PHOTOwalker's photowalk - June 7

I was invited by my friend photographer to a group called PHOTOwalkers lead by Jhong Dizon.  They created this event called Photowalk for a Cause in Binondo, Manila.  Photographers would contribute a small amount and have this to treat the people with food.
Being available for that day and the rains has stopped. I decided to go and experience my first photowalk.








I was reluctant to go due to poor weather of previous days but miraculously the rain has stopped in the early morning.  I took it as a sign and set myself up for the photowalk.
Heading out the village, I noticed this sign of our neighbor.  I was attracted to the crude signage which  could easily fall-off with wind and rain.

To explain, there are fish vendors in the morning going around the village.  The vendors must have this area a favorite place to dump excess water from the melted ice in their pails of fish.
Interestingly, no one is there in front of Quiapo church as I was even late for 30 minutes of the registration period.  I went around to take some photos.

This is the statue of the Black Nazarene where many people believed in.  Devotees pull out their handkerchiefs or towels then wipe it on statues hands.  
I could not recall the last time I went here but I'm sure Jollibee isn't here that time.
It's location couldn't be anymore better than being nearby a popular church as it is open 24/7.

I also haven't seen this before maybe because it is mobile being on a Mitsubishi L300 which is a pretty good idea as they don't need to pay rent, probably, only taxes to the local government.

The clouds has thickened and covered the sun which resulted into cold colors even if it is the jolly Jollibee sign.


By now, a few photographers gathered  in front of the church, waiting to get started.

It is conducive for sleeping, even for dogs, with a weather like this.



 A government vehicle.

I took more photos as we waited for the other photographers and organizers.

It started to rain and everyone took shelter.  This girl  with a baby stroller has it covered with clear plastic to protect what's underneath it from the rain.
Fortune Telling in Quiapo church never goes out of style.  It's probably because of its cheap and inspiring form of entertainment where people of all ages will appreciate.
The girl with the baby stroller earlier is done with her task and had this clothes pin on her lip.
I'm a bit saddened at the sight of left over food in the street because there are people who can't have complete meals for the day.  It kept me wondering what type of person who could have left it here.
The rain got even stronger and there's nothing else to do but avoid getting wet. This guy, relaxed on his seat got momentarily got a hot coffee from someone on a styrofoam cup which got me envious as it would have been perfect.
Hiding under an umbrella, this is the view behind me which got me interested because the items were colorful.
 The sun, peeking from the clouds.
I got mixed emotions of this sight because the small kid clearly needs clothes, attention and care but seemingly it was bliss to him.


The rain has weakened and amazingly the dog did not budged.
The building behind him is new and just nearing completion.

The rains has definitely stopped and photographers gathered. Some children joined in, interested in our activity.





By now, the organizers and other photographers came and started the event.  We were asked to group ourselves into five to the photowalk, refrain from going too far, and comeback at 11 AM.

Most of the attendees know each other and grouped themselves easily.  Unfortunately, my friend who invited me wasn't able to attend due to a photoshoot in Baler, Aurora which I just learned that morning.

This photo of the crew of Geek TV, covering the simple event.



I could easily join other groups, but I took that as an opportunity to do the photowalk myself since it would be pretty hard to get a genuine or rare street photo in a group especially when they have huge camera gear with them.

The weather got too good as the sun strikingly hot on our black t-shirts.

I walked pretty far from the church, easily violating the guideline to not go too far. I came across this with various items entirely made from Rattan.
 Parked, heavy equipment.

 Residence to a small family.



 Stalled, government road project.


This photo has plenty of interesting detail.

A person must be very tired to be able to sleep on a staircase.

How could a person sleep so restricted  despite having all the space?
Some of the church goers have bags filled probably filled with clothes as they might have come from or going to nearby provinces.
The little kid has this interesting look on her face which could have come from veteran street vendors.

Street vendors dominate all the walking areas to ensure sales.

The sleeping kid on the stairs earlier, has a new sleeping position? How could he?


 Old men with differing status in life.
 This must have been busy during weekdays.
This vendor is classy with aluminum and glass container keeping the nice and thinly cut watermelons fresh. He even bothered to paint his cart with a bright, red color.

The watermelon type is also of the more expensive one which seems to me a seedless one.

Back in the day, movies are advertised through these large but simple paintings as economical large format printing is only recent.
Girls with mothers of similar tastes in clothes.
I was following this old man with a two wheeler as the wheels seem larger than usual.
At his destination, I found this.  No wonder the wheels were big as the weight of the object he's shipping is also big.

He must be a hard working man for this type of job.

Before I could get noticed  by the public taking photos, I walked away from the ice man, and went for this bridge.

This bridge has the familiar umbrellas which tells me that it is filled with vendors.
The bridge has actually a specialization, as vendors sell similar products of this type.
This is a cropped image where it happens to have the old woman vendor in the frame.  The woman was hysterical once she saw me with a camera.  She has accused me of taking videos of her wares and started to throwing curses at me on a loud voice.
I guess that's what I get for taking risk and too far from the set area of the photowalk.

As I walked swiftly and not turning back at the bridge, I was headed to Raon, the popular area for everything electronics and equipment. I came across this restaurant with photos of celebrities at the entrance. I just forgot what they sell though.

 Vendors with loud speakers to pitch their products.
Right after this photo, I took a break and ate my sandwich from my bag.  I was really thrifty to eat that sandwich because I was just standing next to a Mang Inasal restaurant which I could order a meal with unlimited rice.

After my sandwich, an unfortunate event was almost to happen to me.  As I was heading back to the church, on the streets, I saw a bystander had his eyes locked on my small and unassuming digital camera on my hand and immediately started walking to my direction.

He being so focused on it, did not noticed my eyes looking at him.  When he started following me, I quickly kept my camera into my small bag and walked swiftly as I can.

Fortunately, nothing happened but I was just disappointed that people in the early morning take interest on an item that has little value. Smartphones have more value than the camera I brought.  This happened in an area around Raon though, as the one in Quiapo church and Hidalgo St., seems a lot a safer.






Photographers are starting to gather for the agreed time to meet up and share the photos they got.





Here's a signage of the government's war against vendors of contraceptive drugs.



As we wait for the photographers, kids with bicycles  appeared and showed off their skills with it.

This front of Quiapo church has well improved through the years.  Not only it has attracted various activities and people, but various TV programs come in and use the area do some tapings.
 Different sets of wheels.
 These man and the man's best friend has their stories.

 A man trying to aid the arriving bus.



The woman in red has attracted fellow photographers with her distinct lines and wrinkles on her face.









The organizers were still busy with public relations with fellow photographers so I took these set of flames from the wishing candles.

 A statue of Christ being transported.



The organizers finally gathered everyone and asked them to show their best photos. Three chosen photos will be given simple prices such as t-shirts.

After the small competition, we had various group photos.  Also, a professional photographer came in,  I think it is Joel who gave practical tips for street photography.
His ideas and advice are sound to which I'm glad he shared with us.

They had planned of doing the cause at around 1 PM but I decided to get home so I could manage to have lunch there.

Through photos they posted on the Facebook PHOTOwalker's page, I managed to see the people in the cause given with food and was glad to see them enjoy it.
Arriving at Lawton to ride on a bus, I decided to walk a little back to see the bridge and take some photos.

Luckily, the bridge was interesting as it was filled with subjects, such as this of a father and child.









Lucky enough, during my time at the bridge, a vessel passed by.






These kids are still lucky to be able to swim in this water as I'm not optimistic it will still be as good in the future.








Now, I'm in a bus at Taft Avenue and this what De La Salle University looks like as it is being renovated.
The visible old engineering building, in stark contrast to the modern building at the left.
Mcdonalds has the new look and I wonder when.
Still in Taft Avenue, I saw this homeless, troubled man which seems to be undecided to where he's going.
He seems to be looking at the pedicabs and needs a ride.


He then decided that it wasn't possible due to circumstances.

I made up the above story but this type of people interest me because I feel they usually have good intellect in their normal years only gone wrong with a bad experience in their life.

The bus got a little stalled in traffic and took this photo.  I was actually trying to take a photo of the fair skinned woman which seems to be well-off despite the appearance of her surroundings.  Yet, the photo still appeared useful showing a typical Sari-Sari store.
Overall, it was quite a memorable experience to do the photowalk for the first time. It was true street photography.  Despite having difficulties in the streets, I felt that my photos were genuine street photos with little preparation and influence on my subjects.






Yet, I would be more cautious the next time I would do a similar photowalk as I find my camera now more valuable being able to get away from being stolen. I think, I managed to blend with the people but it wasn't enough.  Try to be alert at all items as itself is the prevention and not the cure.  If you are interested to do what we did, follow PHOTOwalker's facebook page here as there's another photowalk on August 25.

To those interested, watch this humorous video about Quiapo.