Select Page

My home: Manila, Philippines – Joy Celine Asto

My home: Manila, Philippines – Joy Celine Asto

One of Manila’s famous writers and stalwart sons* once said, “The Philippines spent 300 years trapped in a convent and 50 years in Hollywood.” This cheeky reference about the country’s history under Spanish and American rule has since then been a favorite of many tour guides and historians when introducing the Philippines.

At the heart of it all, then and now, is the capital city of Manila, the dizzying urban jungle which I call home.

For an outsider, perhaps Manila seems like a city of contradictions. For starters, it’s far from everyone’s idea of a glittering capital city, but believe me when I say it had its own share of glory. When locals ask where in Manila I’m from, a good number of them don’t mean any of the districts of the capital city; they want to know which of the cities comprising the mega metropolis called Metro Manila. It’s the country’s seat of power, history, and culture but not a lot of people see it as any of those.

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

Still, I’ve never been more proud to be a full-blooded Manileña than now. My city is slowly but steadily remembering and reminding people of its forgotten identity as a center of cultural and historical relevance. The younger generation are busy reviving the old shopping district of Escolta, setting up artsy weekend markets, pop-up galleries, and mini museums in its old but beautiful buildings.

Heritage walks and guided tours are held almost every month in and around the walled district of Intramuros, which was actually Manila itself was during the Spanish Era. More and more people are planning lunches and dinners out with family and friends in the quaint restaurants of Binondo, the world’s oldest and largest Chinatown.

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

Calls are being made — and heeded — to preserve and restore the old houses and buildings that bear both cultural and architectural relevance, such as the Manila Metropolitan Theater which was built in Art Deco style. Finally, in the wake of its burgeoning popularity among the curious youth, the National Museum of the Philippines has just declared free entrance to all visitors, local and foreign — forever.

Manila can be amazing if you know where to look, but I remain hopeful that I will one day be never happier and prouder to say that this is my home.

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto - Manila, my home

Joy Celine Asto – Manila, my home

* Nick Joaquin

 

 

Contribute to EMULSIVE

EMULSIVE NEEDS YOU. The driving force behind EMULSIVE is knowledge transfer, specifically engendering more of it in the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas.

Help drive an open, collaborative community – all you need do is drop us a line and we’ll work something out.



About The Author

Joy Celine Asto

Joy Celine Asto is a writer, aspiring photographer, and part-time traveler from Manila, Philippines. She finds bliss in exploring the world around her and documenting them in photos and stories. She runs on caffeine, lives on books, savors good music, and thrives in everything creative.

Comments

Comments are welcomed and encouraged on EMULSIVE but there are some instances where comments will deleted, and authors of those comments banned. They are as follows:

  • Comments deemed to be spam or solely promotional in nature will be deleted. Including a link to relevant content is permitted, but comments should be relevant to the topic at hand.
  • Comments including profanity, containing language or concepts that could be deemed offensive will be deleted. Note this may include abusive, threatening, pornographic, offensive, misleading or libelous language.
  • Comments that attack an individual directly will be deleted, as will comments that harass other contributing authors. In short, please be respectful toward others.

 

Add your voice to the discussion

Recent Tweets

Get EMULSIVE updates to your inbox

Get EMULSIVE updates to your inbox

Join our daily and weekly newsletters to receive the latest from EMULISVE.

* indicates required
EMULSIVE News

You have successfully subscribed. Please check your email for our confirmation link.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

%d bloggers like this: