Photowalk: Manila

I recently got myself an interchangeable-lens camera (ILC) in a bid to improve my photography skills and to be familiar with my new gadget in time for my upcoming travel outside the country, I decided to do a photowalk in one of the most picturesque places in the country, the City of Manila.  Here are some of the shots that I took, but be forewarned though that this post is a bit heavy on the bandwidth.

Let’s start here: Manila City Hall

These first shots were taken using a 16mm F2.8 lens:

Km 1 marker across the National Museum
The historic National Museum: too bad it’s a bit difficult to photograph
Last time I was here, the statue of the late former President Corazon Aquino was not yet around
Rizal Monument with the tallest flag pole in the Philippines
Rizal Monument up front
Luneta Hotel: one of the most beautiful old structures in the city featuring Belle Époque architecture. I am so glad that this was spared from demolition and is now having a restoration.

It was around noon by that time so I went to a nearby mall for lunch.

One of the atria of Robinson’s Place Manila
The new extension of the mall

Bistro Ravioli

It was my first time eating at Bistro Ravioli and I could say that their food is quite nice, not to mention surprisingly cheap!  Their Choco Lava does not look much at first glance, but is actually quite delightful.

Lunch: Bistro Ravioli
Peach iced tea
Playing with color (red iced tea)
Seafood Marinara Pasta
Choco Lava, before the “eruption”
Sodas anyone?

All pictures henceforth were taken with my 16-55mm lens.  I was missing zooming. 😀

Yakult Green Tea by Serenitea
Breads at Bread Talk


If you are looking for a historic and picturesque location in Manila, Intramuros is a no brainer.  It has the oldest standing stone structure in the country and Spanish-era buildings. They don’t make buildings like they used to.

An old door of San Agustin Church
Look at how detailed this structure is
Not just old houses but Spanish-era buildings
San Agustin Church: the oldest standing stone structure in the Philippines
I don’t know why but I do find old structures very charming
Another interesting building within the wall
See the details?

As we walked around Intramuros, we noticed a curious use of some free space.  The space was full of graffiti and was being used by skaters.  In fairness the space was “clean” although I have mixed feelings about the graffiti.

An interesting use of space
I do not know if matches the overall look of Intramuros
Some structures are now just memories
Manila Cathedral from afar
Memorare Manila at Plazuela de Sta. Isabel
Quite a new addition to the site
Manila Cathedral from the back
A typical lamp post inside Intramuros
These lamp posts have sponsors engraved on them
Some info about Manila Cathedral
Palacio del Gobernador
Palacio del Gobernador up front
Is this supposed to be a fountain?
The Manila Cathedral
Zooming in on the intricate details
King Carlos IV of Spain
The façade of the Cathedral
A marker in front of the Cathedral
The detailed arch over the main door
Inside the Cathedral
The Altar
The dome
View from the Altar
One of the rooms inside the Cathedral
Not sure if it is as old as the Cathedral itself
Looking back at the Cathedral
Manila Cathedral is easily one of the most beautiful churches in the Philippines
The pipe organ
Prior to this visit I did not know we have an “Our Lady of the Philippines”
Detail of the door
One of the doors of the Cathedral
A kid looks out
Another door
One of the main doors
Manila Cathedral at an angle

By the Bay

I was hoping we would be able to catch the sunset as we leave Intramuros but at this time of the year sunset is earlier so I had so settle with the post-sunset orange skies by the bay.  Manila Bay still has some of the most picturesque sunset in the world.

Sunset at Manila Bay
A sculpture in CCP Grounds
And another sculpture
The sun paints the buildings orange
At the breakwater. Suddenly the memories of my paddling days were back, however short it was.
Another sunset view
The skyline of the City of Manila
Cultural Center of the Philippines (with its Christmas decors)
An interesting chandelier inside CCP
Zooming in on the Angel atop the Christmas tree

Food de Sentosa

The best way to conclude a photowalk is of course with food!  For dinner we decided to try Food de Sentosa which claims “authentic Singapore cuisine.”  I admit I’m not qualified to verify this claim, but I did like their food.  It was new to my taste but not too foreign to be “alien.”

Dinner: Food de Sentosa (quite a peculiar name)
Supposedly a Singaporean restaurant but their menu speaks otherwise 🙂
Bandung: milk flavored drink with rose cordial syrup

Walking may be slower than running, but sometimes it’s just as tiring, sometimes even more!  I learned quite a lot within this relative short time, and I’m so glad that the current administration of the city of Manila had stopped demolishing those beautiful and historic old buildings which makes photowalks like this one a delight.  There will always be that new tall tower but we won’t always have those historic and architecturally interesting structures.  There were still a lot of areas I did not cover around the Intramuros area, and while there are buildings being saved there are quite a lot more that desperately needs attention.  Hopefully on my next photowalk, I get to cover more, and see more restorations!

I hope you enjoyed this tour as much as I did doing it and taking pictures. 😀

*Note: Downsizing and watermarking are the only alterations made to all the photos in this set.  No additional digital enhancements were made.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. run untd. says:

    Nice set you got here. I admire those historical landmarks sans those powerlines, sana naisaayos man lang nila ‘yun. Did you took those pictures unnoticed? I knew there are places there na restricted ang picture taking. Well done, Dennis.


    1. dhenztm says:

      Salamat! Yun nga ang medyo malungkot sa mga scenic sights natin puro poste, kable ng kuryente, at sa mga simbahan parking sa harap mismo. Di naman ako pinansin kasi di naman daw ako SLR hehe 🙂


  2. rah says:

    nice pics 🙂 super enjoy talaga mag photo walk sa manila at sa intramuros. Maraming beses na ako nakapunta diyan. pero parang each time na pumunta ako, laging may bago.


  3. RunningAtom says:

    Nice shots Dhenz, nakaka-engganyo tuloy na matutong mag-photo shoot, at mamasyal uli ng Manila 🙂
    More photowalks 😉


  4. deympot says:

    I tried having my own photowalk on the streets of manila, but i could never achieved the perspective you attained from your shots. Keep it up!


  5. These are really nice! What camera do you use?


    1. dhenztm says:

      Thank you! I used a Sony NEX 5N. I already mentioned which lenses I used in the post.


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