Manila Love


I fell in love.

I was caught by surprise. It should have been a fleeting encounter, a one night stand, but it ended up being a short, intense and passionate meeting. He’s different than anyone I’ve met before. He is wild, loud, exotic, somehow raw. Difficult to understand. His facets are captivating, but don’t let him fool you. He can be dangerous if you don’t look out.


On the other side, he’s a welcoming smile, a warm laugther, a charming compliment. He gives me looks, some curious, some judging, some admiring.



He has his ugly sides too. Nobody is perfect. Little children growing up in the street, not afraid of cars because they share the same habitat. Poverty has driven people to desperation, leading to violence. Yes, the nights can be creepy. Gloomy, with moving shadows in unexpected places.




But he’s also bright and colourful, full of zest and joie de vivre. His smiles are contagious and light up my heart.

23_joie de vivre_manila


He doesn’t mind to get a bit touchy if the situation requires it. If you’re claustrophobic, he’s not your guy. I have to admit that I hate crowds. But for some reason, I could stand it for once, didn’t mind it at all. I guess he’s special.





This wouldn’t have happened if that amazing girl hadn’t set us up. Thanks to her, I was able to see his true face, and not just the one he puts on whenever he meets a stranger. She showed me his hidden facets, told me about his moods and gems. She overcame the language barrier so I was able to communicate better with him.




I wouldn’t even have met him in the first place if it wasn’t for her. It amazes me to realise how easily one thing leads to another and how something that amazing can happen based on a coincidence.


Manila, it was an amazing experience to meet you.

You stole my heart.

We’ll see each other again.













    1. What a beautiful and vibrant photo essay of your visit to Manila. Yes, sometimes you can fall in love with a place…that is such a wonderful feeling but it requires a special place to do this. Cheers =)

      1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, it means a lot to me since it comes from a fellow photographer! Yes, Manila was a really special place, I guess partly also because I didn’t expect anything and just went there to visit my friend.

        Happy New Year, Christopher! :)

    1. i have just completed 16 months in Manila, working. Your photos have captured part of the essence of Manila. The longer I stay here though the more I learn of the variety of life within Manila, the different attitudes of folks from the provinces and the city, and some of the differences between provinces, especially in regards to the most popular of Filipino past-times … eating. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, two or three merienda, the eating is never ending (and not helping my weight loss at all either).

      Well done.

      Cheers, Thomo the Lost

      1. Hi Thomo the Lost!

        Thank you for your interesting comment! I’m sure there is a lot to discover about Manila and the Philippines, unfortunately I was there for only two days.. awesome that you worked there for sixteen months! That’s plenty of time to get to know a culture. I hope you liked it there :) Can you recommend anything I should see (not the typical sightseeing stuff though) the next time I’m there?

        haha yeah, the food.. I was overwhelmed by the things they had and wished I could have stayed longer just to try everything :D

        Happy New Year! :)

        1. With 7,107 islands, there is plenty to see and do both on on and off the beaten track. The major cities have a different feel and some of the regular tourist spots are regular tourist spots because they are so beautiful – creating challenges for photographers :-)


          1. I guess I need at least a couple of weeks to get a proper overview over the Philippines.. :D I hope I’ll be able to discover all the hidden and not so hidden gems one day! :) Thank you for your comment and have a great week!

    1. Beautifully told and captured, I enjoyed this post. Your blog title is well represented in your writings & images.

      1. Thank you for your comment! I’m especially glad about the blog title part since I’m often worried if it’s not kinda misleading. Thank you for visiting and Happy New Year!

    1. So beautiful! I love the raw and real and honest way you capture your images. I can feel the vibe in each photo. Well done and thank you so much for sharing. Great photo essay!

      1. Oh, thank you very much! It makes me happy to read that someone perceives my photos like that, it’s very encouraging! :) Happy New Year!

      1. That’s a great idea, I wish I could join.. I’ll let you know when I’m back in the Philippines!

      1. Thank you! :) You totally should! I have to admit that I wasn’t interested in the Philippines at all and only went there to visit Diana but Manila was really .. wow. It left me quite speechless :D I hope you can go there soon!

    1. I loved reading this. Thankyou so much. I loved loved reading this, and I am so happy for you, may you have more of these experiences :)
      Stay Happy and blessed, and please visit more places and write more of these.
      Do you write the do’s and the don’t for a city too.
      I am crazy about your blog, couldn’t resist asking you questions. :)

      1. Thank you for your cute comment :) I don’t really write about the dos and don’ts because I prefer to write about my impressions and experiences and think this kind of advice is better left to the people who live there and know how things work. :)
        Happy New Year!

        1. And you know I read your posts where in you did photoshoots, you are a marvel and you made to seem everything so gorgeous. I am so happy I got to meet you. I wish to meet you someday.
          P.s. where do you live?

          1. ohh I’m sorry, I didn’t see your comment! Thank you so much for your kind words <3 well, if we do meet up somewhere someday I'd love to take photos of you :) I live in Switzerland, what about you?

            1. Hello there,
              Nice to hear from you. :) I live in India. Hoping to meet you someday. Happy 18th March 2016.

              1. Hi, sorry for my late reply! :) oh awesome, in which city? I’d love to visit India someday!

                      1. haha I’ll let you know when I’m planning to go to India since I don’t think I’ll coincidently get to your city :D

    1. I totally agree with you and your experience of Manila!

      Best, Michael

      1. Hi Michael,
        I’m glad you made similar experiences! :) Thank you for your comment and Happy New Year!

      1. Aw, thank you! :) Yes, it was fantastic and I was so sad about leaving! Happy New Year!

    1. Excellent photos and post. Having been in the Phillipines 30 years ago, I have fond memories of the people and your pictures helped relive my time there. Bravo!

      1. Thank you for your comment! I’m glad the photos made you relive your positive memories :) interesting that not a lot has changed.. right? I hope you can return soon! Happy New Year!

    1. These photos are just beautiful! The way you have presented Manila makes show its authenticity and vibrancy of life! So stunning!

      1. Thank you very much! I really absolutely loved it there and am glad that my photos can represent this amazing city a bit! :) Happy New Year!

    1. Your photography is as beautiful as always! Could truly feel the presences of culture, community and love in every shot! Thank you for letting us see him too x

      1. Oh thank you so much for your lovely words, A! I’m glad I could show it since I really had an amazing time over there and wish to share it with the world :)) Happy New Year! <3

    1. A nice assortment of photos – makes me feel that I have been missing something and maybe I need to visit Manila, something I had never considered before.

      1. Thank you very much! To be honest, I also never considered visiting Manila and just went there to see my friend without caring about the city. I’m so glad I went there though because it was really amazing. I hope you’ll visit this city as well!

    1. Very interesting writing angle. I like the way you describe Manila like your date! :)
      And awesome picture too.
      I am actually heading to Manila and another small city in Philippines too. Watch out for my posts!

      1. Thank you very much! I really fell hard for this city that I couldn’t help but to write of Manila in that way. Have a lovely stay in the Philippines and I’ll definitely check out your blog later!

    1. What a lovely post! You’ve captured the vibrant life, colors and even some of the ambiguities of this beautiful city. Not just in the photos, but also in your comments. Thank you!

      1. Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment! It makes me happy that you perceived my post that way because I was hoping to transmit that through my photography and writing :)

    1. This post is so beautifully written. The vibrant photography and language are skillfully portrayed. Have a wonderful new year! :)

      1. Oh, thank you very much for your kind words Joanna! :) Have a wonderful new year too!

    1. What a beautiful and touching post! Glad you liked Manila. Hope you can also visit the other amazing places (islands) here in the Philippines :)

      1. Thank you very much! :) I hope so too, it looks so amazing and I don’t understand why I didn’t think of visiting the Philippines sooner! I’m glad you like the way I portrayed Manila :)

      1. wow, I’m glad to hear that! I hope you’ll find a local to show you around because I think this is what made my experience so amazing :) Thank you for your comment!

    1. Hi :) I really like your pictures! They look great, please keep up the work I enjoye looking at them :)

      1. Hi Daisy – sorry for my super late reply. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos! :)

    1. Awesome photos. I’m glad you saw the different aspects of Manila. Its vibe is a great unlikely mix. You made me miss it soooo much! Thanks for this post. Enjoy your travel adventures!

      1. Hi, thank you so much for your comment! :) It’s great to hear that from someone who’s been there! I hope you can return there soon!

      1. Hallo meine Liebe! Schön, wieder von dir zu hören! :) Mir geht es prima, und dir? Hast du Facebook? Dann können wir uns da schreiben :)
        Alles Liebe! <3

    1. I love your photos – I want be able to take photos like this!! I love how you capture everyday life as it goes by :) Also, I love the story in between in photos :) Hope you are well!! xoxo

      1. Thank you for your kind comment, Fatima! <3 It's great to hear from you again! If I can do it, you can do it as well! I haven't been active here lately but I'm looking forward to catching up with your blog again xox

      1. Thank you! :) I’d love to visit your country and take photos like this one day :)) xox

    1. Thank you for this genuine post of yours about Manila! Thank you because you really appreciate our country’s capital :) And I can feel the sincerity while reading this.

      P.S. Your photography skills are awesome!! #Goals

      1. Thank you for your kind comment! <3 I REALLY loved it there and was so sad about leaving. I hope I can return soon and get to know your country even more :)

        About the photography - thank you! :) I've just started last summer but I'm practicing a lot - you can do it too! :)) Have a great day xox

    1. What stunning pictures! You really capture the city of Manila and it’s people here!

      1. Thank you very much, Julie! :) I tried to do it as well as I could but I’m aware that it’s a rather superficial series – I hope I can return one day and capture more hidden sides as well :) have a great day!

      1. oh, that’s so cool! Are you still living there? I’m glad you liked it, have a great weekend!

    1. I can’t believe you visited the Philippines! Wonderful photos btw:) I’ve lived abroad in the Philippines over a 15 years. Seeing the photos remind me of old memories.

      1. I actually went there to meet a blogger friend (who used to teach Korean kids, haha) :D awesome that you’ve lived there! I hope you have fond memories of your time there :)

      1. Thank you so much, your kind words made me smile! <3 I wish you wonderful adventures with your lovely family! :)

    1. i am lost for words, thank you for sharing these to us who misses our hometown. it is beautifully written and your photos says it all.

      1. Hi Michael, thank you so much for your comment! It made me very happy to read it. I hope you’ll be able to return to Manila soon – where are you living now?

    1. These photos are amazing..They really capture the heart and soul of the country. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Thank you so much for your kind feedback, Keith! You definitely have to visit the Philippines if you can, the people are amazing. Take care and have a lovely week :) x

    1. Such an amazing photos in a great place. Thank you for visiting Manila, Philippines 😊

    1. Simple yet compelling. You’re an effective storyteller. Thank you for inspiring me more and thank you for loving manila😄

    1. Great photos, good contents. Really proud that a lot of people see Manila in a nice way and gives wonderful feedback about the place. Your appreciation makes us really happy as a Filipino.

      1. Thank you very much! :) The people I met in Manila where all so, so kind, that’s why I really wanted to give it back somehow. I’d love to return one day. Hugs from Switzerland :)

    1. Beautiful and thoughtful photo essay Monika! Keep it up because I am following ;)

      So cool that you had the chance to visit Manila. Did you try lumpia??? (It’s like a spring roll..) My favorite! The photos you featured capture to me how I view Manila. I’ve been there four times now to visit my bf who is from the Philippines and I have seen enough of the country and capital to form my own opinions on different topics but again, your photos encapsulate how I remember Manila.

      I tend to have a love/hate relationship with Manila. The poverty, air pollution,class system (super rich and super poor) and the traffic alone devastate me however the delicious food, kind people, smiles,and variety of many things fill me up with joy.

      Outside of Manila into the province you have beautiful places such as Baguio, Sagada, Tagaytay, Puerto Galera, and Banaue as gorgeous destinations that I have visited and love. The Philippines has SO much to offer to the traveler (cuisines, culture, traditions, beaches, hiking) and I hope one day you get to go back and see life outside of the capital.

      1. Thank you! <3 Your city is amazing. I've recently read an article about your new president and how he fights the drug issues though, I hope you're doing okay :/

        1. Glad you liked Manila!
          Yes I’m fine. We are all facing something difficult around the world right now to be honest!

    1. Beautiful article, I love the pictures and the idea! You brought out the beauty in Manilla. It can be hard to do that, it’s such an overwhelming and broken city. I’ll never forget riding in a jeepney, looking out the window, and seeing this 7-eleven that was pretty much without walls, it looked like somebody had bombed it, just full of rubble, and amidst this people just sitting there enjoying the shade… It was a striking image, something Manilla has no shortage of.


      1. Sorry for my late reply– thank you very much, John! :)) Work together? What do you mean? :)

Let me know what you think!

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