Tag Archives: Manila

Indoor-Outdoor Mirror Image: Philippine Travel Stories

The Universe loves balance. There’s a yin to the yang, and the Force has its dark side. As to the VisitPinas-tagged Instagram photos, we’ve noticed that a number of outdoor photos have a mirror, or similar, image snapped indoor. We might not be able to explain it sufficiently in words, but we hope it becomes clearer as we feature these photos. Continue reading Indoor-Outdoor Mirror Image: Philippine Travel Stories

The Captivating Manila Sunset: Photo of the Day

There’s a lot of gorgeous sunsets around the world, Philippines included, we’re sure of that. There’s a lot of people who can snap a lovely shot of those gorgeous sunsets, we’re also sure of that. Perhaps as lovely as this sunset. We’ve featured a lot of sunset photos here in VisitPinas (because, as we’ve noted a million times, we love ’em sunsets), and we’re going to add one more — the beautiful Manila sunset, courtesy of Anton Labao (check his Instagram account, @can_ton, for more photos). There’s really a million and one reasons to have your next vacation here in the Philippines. Click the photo to enlarge. Continue reading The Captivating Manila Sunset: Photo of the Day

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

7 Reasons Why You Must Visit DreamPlay (City of Dreams Manila)

DreamPlay or Kidzania? That was the mind-boggling decision we had to make one sunny weekday. Based on what we’ve heard at that point in time, Kidzania is a nice place that allows kids to “work” as firemen, cashiers and the like, while DreamPlay is closer to a traditional amusement park. Each one has its own virtues, we know, but because we wanted something more physically challenging that day, we chose DreamPlay. While sitting at the restaurant section of DreamPlay, we thought of 7 reasons why we must come back here — the same reasons why you should visit DreamPlay. Continue reading 7 Reasons Why You Must Visit DreamPlay (City of Dreams Manila)

Photo of the Day: Equal in Faith with the Black Nazarene

We have not joined any Translacion, the procession held during the feast of the Black Nazarene every January of the year, when Nazarene is brought from the Quirino Grandstand back to the Quiapo Church. We are not devotees, but we have no doubt of the intensity of the devotion that goes with the barefoot walk kilometers-long. We’re sure that there are those who question the practice, but we’re convinced that the Translacion is an equalizer when it comes to faith, pretty much like Yolanda was. There’s no rich or poor. Any devotee, when going to the procession, knows very well to leave any worldly valuables at home. You go there barefoot, with just your most comfortable pants, purple Itim na Nazareno shirt and a white face towel or handkerchief. You will be crushed by the same ocean of humanity, estimated at millions in number. And growing each year. You must co-exist with others, makikisama, to come out of the experience in one piece — alive and kicking. People have died during the Translacion. This annual even is not for the week of heart; definitely not for the weak of faith. Here’s a photo courtesy of Dong D. (follow his instagram account, @dongtheexplorer). Click the photo to enlarge: Continue reading Photo of the Day: Equal in Faith with the Black Nazarene

Photo of the Day: Surprise!

This door evokes the awe that guests must have felt when standing before castles, something made vivid by movies like Lord of the Rings and more TV shows like Game of Thrones. Guest would probably have little idea what lies at the other side of the imposing physical door. This door does not belong to a castle, but a Philippine hotel, the Crowne Plaza, certainly not the newest and the top-rated hotel, but with an impressive door nonetheless. This door, in a metaphorical sense, represents the excitement one feels, perhaps like Chat Agustin (@chattycharm), who happens to be a perioperative nurse (from that designation alone, we’re almost sure that she’ll be ready to face whatever lies at the other side of the door), a wanderlust and a watercolor painter (probably thinking of splashing colors on that drab door?), when confronted with the unknown. It represents an appetite for a certain degree of risk, a must-have for any traveler/explorer. Click the photo to enlarge: Continue reading Photo of the Day: Surprise!

Photo of the Day: Philippine Jeepney

It’s not surprising that the ubiquitous jeepney, the King of the Road in the Philippines, is somewhat better depicted in its representations. It is, after all, one of the icons in Philippine travel, a constant feature in souvenir shops. One such reincarnation is a restaurant tissue holder (in Jeepney Boodle Fight along Maginhawa Street, QC), here captured by Janine Realubit (@janinerealubit), who is apparently proud of three things — arki, FEU and photography. We won’t be surprised if she’d associate the jeepney with That Thing Called Tadhana, which is a movie gushing with mushiness we can’t help but fall in love with the Philippines. C’mon, tell us, who doesn’t love this movie? We enjoyed the sceneneries of the Philippines — Manila, Baguio and Sagada — equally with the kilig moments). But, hey, back to the jeepney (which was the mode of transport, in the movie, from Baguio to Sagada). Click the photo to enlarge: Continue reading Photo of the Day: Philippine Jeepney

Photo of the Day: Light Traffic

We may make fun of traffic in Metro Manila but it’s one thing that will test your patience to the very edge. However, we’re not talking about normal traffic here. When we say “light traffic,” we mean the graceful flow of vehicle lights captured in beautiful night photography. It’s a skill that can be learned, yes, but it’s naturally a skill that doesn’t come with the mere purchase of the camera (or, in most instagram users, smart phones). We haven’t tried “traffic light” photography yet, so we’ll look at the cool photo by Mark Joseph Lalata (@mark.joseph.lalata; check his ig account for other nice photos). This intersection is near Quiapo Church (home of the Black Nazarene). The road at the bottom leads to Quezon City while the fork to the right goes up the Quezon Bridge, going to the Manila City Hall and the Manila Central Post Office. Click photo to enlarge: Continue reading Photo of the Day: Light Traffic

Photo of the Day: Post Office

There are those who believe that the traditional mailing system, also called snail mail, is going to eventually die out with the increased use of electronic mail or email. It’s just a matter of time, they say. When that time comes, the Manila Central Post Office will retain one important purpose — an important architectural marker. It was designed by Juan M. Arellano and is part of the Manila masterplan by Daniel Burnham, the same planner for Baguio City for which the Burnham Park is named. Built in the early 1900s, it was severely damaged when the Americans bombarded Manila to retake the city after the Japanese invasion. It was reconstructed after the war. While some say it was not fully reconstructed to its former glory, it is still beautiful. Here’s a shot from a differen perspective on that beautiful Philippine architecture, courtesy of Eric Jones (photos_by_eric_j). Click the photo to enlarge: Continue reading Photo of the Day: Post Office

Photo of the Day: Binondo, Manila

Binondo is the first Chinatown in the Philippines. It is also the very first Chinatown in the whole WORLD. Binondo is colorful in terms of history as well as current-day offerings, including food and architecture. It’s usually a crowded place and there’s the usual clash between the old and the modern infrastructure — factors that don’t really make it easy for photographers to shoot  a good scene from the distance. This shot by nathaniel0603, however, beautifully captures a section of the Binondo Church — framed by the setting sun — and the surprisingly calm plaza fronting the church. Look at the photo (click the photo to enlarge):  Continue reading Photo of the Day: Binondo, Manila