Here’s the next set of street portraits from my time in Manila. These were all taken in Pasay around Taft Avenue and some of the backstreets of Paranaque.
When I saw the guy in the first picture I thought he was a schoolboy, partly because of the uniform and partly because he looked so young. I found out that he was an undergraduate studying at the Philippine College of Criminology and this is the College uniform. He was clearly very proud of the uniform and the college, insisting that I take some pictures of him. This was taken in the backstreets of the Baclaran neighbourhood, and this was clearly not a wealthy neighbourhood. In all likelihood he is the first generation of his family to attend college. Many poor Filipino families value education and work long hours for little money to be able to send their kids to college.
The man in the second picture was in the same neighbourhood and I came across him and a few of his neighbours just hanging out and chatting. The others were a little shy but he was happy to have his picture taken. As I wandered off down another side street they called me back. They didn’t speak much English but managed to make it clear to me that the street was best avoided. It was another expression of the kindness of the people that they were prepared to look out for a total stranger strolling around the neighbourhood.
The Taft Avenue Extension is densely packed with market stalls selling a little of everything. I passed through here regularly and often took pictures. Like most of the areas I explored very few expats ever visited and I was something of an oddity so people were often happy to chat. It was challenging taking photographs here because stopping to take a picture would create a massive human traffic jam within seconds. I managed to get this one at a moment when there was a brief lull in the crowds.
In the same street where I took the previous picture this was another stall selling shoes. There were three young women on this stall but the third didn’t want her picture taken and hid behind a pile of shoe boxes to the amusement of her two friends.
On Taft Avenue I came across this group of guys and kids. I assume one of them is the driver of the Jeepney but this was obviously a day off since they were sitting in the back sharing a bottle of something potent and having one of those loud and hilarious conversations that happen when drink has been taken. I took several pictures of them and in every single one someone had his eyes closed.