recto and españa

Tuesday was a long day.  After finishing what I’m supposed to do and having lunch at 4:00 pm, it was time to attend to my addiction.  So here I was again on the train heading towards Carriedo with a backpack of overnight clothes and my camera.  It was getting dark, and I was more conscious of the backpack I was carrying than the camera hanging by my side.  It would have been a lot easier had I left the bag at home, but I haven’t checked in yet.  I was just on my way home, my brother’s home, that is.  Sometimes I wonder why some photographers out for a photo walk would bring their camera bags with them.  The bags attract too much unwanted attention and need to be checked every so often if the zippers are where you left them, whereas a camera can only be in one of two places.. with you or with somebody else.  Just keep it around waist level and they’re not that noticeable.  Ditch the Canon or Nikon straps and leave the lens cap at home.  I will probably share my notes about my experiences with street photography in the Philippines next time.

Recto is not a fancy place, but it probably was during its heyday.  This place probably hasn’t changed much over the years.  I was planning on taking photos of the diploma industry, but without a safe passage, I decided to walk on by and keep my scalp.

Street food, however, is fair game.

No, thank you, ma’am.  I just had dinner a couple of hours ago.  My stomach might not agree with what’s on the menu.  I still have a long walk home.

This is a better place to loiter on the sidewalk.  Brightly lit shops line up this part of Recto, and nearby, a university.

Services offered to students who might have spent the night with friends rather than finishing their school work.  I have not given any financial assistance to these researchers when I was in college and I’m proud of it.  If one has to pay for their services, better buy a college degree instead and save time with a newly printed diploma.

I walked past my college alma mater – the University of Santo Tomas.  Nothing much to be seen at this time of the night, and my knee was already begging for a rest.  I stopped for a while at this workshop by the sidewalk.

I didn’t bother Sadam; he might hit his finger with that miniature sledgehammer.

After a five minute break, it’s back to walking.

I stopped short of the railroad track and decided to take a jeepney ride home to Quezon City.  It was too dark at the crossing and I didn’t want anybody to take interest in my backpack.  (Technically, it is my son’s backpack.  I don’t own one.)  In it was my shirt for the next day.  I was in bad need of a change of clothes around that time.

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8 thoughts on “recto and españa

  1. wicked post really nice photos! I tried shooting in Quiapo last December. Imagine a Japanese white guy taking photos lol It was a good experience though, worth coming back there. One concern will probably be the safety issue… but it was all worth it.

    • thank you, Takeshi. Quiapo is a very interesting place for street photography. I try to find time to go there whenever I am in Manila. Yes, I can imagine what is going through your mind as you stop and take photos; and there are interesting subjects that we are just not sure if it is safe to photograph or not.

  2. just don’t tell my mom, Jack. I’m familiar with the territory, and I do take care to keep my camera out of sight except when shooting. It’s not as expensive as you think it is – it’s 3 year old entry level dslr with a peeling hand grip and a second hand 24mm lens. A lot of people carry more expensive iphones in their pockets. I hope I won’t ever have any bad experiences in any of my photo walks, and I guess acting confident does make miscreants think twice before doing anything. I do look people in the eye to keep them from looking at what I’m carrying, and of course, I smile at them.

  3. wow , orlando nice work again. and also i admire your guts. with expensive photographic equipments , walking at quapo, raon , azcarada ( recto ) at night time! plenty snatchers down there. any way , your big guy, they may not attempt . hehehe.

  4. I had my share of hanging around recto during my review classes in the early 90’s, I remember Isetann! But what really caught my eye was the LIWAYWAY and BISAYA magazines hehe I used to read them with comics when I was a kid… nice set!

    • thanks Twinkle. I spent a lot of time at Avenida hunting for bargain books while in college, and revisiting the place does bring back a lot of memories. I also used to walk the stretch from Abad Santos to Morayta to catch a ride home after playing tennis.

  5. Thank you once again for taking us for a walk in the big city. I had no idea that we make cowboy boots in the Phils. The silversmith’s craft is awesome. It is hard work and artistic skills learned by experience, so proud of them. Thank you for showing them to the world.

    • I have always thought that this was a run-down seedy side of Manila since I was in college and upon closer inspection, I realize that it is small pocket of humanity fighting for survival in a rapidly changing world. Time seemed to have stopped here.

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