The Philippines has more than 7,100 islands and countless cities and Manila is just one of them. Our CitySlickers are here to explore them with their analogue ammunition and to document their adventures through their wistful words! Here is Leslie, one of Manila’s CitySlickers, and her introduction on her beloved city!
Name: Leslie Lipa
City: Pasig, Philippines
Occupation: Finance Associate
Weathercasters have it easy in Manila. The science of weather here is that of a coin; there could only either be sun or rain. Sometimes, you get both. You’re walking under the blazing heat, as if the summer sun forgot its schedule and decided to displace itself to December. You walk, walk, and walk, only to find yourself running for cover minutes after because of the unexpected drizzle. You look up at the sky and see the sun, then you look down on the ground and see puddles of water. You think to yourself, “baka may kinakasal na Tikbalang” (perhaps a Tikbalang is getting married). Growing up, I heard that a lot whenever it rains while the sun is shining. A Tikbalang is a mythical creature in Philippine folklore with the head and hooves of a horse but with the body of a human. I still wonder how the ancestors came up with that one.
I personally like burning my film with the sun out, so when the sun came out in all its scorching golden glory amidst a week of rain, I knew it was the perfect time to take my Lomobabies for a spin. It was me, my Diana Mini + Lomography X-Pro Slide 200, and my Vivitar UWS + Lomography X-Pro Chrome 100, cruising along the city on that one fine morning. We were on a mission to capture the daily sights and colors of Pasig City.
But first, may I introduce myself. My name is Leslie. I work for Deutsche Bank here in Manila, but don’t get the wrong idea – I am not at all good in Math. I graduated from university more than a year ago but I find myself learning a lot more outside of it. My money goes to books, plane tickets, film, and my Where’s Waldo collection. I like getting to know people from all over the world, so hello there, you! I fell in love with the art of Lomography back in late 2007, but I’d like to think that I was a Lomographer ever since 1998 when my mom gave me a Polaroid Spice Cam. Back in 2007, I thought of it as a love affair, but boy, was it one big marriage. I am never letting go of it. We have 8 beautiful offsprings, and I am looking forward to more. It took me some time before I got to live and breathe Lomography, but when I had the chance to travel to places, I knew I had to immortalize the world’s spontaneity and beauty through film. I am particularly fond of shooting the sun, street signs, and city/urban landscapes.
I think the city I live in is quite a nice place for a home, basically because it’s peaceful. In fact, a large portion of it is residential. Pasig has a lot of coffee shops and small restaurants. It does not have big malls and I personally think that Pasig would not be the city you go to if you’re looking to pump up your day, but the good thing about Pasig is that it has CHILL OUT written all over it. It’s where you meet your friend for a cup of coffee and it’s the place you come home to. But do not fret, it is literally close to some really awesome places in Manila; some are just right beside it! I’m talking about Eastwood Citywalk and Mall, The Fort (nightlife!), and some of the greatest shopping malls in the metro (SM Megamall, Shangri-la, and Robinson’s Galleria).
Pasig is home to the Ortigas business district, which is a busy hub on weekdays. Perhaps strategically located near the office buildings is Metrowalk, a strip of bars and restaurants, perfect for chilling out after a long day’s work with your choice of potion – coffee, beer, cocktail, wine… or ice cream.
Close to my home, and a place I quite like, is Frontera Verde. It’s where you will find 1) Fun Ranch, a lovely place for kids; 2) Ark Avilon Zoo, a pocket sized zoo on an ark; 3) SM Hypermart, a big grocery or a small mall, take it whichever way you want to; 4) Silver City, a strip of restaurants and coffee shops; 5) Tiendesitas, a stretch of big huts with small stores selling antiques, food, clothes, pets, and other things.
I found a real home in Lomography.com. Everything here is just glorious. All your photos, the people, and the articles are pretty much a whole world in itself. I could spend a whole day just exploring because there is so much to see and so much to marvel at. I could never get over how you can find beauty in every corner here. Just one click and you are immediately transported to a world of wonders, of color, and of surprise — just like this city I’m living in. In it I find reasons to say that there’s truly no place like home.
Stay tuned for our Manila Cityslickers’ analogue adventures as they roam their cities with their film ammunition!