na ito!!! Pretty soon wala ka nang makikitang langit, wala ng araw, kung 'di gabi-gabi!

...teka, parang may kantang ganoon 'di ba?
ka tony

August 08, 2008 7:39 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I almost forgot, Pete -- kite flying and those damn wires!

I remember when we used to wait for the kites from dog fighting and run after them but only for them to get tangled in those electrical wires. You should have seen the disgust on our faces ... hehehe.

August 08, 2008 8:34 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi TruBlue, how you been?

They do the same thing with electricity but the penalty if discovered could be very steep. Yet, it doesn't prevent families from illegally tapping into them. Electricity rates are even higher here than in New York City. Amzing ain't it? But the water rates aren't all that expensive; nonetheless, it's free in NYC.

August 08, 2008 8:37 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol...nice game indeed, Ka Tony! I'm for it :)

August 08, 2008 8:38 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

Hahaha! maganda nga yung mga politicians ang dapat umakyat sa poste na walang gloves to prove that they are sincere in working as public servants of the people. :lol:
City planning is what we lack of after the Americans let us control our destiny. Inuna pa ng mga pulitiko na pagandahin ang ari-arian nila at patabain ang kanilang mga bulsa.
Malaking project yan ilabaon ang mga cable ng kuryente at telepono.
Doable? Yes, anyone can with the right funding and good tech. knowhow. Kahit na binabaha ang Manila, kayang ibaon yan.(Magastos nga lang) :D
Naalala ko tuloy yung taga squatter area na umakyat sa poste ng subdivision namin to hook up his jumper cable, paghagis niya, kumagat, sa tuwa niya, kumaway siya towards his house, kaso nadulas yung isang kamay niya, plakda siya buti na lang sa lupa siya bumagsak at yung mga alalay niya pinagtawanan pa siya until the Barangay tagay pick him up and take him to their HQ. hahaha... ang kapal talaga, maraming nanunood sa kanya, including me, parang bale wala lang yung kalokohan na ginagawa nila.

August 08, 2008 12:05 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Although I am on a blog hiatus due to personal reasons there are some blogs I can’t do without. “Wish you were here” is one of them. From active participant I became a lurker. The Inq. Net, Carlos Celdran’s blog, Manuel Quezon’s and yours are the ones I almost automatically open each day.
“Wish you were here” gives me Manila news in a unique way. Citizen journalism at its best. Keep going, Eric.
And of course thank you for the “cable” link.

August 08, 2008 5:59 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I remain on denial mode, Sidney, to this day. I guess, your absence in the blogosphere is not acceptable. Your insight and perspective on this city that I love -- which you share with your readers -- are truly praiseworthy; not to mention that your photographs mainly inspired me to delve into photojournalism.

Be that as it may, I trust everything is now fine with you, and that we should expect soon to see your next series of photographs. But until then, we will keep enjoying those in your site's archives.


August 09, 2008 7:56 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"Naalala ko tuloy yung taga squatter area na umakyat sa poste ng subdivision namin to hook up his jumper cable, paghagis niya, kumagat, sa tuwa niya, kumaway siya towards his house, kaso nadulas yung isang kamay niya, plakda siya buti na lang sa lupa siya bumagsak at yung mga alalay niya pinagtawanan pa siya until the Barangay tagay pick him up and take him to their HQ. hahaha... ang kapal talaga, maraming nanunood sa kanya, including me, parang bale wala lang yung kalokohan na ginagawa nila."

I couldn't help but laugh heartily on this one, Reyd! You described the scene so well :)

August 09, 2008 7:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take note of Urbano's comment in Sidney's entry on wires. Speaking of Sidney, whoa he's here!

August 12, 2008 9:35 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hmmmm... went to that particular comment section but didn't see Urbano's remarks, Dave. Would have liked to see what he has to say about these hanging wires.

August 13, 2008 8:10 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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