And this has become evening walks with my camera…
It’s going to be dark for a little while longer…
Al fresco dining at downtown Tacloban, anyone?
I just met a friend who hasn’t yet found the inspiration to return to photography, and then I ask myself, am I really inspired when I do these weekly walks or am I just following a routine? Short answer: this has become routine, and then once in a while inspiration hits me from out of nowhere.
It’s almost midnight and I’m still doing a photo walk. Surely it’s not an addiction; I’ve skipped a few weekends here and there to make room for other activities and also to make sure that I don’t run out of subjects to photograph.
There’s really nothing new except for the haze that has covered the skies these past few days. I didn’t realize that it made for a really nice background.
On the left is the Tacloban City Convention Center, or Astrodome as it is called by locals. The lights on the right side is the city proper.
Fishermen are still out during this time of night to lay out their nets.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the bay…
Hot water for coffee or instant noodles and some chitchat by the fire side. The man’s wife is abroad, and by the way his story went, she has probably left him. One of his children works in Singapore and the another in Luzon. Still another is unemployed and has given him grandchildren to take care of. He is living with a different partner, saying that his life could have been wasted if he remained lonesome.
It’s twelve o’clock and all’s quiet.
Today we take a day off from the domestic drudgery and enjoy a race weekend for a change.
the registration desk
last minute prep
to the starting line
the final push
mountain bikes on tarmac
four wheel category
dancing to the finish line
the clean win
the michael jordan of biking
the fastest young biker
racing to the finish
5 laps to go
the water boy
Win some, lose some. It’s all part of the game.
Mondays are usually dreadful. Adding an activity to look forward to at the end of the day makes it a little bit bearable.
If only there was lighting in the courtyard, there would be less grumpy people in the neighborhood.
A boat sits on its dock. The fisherman empties it of water from the afternoon downpour and talks about stolen fish nets, debts and his sick child. It’s the usual sad tale and I’m counting my blessings.
It’s the children’s job to play.
on a roll..
The weary rests.
“Then you listen to the music
And you like sing along
You want to get the meaning
Out of each and every song
Then you find yourself a message
And some words to call your own
And take them home” – Bread
In a nondescript shack on a fine Sunday morning a few weeks ago, I came across a small workshop making spring roll wrappers.
Who doesn’t like spring rolls? or deep fried banana wrapped in these paper thin sheets of flour?
The repetitive choreography here was very much like a lesson taught by Mr. Miyagi – wax on, wax off.
There are no fixed working hours. A shift is equivalent to finishing 3 sacks of flour. That’s roughly 12 hours of work but the pay is ok.
Click here to watch the video.
Monday evening at the market.
The footwear section. Used shoes, slippers and sandals, still functional and affordable for everyone.
The vegetable section of the public market.
the entertainment department
The meat section is almost empty.
Port area during a freak thunderstorm.
At the transport terminal waiting for the last trip for the night.
I thought I needed to go somewhere new because everything is starting to look the same. It turns out that I just needed to change my schedule and free up Sundays for other things I enjoy, like a long morning bike ride.
Just around the corner from my house, a dressmaker’s shop long abandoned, a food vendor waiting for a big break or just to break even, and a flower shop that’s moving out.
College students, commuters and traffic stoppers.
A food cart by the pier, getting ready for the long night ahead.
I’ve always loved the glow from these pressure gas lanterns, reminds me of the time when we would light one up during those many nights of total blackout. Siblings and cousins would gather around the light and we had great conversations.
I didn’t know these people worked overtime.
These are Cinderella shoes.. they only come out at night.
I was planning on taking a few months off from these photo walks to use that time for other things. I don’t seem to have a reason for that now.
Today is walk alone and talk to no one day. Feels kind of weird after seeing this guy who is on a high from sniffing glue, all alone and talking to no one.
The second floor of an old decrepit building as seen through a hole in the wall of another decrepit building I was standing in, ravaged by that super typhoon and will probably never get repaired. These were big colonial houses during their prime, but are now nothing more than a pile of lumber being held together by rusty nails.
do not disturb, I’m busy
flowers for Jhadine
the balloon man must have been up all night.
There is money to be made in scrap metals, and more money if the metal is stripped and sorted by type. Iron, aluminum, bronze, copper or brass, each is priced differently and if care is not taken in the segregation process, the cheapest material in the lot determines the buying price.
Buying and selling scrap metal is very much like any other business. The chain starts with pickers who scour garbage dumps for any scrap of metal they can find, then the small consolidators who buy from the pickers. These consolidators are the ones who strip and sort the collected junk and sell them to junkyards, which in turn ships them to larger consolidators who prepare the shipment to more consolidators before the scrap metal finally reaches a recycling facility, then to factories that convert the recycled metal to new products to be sold to consumers. As new and better products become available, old, obsolete and usually non-working items are thrown into the garbage bins for the pickers to collect.
This is how metal is stripped – by hand.
This pile of scrap took more than 2 trips to the breakfast buffet table to finish.
Electrical wires, taken from just about anywhere and sold for less than the price of one Starbucks coffee.
This sale would buy just enough rice for lunch.
Part of the sorting process is cutting off the contact terminals still attached to the wires.
No more second chances for these bikes. They will be cut up and hand stripped of every piece of metal for recycling.
It seems like I’ve already shot everything there is to see here in this city, until today. We’ve had 2 festival parades last week (finally!). I took photos during one of the parades but I’m drawing a blank, given the fact that I’ve grown less interested in anything artificial or staged. I skipped the other parade. The lack of connection to the subject is the very reason why I didn’t bother to write about it. Hopefully next year will be different.