Plain Old Intramuros (Manila City): Photo of the Day

One attribute of photography is the ability to blot out all the distractions and focus on a particular point of interest. Another is the canny ability to impart raw emotions unto the canvass. For instance, look at this photo by Chrysaliz Santamena (check her Instagram account for more wonderful photos, @bambisantamena) and forget for a moment that this shot was captured inside the walled city of Intramuros. When we first encountered this photo, the immediate point of interest was not the symmetry and the honest play of plain colors. It wasn’t the apparent interplay between the old world (those windows look old) and modern world (gadgets and the relatively penchant of taking endless photos by the general public). Our first impression was the plain fact that the entire thing looks so old and, uhm, wonderfully heavy. It’s like the feeling of waking up with the hang-over beautifully gone, or, as a kid “forced” to sleep in the afternoon, waking up at around 4 pm and realizing that the sun is about to set and your friends are probably wrapping up the fun at the playground. We’re sure there’s a building somewhere splashed with white paint and you can probably grab a similar shot, but we bet our Christmas bonus that the aura won’t be the same. This photo, by itself, looks so dated. And because our minds impose a filter stronger than any camera, the moment we learned from Bambi that this is Intramuros, 300 years of Spanish colonial history rushed to fill the canvass and suffused the entire scene with the heavy burden of the past. If you’ve been to Intramuros, in heart of Manila City, you know very well that it’s a hive of activities, sounds and sights. This photo blots out everything, but surrounding this area are world heritage sites (Manila Cathedral and the San Agustin Church), and the footprints of the last day of Jose Rizal in Fort Santiago. After all, the walled city of Intramuros was built during the Spanish occupation as a fort. Put that colorful history along the edges of this plain-colored photo, and you’ll appreciate its beauty. Life, made beautifully simple. [Click the photo to enlarge]

Photo reproduced with permission (thanks). [Tag your instagram Philippine travel photos with #visitpinas so we can track it down. Photos will be featured in this blog’s photo of the day and in instagram/VisitPinas. While we’d love to assume that tagging your photos #visitpinas is a form of consent, we always seek your explicit consent.]

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