Continuing with the theme of street portraits from yesterday’s post, here is a second set of pictures taken on the streets of Manila.

The junction of Taft Avenue and EDSA is a busy spot even by Manila standards and the streets are lined with small sh0ps and stallholders selling everything you can imagine. This guy sold bananas. Nothing else; just bananas. I bought a few from time to time as an energy booster. I assume once his stock for the day was sold he went home.

Further along Taft avenue there is a fruit and vegetable market and this guy, as well as bananas, is selling calamansi. This fruit, also sometimes referred to as a Philippine Lime, is a hybrid of a kumquat and something like a mandarin orange. It’s widely used in Philippine cuisine and you buy calamansi juice everywhere. It’s not as sweet as orange juice and has a bit of a tang to it – a little like lemonade. On a hot day it’s wonderfully refreshing.

Both of these were take on Quirino Avenue in Paranaque. This district is known as Baclaran and is the site of a major church, The National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, which always brought to mind Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility, from Garison Keillor’s Lake Wobegone. Behind and around the church was an Aladdin’s cave of little stores, street stall and markets. I spent many hours just wandering these streets. The lady on the left worked in a shoe store, or rather a flip-flop store. There were thousands upon thousands of pairs stacked up reaching into the depths of the store and covering three floors. I tried them once but couldn’t keep them on my feet so I stuck to my Keens and Tevas.

The little guy on the right was a one man hardware store. He stood in the middle of Quirino Avenue, which is a very busy street, wearing his stock. I saw him there regularly so I suppose he must have sold enough to make it worth his while.

This was taken in the Pasay City Market at the corner of Taft Avenue and Arnaiz Avenue. This was a food market with one part for fruits and vegetables, another for fish and a third for meat. It was a covered market and on a hot day the smell in here was quite something. These women worked on a stall selling chicken. Every part of the chicken was on sale, including parts I didn’t recognize but which they assured me were definitely chicken bits. Nothing was wasted. I tried to support local businesses when I was out and about but I drew the line at meat. Chicken sitting in the open all day in that heat was a risk I was not prepared to take.

Still on Quirino Avenue the little guy on the left was just hanging out at this furniture and hardware store. The guy on the right was a pedicab driver taking a break or waiting for a customer. These hand gestures were a constant when I was photographing, particularly among young people.


Manila Street Portraits 1

Manila Street Portraits 3

Manila Street Portraits 4

Manila Street Portraits 5