About Manila


     I changed my routine today. My daily routine during quarantine:

  1. Work
  2. Watch one episode of a series (currently on S3 of Money Heist)
  3. Work-out (day 23 of 100 push-ups per day challenge)
  4. Take a bath
  5. Study Japanese (5 kanjis per day and practice writing),
  6. Read a chapter of a book (currently reading The Hypnotist’s Love Story)
  7. Post one photo here or in my IG photography account and then lastly
  8. Write here

     I started writing here this time.

     Writing this now made me realized that I’m so hard at myself. That maybe I wanted to achieve too much (?) I need to chill and stop being neurotic.

     Honestly, my anxiety worsened when I transferred here in Sydney. Maybe because I’m in a new environment. Maybe because I don’t have the usual comforts I have back in the Philippines like not talking in English all the time. I swear, mami-miss mo mag-Tagalog when you work abroad haha. And di totoo na less toxic ang work abroad. More than the stress, I feel more pressured here.

     This is why I wanted to write more. It gives me perspective and organize my thoughts. Which I clearly need to work on coz even I can tell na napaka-sabog of my writing flow. Haha. Huhu. Small steps self.

     What a long intro! I’ll now talk about this photo.

     I took this photo in Manila (obviously) during one of the photowalks that I’ve joined. I used to live in UN avenue, thus the name of my blog. I did not grew up in Manila. I transferred there to study and in those years – I learned to love this city. On my first year in Manila –  there was a time that I go home to Pampanga everyday because of home sickness.

     Of course it’s not as gorgeous as BGC or Makati or what more Sydney, but you know what made me love Manila? It has character.

Walk in Ma. Orosa towards Manila Bay and just look around. I don’t know, it has a certain feel. I used to jog in Luneta and imagine it to be like Central Park in New York lol.      I sometimes just go to McDonalds in Orosa, buy coffee, and then read a book. I usually end up just people watching.

     Manila is chaotic, dirty, and honestly sometimes not safe but you can feel that there’s beauty underneath it all. I sometimes imagine what Manila Bay looked like before the Spaniards came. I remember seeing the plans layed out by the Americans for Manila – and I’m like wow. The could have beens.

     Same reason why I liked that movie of Piolo and Toni (Huling Gabi) because it’s set in Manila. Manila looks beautiful in that movie 🙂

Sunsets and Saying Goodbye

8873698E-1B37-4D8A-A58C-6EC5EE61A10E-5975-000001FAA0CDE915I remember it was raining that time. It was sometime in May. I already resigned and was staying at our house in the province. I already bought my plane ticket to Sydney. In a few weeks I’ll leave home and work in another country.

I realized since I started working sometime in 2010, I never had a gap year. Start work, get tired, rant, apply, be interviewed, and start working again. 4 companies. Same cycle. Same bullshit.

I’m just waiting for my working visa at that time and this gave me the opportunity to rest. And reflect.

Going back to my story, I had dinner and went to wash the dishes and then saw the sky that time. It was colorful considering the rain. Was it always like this? Sunsets being more colorful than sunrise?

I grabbed my camera and wet out. Despite the rain. Despite the mud. And took a couple of photos. This is the acacia tree in front of our house, beside a river. That river. Remember that Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn animated series in Channel 2? I enjoyed that show so much as a kid I even considered running away with friends, create our own raft, and cruise the Pampanga River the same way Tom and Huck travelled the Mississippi lol. Me watching too much cartoons as a child.

It was the same river where I threw a coin and then wish that I pass UPCAT. Gees. I’m that sappy as a teenager.

Sorry for the long post. This is me getting carried away again (laugh).

Parking Lot


I was doing a photowalk in Intramuros and saw this beautiful graffiti. I’m not sure if “merlion” is the correct term for this creature. This creature is also reflected in Manila’s coat of arms and is not inspired/copied from Singapore’s merlion. (Correct me if I’m wrong guys.) I find it more bad ass than Singapore’s, just look at that sword (lol). Anyway, I just love the colors popping against a white background. With Intramuros having that old Spanish colony vibe, I also love the contrast of this graffiti with its surroundings. The fact that this parking lot is situated beside a church just adds more contrast.



I realized a few days ago that I should “explain” the photos that I post. When I attend photography workshops or photowalks, I love it when the photographer explain their photos. More than the technicalities, I appreciate the story behind the photo. So I told myself – why not do the same?

To be honest, I just put titles on my photos partly because I don’t have the time (laugh). But it has been my long standing resolution to write more. So by doing this I get to hit two birds with one stone.

Anyway, I’m going in circles. Let’s start.

So for this photo, our family went to Baguio for vacation. Before I left the Philippines and work in Sydney, I decided to treat my family. My mom has never been to Baguio as well as some of my siblings. I took this picture somewhere in NLEX. I sat at the passenger seat with the goal of taking pictures while on the way. I’m that type of person who enjoys looking at sceneries when traveling and there are certain parts of NLEX that I find beautiful. When I finally be able to buy my own car, one of my goal is to just drive around and take pictures along the way. Writing this, I already have some few places in my mind like the roads going to Bataan and Zambales.