Manila, Philippines

From the top of Manila Fo Guang Shan Buddhist temple, where I’ve spent about a month during our 4-month temple stay in the Philippines, you could overlook the country’s capital, and the sunset time was the best. If you were lucky enough and the evenings weren’t cloudy, you could see how the sun sinks into the waters of Manila Bay. I wasn’t that lucky.

At least, on the day these photographs were taken. At that time the only photo camera I had was the 2mpx camera of my Nokia N70, and the quality of the pictures wasn’t that good. So I decided to use some filters to make them looking more or less suitable for sharing here.

Manila (not the city itself, but the National Capital Region) is a huge metropolitan area, noisy, dusty, crowdy, and yet, despite trying to always avoid the big cities during my trip to Asia, I liked it a lot. There was something special in the feeling of wakling on the streets and through the noise and the dust to see how the capital and its people lived.

On the photo above is the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Actually, it’s the baseball stadium, but right next to it you can find the football stadium, where back in 1966, on July 4th, The Beatles performed the only live show during their unfortunate visit to the Philippines. The first lady, Imelda Marcos, was expecting them to attend a breakfast at the presidential palace, and when they didn’t show up she got angry, which caused some hard time to the band and they had to leave the country immediately, vowing to never come back.

But that was back in 1960s. Almost 20 years later the Marcos regime was overthrown during the EDSA Revolution of 1986 and the Marcos family fled to Hawaii. Today, walking on the streets of Manila, you can often meet people (of young and old age) wearing t-shirts with The Bealtes images. The band is still very popular in the Philippines.

Manila seemed too crazy to me, and I guess that’s what I liked a lot about it. And in some ways it even reminded me the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. This may sound strange, but at least, that’s how I felt. My favourite place was the Manila Bay. I could walk along the Roxas Blvrd. for hours, reaching Intramuros, and then back. Also China Town. And Intramuros itself.

There’s still so much to tell about Manila and I’ll take my time to share thoughts and feeling about the city in other posts. As of now, that’s all.


5 thoughts on “Manila, Philippines

  1. I’m so happy you finally posted! How’d you been?

    The filter you used for those photographs look good, and actually makes it appear as if you were there in the 1960s ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have a love-hate relationship with Manila, and I agree with you, it’s a crazy and interesting place!

    • Hey, yeah, it’s been long since I posted anything last time ๐Ÿ™‚ I was mainly overloaded with the job I’ve got in Armenia, and had no time for the blog, but will try to be more active here ๐Ÿ™‚ And what about you?)

      Thanks, it’s the first time I use filter, kind of an experiment ๐Ÿ™‚ And indeed, it gives the feeling of 60s/ I think it’s the same for me, love-hate relationship with Manila. Because it’s just so different.

  2. Hello, I’m from the Philippines and it’s always refreshing to read a foreigner’s insight on our crazy capital. Personally I try to avoid Manila if I can, currently staying in Quezon City.

    • Hey, nice meeting you. Stumbled upon your blog while googling the Potipot island. Interesting blog ๐Ÿ™‚

      Well, I understand why you try to avoid Manila, but I myself totally loved it ๐Ÿ™‚
      I stayed in Mandaluyong for about 2 months ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Pingback: Photographs. On The Road: Philippines. Vol. 1 | On The Road

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