Peculiar Memories of the Philippines

Driving up Martinez Avenue in the City of Mandaluyong ( both sides of the road are framed by several concrete walls each one containing about fifty to a hundred electric meter readers with tentacles of electricity wires feeding power to thousands of poor households. Both sides of Martinez Avenue have about four feet high iron fences that separate the sidewalk from the street. Foolhardy children play with their friends while sitting on top of the fences unfettered; their back against the busy traffic.

From Martinez Avenue going to Makati as one turns left at the corner of San Francisco St. and J.P. Rizal is a building with a pink color and where a security guard chatted with this other macho man.

Across the Pasig River, viewed from the Power Plant Mall at J.P. Rizal Avenue, is Noah’s abandoned sugar refinery (perhaps it can still withstand another flood).

In Makati City, tens of street corners have altars for the Blessed Virgin Mary. I was amused seeing one altar framed by the roof of a store with a rum billboard.  As I was taking its photo, a boy eagerly requested me to include him in the picture. I obliged and took a photo only to realize that the boy’s eagerness contrasted with the indifference of an old man seated at the store’s front.

In the town of Paete, Laguna, a statue of the Virgin Mary holds a wanted sales lady announcement.

A pizza delivery man hurries to  transport a customer’s order as he parks his motorcycle in slow down corner in front of a building that has been in construction (since 2005) for more than five years.

Pizza companies post their advertisements on the walls of some houses (perhaps to openly avoid paying the government billboard fees).

As I walked the streets back in Makati, I saw this anxious old lady sitting in front of a rundown pink-colored apartment with an advertisement for a luxury condominium.

Pink seems to be a favorite color of a lot of Metropolitan Manila’s ubiquitous neighborhood stores where one can buy prepaid phone cards.

The poorest of the poor could not care less about painting their houses.  I noticed this boy in Angono, Rizal who was peering at the roof of his outhouse (or was it his house?).

In Cardona by the Laguna Lake, a trio of boys inspected a sunken boat on top of which a small banca was stuck.

In my hometown, a nipa hut that has no stairs stands sadly abandoned at the seashore mangrove swamp.

In the Mountain Province, children walk for miles each weekday; climbing up and then down the pathways of lush green rice terraces to go to school and back home.

See for photos