street photography

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN MANILA, PHILIPPINES: An Afternoon Walk at Manila Bay

Very recently on my black and white travel/street photography Instagram portfolio (@sherlynmaehernandez please give it a check and follow if you want), I wrote this statement in my bio:

An International Relations Professor who will keep on traveling and taking photos around Asia until she makes it to NatGeo

@sherlynmaehernandez on Instagram

It’s not that I have this overflowing confidence that my works are already NatGeo quality enough, but kinda I need to own it in order to set the mood on myself that I have to work my butt off to have a portfolio worth noticing by NatGeo. A few weeks ago, I was able to read and finish the book The Ikigai Journey by Hector Garcia, and in the chapter “The Power of Words”, he suggested to put a label on your projects. Specifically, he said:

โ€œIt is essential for our personal projects to have a name in order to keep us motivated.โ€

Hector Garcia, The Ikigai Journey

Hence, I decided to label my passion project: #TakeSherlynToNatGeo. Boom! How’s that?

I have traveled around Northeast and Southeast Asia enough to accumulate tons of photos I can actually exhibit in a hotel lobby or museum or anywhere I want, but this pandemic has been postponing this whole photography thing I’ve been wanting to pursue. If I’m being honest, I seriously want to ditch my job in the academe to do this full-time, but I don’t know where to begin.

THE CHALLENGE

Since I need to keep my job in the meantime to put food on the table and save up for my next move in life (but don’t ask me yet about this because I seriously have no idea what will I do next), I challenged myself to try to come up with 10 outdoor photos (travel/street photography) around Manila in order to keep the creative juices coming and since I haven’t traveled anywhere since January this year.

In order for me to document the existing human conditions in my home city (Manila, Philippines) through travel/street photography, I need to go where the people are going. The City Government of Manila has cleaned up Manila Bay and it therefore was restored as a lovely spot where people could watch the sunset and do some exercise. Manila Bay is just a 15-minute walk from where I live but it’s somewhere I would never choose to hangout at, let alone my colleagues and friends. But since it’s pandemic and everyone needs a little bit of a nature at the heart of the most dense city in the world, I decided to give it a try.

With that, here are some photos I took while doing some brisk walking along the strip of Manila Bay, including my way going there and going back to my place:

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN MANILA, PHILIPPINES: THE WORKS

I walked along Taft Avenue and then Pablo Ocampo Street in order to reach Roxas Boulevard.

Street Photography in Manila, Philippines - Garbage Collector
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines – Garbage Collector
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines - Pablo Ocampo Statue
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines – Pablo Ocampo Statue

Upon reaching Roxas Boulevard, you will be greeted by the iconic Cultural Center of the Philippines Building, where a lot of people are exercising by the garden.

Street Photography in Manila, Philippines - Ice Cream Vendor
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines – Ice Cream Vendor
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines - Man Texting While Biking
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines – Man Texting While Biking
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines - Cat in Manila Bay
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines – Cat in Manila Bay

BTW, YOU SHOULD SEE THE PART 2 OF THIS PHOTOWALK SERIES (TAFT AVENUE-UNITED NATIONS AVENUE) HERE.

Street Photography in Manila, Philippines - Boys Having a Selfie
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines- Boys Having a Selfie

I walked northwards until I reach Rajah Sulayman Park. I’ve been living in Manila for more than half my life, but this was the first time I actually stepped into this area!

Street Photography in Manila, Philippines - Boy Throwing a Ball
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines – Boy Throwing a Ball
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines - Painting Seller at Rajah Sulayman Park
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines – Painting Seller at Rajah Sulayman Park
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines - Be a Better Human Mural
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines – Be a Better Human Mural

On my way home, I found this stuffed toy by the university gate. The mood!

Street Photography in Manila, Philippines - Stuffed Toy at a University Gate
Street Photography in Manila, Philippines – Stuffed Toy at a University Gate

TAKEAWAYS

Two things: I will try my best to go out more (but in a very, very safe way, of course), otherwise I will try to make use of my past travel photos to build up my travel/street photography portfolio which are on their way to NatGeo. No, but seriously, I will appreciate if you will suggest more street photography projects for me for next time.

FOLLOW MY COLORED TRAVEL/STREET PHOTOGRAPHY INSTAGRAM!

street photography

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