Friday, December 31, 2010

Hot feet

Hot feet

Yeah, the firecrackers are already being set off all over our neighborhood, making it sound like a warzone. Like this scene I captured during the Chinese New Year, let's hope that people avoid the dangerous explosions and have a safe and joyous New Year's celebration.


*A child sits on the shoulders of an adult who darts across the street to avoid unexploded firecrackers.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the year after

Each of us have our own Christmas stories, and regardless of social pressure, not all must involve Christmas trees, Noche Buena, and gifts to be unwrapped come Christmas eve.

Not yet over though, better get ready for the fireworks.

Chinatown road after the fireworks


*Ongpin St. after the fireworks during the 2010 Valentines/Chinese New Year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Day After

The Day after Christmas

As the festivities wind down and the music stops playing, hard reality again sinks in. We witness how everyday so many go without adequate food and shelter in a land of plenty. Like this young boy playing with his precious toys, the day after Christmas.


*Along Mindanao Ave.

Friday, December 24, 2010

tap, tap, tap

band conductor at trinoma landmark

Music plays a special role in the spirit of Christmas. They are like heralds announcing its coming as you walk along, minding your business. Halloween only has visual cues, with the costumes and scary decorations. But Christmas? You hear Jose Mari Chan and his daughter sing what's truly in our hearts and you know there is no escaping it. It's coming, whether we like it or not.

Choirs give Christmas a holy perspective. And bands, a formality that it is an event worth celebrating. Christmas songs on the radio condition you, and carolers are like alarm clocks reminding you of something you already know.

Oh, and Yoyoy Villame is also all year round, too. :)


*Band Conductor at the Landmark food court in Trinoma.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Union Station musicians


Like the drummer boy in your photo, the various sounds of the holidays can be bittersweet. Other times, the music can be lively and joyous. And sometimes, in the spirit of this painting by Edward Ruscha, the music can be comic and absurd. For what's the holidays without hearing at least one Yoyoy Villame song?


*At Union Square Station and the MOMA

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

pa rum pum pum pum

True. And goodwill and generosity should not come only when a newborn king is here to see.

Little drummer boys are all year round.

little drummer boy


Monday, December 20, 2010

Barely hanging on

Barely hanging on

And for others, the holidays aren't really a time of celebration and leisure because food and a place to live are hard to come by. Although, maybe, the goodwill and generosity of some can help the less fortunate feel something of the holidays, even for a short while. Or better yet, people can take a stance against policies that create the conditions for poverty to flourish.


*An elderly woman begging at the stairs of an underpass in Manila.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


But those exit signs are for emergency purposes only, right?

For some, they are like this Sales Lady on the jeep. She just rides along. Inevitably she'll pass by Christmas and New Year, but they are not her stop.

SalesLady on Saint James-C5 Jeep


*Sales Lady at a Saint James-C5 jeep

Saturday, December 18, 2010

No Exit

No Exit

Just the thought of Christmas and the impending New Year's celebrations (with the nonstop firecrackers, smoke, noise, and other annoyances) makes me feel like this woman. She stands in a direction opposite from the arrow, defiant to convention.


*At the MOMA

Thursday, December 16, 2010


And here's our Santa Claus to scare the carolers away.

scary santa

It's not that I hate Christmas carolers, it's that carolers nowadays border on being beggars, not making any effort to sing or finish their songs, but expect you to give them money just because.

What I do is tell them to finish their song, ask for more, and that's when I see the fun in caroling. And they do, too. Then I give them their pamasko.

Whew, for a moment there I thought I'd become a Scrooge :)


*Santa Claus decor at the gate of "Santa's House" on Policarpio Street at Mandaluyong.
**Thanks to Boom for getting the idea to pass by while we were in the area.

Decor Galore

Policarpio St.

Reindeer in the Philippines

I like our online Christmas tree! At least you've put traffic lights to good use in that image. As for us not putting up any Christmas decorations yet, well, maybe viewing these scenes from Policarpio St., Mandaluyong, can make up for it.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

slave to the decor

Hey dear, we haven't made our home "christmasy" yet. We don't even have a Christmas tree!

Wait, let me get a shot of Quezon Avenue traffic...

Delta-Quezon Ave. traffic

There you go. Now all it needs is a star on top. Wait a moment...

Delta-Quezon Ave. traffic with star

There. Our online Christmas tree.


*Quezon Avenue traffic near Delta.



Ballet at the mall

Me? I'd rather leap off the stage and wear loose clothing. Not that I have anything against the costumes worn by ballet dancers, who dance exquisitely and look spectacular. Their artistry and technique are wonderful to behold and capture, even if briefly, at this odd angle. By performing parts of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker at a mall, they reach out to ordinary people who have probably never seen ballet live before. I can imagine how some young girls and boys in the crowd would be inspired by seeing such beautiful dancers.

But this does mean that the holidays are just around the corner. For better or for worse.


*At Trinoma mall over the weekend

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Curtain call

trinoma nutcracker ballet presentation

Just in time for our cue this holiday season.

But is the world our stage, or is the world the one watching us on a stage?

And are you required to wear a tutu, and me tights, to do ballet?


*Nutcracker presentation at Trinoma

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Past, Present, Future

Past, present, future

Me, too. And I'm glad to be out again with you, taking photos, learning, and exploring the stories and multifaceted sights around us.


Thursday, December 9, 2010


I'll resist replying to you with any of Newton's three laws of motion.

I'm just glad you're back :)


Standing still

At sunset

After all this traveling, I am finally standing still. My body clock and eyes adjust to the changes in time and light, and I am caught again in linguistic shifts. As I familiarize myself with the familiar, I realize that standing still is only momentary. Even in stillness, one can move forward.


*Taken at the Getty Museum, with the sound of U2's Running to Stand Still in my head.

Monday, December 6, 2010

In Transit

in-between mrt cubao

Hey dear,

Don't forget to catch your plane. Unlike the MRT, it's harder to catch the next ride with airplanes.

So says the MRT expert.


*In between MRT coaches at MRT Station Cubao.

Friday, December 3, 2010

sharing the sky

batangas sunrise
Can't wait too for the sun to rise with you beside me.


And not a moment too soon, as I need a sub petting the cats.

Lunar connections


I take comfort in the night, knowing that you are awake and going about with your daily life. I take comfort in the moon, knowing that it is the same moon that you see and love, at the end of your day. Just as I do.


*At the Getty