Binondo, Manila is said to be the world’s oldest Chinatown. It was established by the Spanish in the 1500’s, but was already a bustling spot for commerce between locals and Chinese traders way before the Philippines’ colonization. It’s also one of the most textured and cultural areas of Manila, in my opinion, with its diverse scenery and frenetic energy. Grand old Spanish buildings sit side by side with tacky contemporary storefronts. Display windows feature random assortments of Chinese products, while street vendors roll carts piled high with produce. Kalesas, traditional Filipino horse-drawn carriages, weave through tricycles and pedicabs. And the sea of people penetrates every cranny.
These photos were taken around Binondo during a photo walk I did with university friends back in 2008. (Yes, these have been sitting idly in my hard drive for almost ten years!) They were taken with expired Fujifilm Superia 200, which underwent ordinary film processing, and a Canon Rebel G. The developed film was then scanned to create these digital images. To be honest, these aren’t always the best composed shots I’ve taken, but I really love the grains and striations in the end result. I think its texture perfectly captures the vaguely faded, discolored, and very gritty atmosphere definitive of Binondo itself.
Spanish architecture at the corner of Ongpin street
Pedicabs are passenger bicycles with attached cabs, like this one whizzing by.
Old buildings along Binondo
Freshly cooked chestnuts and peanuts along the road
Apples for sale!
Commuting around Binondo
Commuting around Binondo 2
Blues and reds
Fortune plants are considered to be lucky charms
Boy at rest
Stocks stacked in an alleyway
A kalesa driver looks around between rides
Kids love cameras in the Philippines
Playing in the streets
Rays of light
This is a collection of photos taken around BC and a few in Alberta, Canada between the 17th of April, 2016 and the 2nd of April, 2017. During that time I made a total of four visits, coincidentally one for each season of the year, and stayed for six months all told. Continue reading “British Columbia in Four Seasons”
Just like Japan, and most other developed countries, I love how South Korea could straddle both their history and their progress while letting both sides of their identity shine. During my visit, I was able to see many chapters of their story as well as the different personalities they took on over time. Continue reading “Postcards from South Korea”
We landed in Incheon, South Korea the day after Christmas. Still high from the festivities from home, we anticipated winter like children about to receive their presents at Christmas morning. It had become my family’s thing, after all, to chase the cold whenever we can. Just the past year we went on a winter trip to Japan and loved every minute of it. In 2015 I also got to see snow for the first time during my visit to Canada. Those trips confirmed my long-standing belief that I preferred the cold over the tropical heat I grew up with. Continue reading “Winter Wanders in Seoul”
Revillagigedo Archipelago, Mexico.
For the best experience, watch full-screen with headphones.
It’s a short creative non-fiction piece on the diversity of the Philippine diaspora. You can find it here.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on it too. Leave it at the comments section below.
It was 3pm. The Mexican sun was scorching hot as we stood on the empty dock at the Puerto Los Cabos Marina. We were supposed to board the boat now. But it was nowhere in sight. Continue reading “The Nautilus Explorer”
I woke up early that morning with some jitters in my belly. I would be snorkeling with sea lions today. And while I’m never one to say no to adventure, I always find myself asking “Is this going to kill me?”.
Continue reading “Aquatic Adventures in the Sea of Cortez”
The heat hit me like a brick wall the moment I exited the San Jose del Cabo Airport. I heard Mexico’s air was supposed to be dry, but the humidity was so thick it felt solid when I breathed. All too familiar, I thought. Like I was back home again. Continue reading “5-Day Daze in Baja California Sur”
That’s right, I just got a photo published on Lonely Planet Traveller’s November issue. It’s a photo of a farmer’s market in the Okanagan Valley, which was included in their monthly Instagram picks for #LPPostcards. Continue reading “I got published on Lonely Planet Traveller!”