The Tragic Beauty of Manila

Manila, the Philippines

May 3, 2010

There was no better way to know a city than by walking its streets. Though I had walked and known other cities, I was not inclined to accord the same intimacy to Manila, the city I worked in but would rather not walk in. There was always something that kept me off its streets: the mundane grind of real life perhaps, or the grime, crime, and grinding poverty. However, one sun-baked afternoon, cabin fever lured my friend and me outdoors to pound the city’s pavement.

A Calesa on the Sidewalk in Manila

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Lent in Lucban

Lucban, Quezon Province, the Philippines

March 27, 2010

“What is the Matrix?” asks Neo, the famous Keanu Reeves character. The answer is out there – in old Philippine towns where streets radiate out in gridiron pattern from the four corners of a central plaza, marked by a huge stone cathedral. No less than King Phillip II of Spain, whom the Philippines was named after, legislated such geometric town planning in all colonial communities in the Americas and beyond.

Old House in Lucban, Quezon

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