by: Vincent

So many things happen in this world of a market, the palenke, Quiapo.  To focus too much on what everyone else is doing, I can easily lose sight on my own status.  And this is one place it’s good to keep a check on where you’re going, what you’re looking for, and what you have with you. It’s immersion with awareness.

photo by: a.felipe

http://www.aidan.co.uk/ photo from Aidan O'Rourke

Alex’s Ninang Rose (his godmother) has her own stall in the market. And as I sit in front of the stall taking the whole scene in, I stand as someone comes up to me and asks for a “load”. A “load” is the way of getting pre-paid credits on one’s cell phone for usage. Ninang rose steps in and provides what the customer was looking for. A casual business exchange in Quiapo, one of thousands happening every moment in this place.

I sit back down and watch as the world of the Quiapo market passes me by. There are so many things that happen here, to try and keep track simultaneously is a futile game. Instead, you just have to let it wash over you. Walking through the market, it’s kind of like surfing, just make sure you know where you’re stepping so you don’t wipe out in some way. I also think I want to try surfing in the P.I. so we’ll see if that will be another adventure I’ll get to post about sometime.

photo by: a.felipe

Bayad po – here’s my fare
Para – stop
Kaliwa – Left
Kanan – Right
Diretso – Straight
Tula – poetry



  1. it’s like you are this atlantic salmon that just got thrown into a pond with only tilapia.

    • Caroline Id so retweet this if you were on twitter! AHAHAHAHAH

  2. This posting reminds me of my childhood. I used to go with my “Lolas” to the market to sell “suman” and “ukay-ukay”. We used old newspaper to wrap the “ukay-ukay” clothes sold to customers. I also remember going with one of my Lolas knocking on doors, asking people if they want to buy “tableya”

    *Tableya – pure cacao chocolate, grounded and molded into small flat circles.
    *Suman – sweet rice in the middle wrap in banana leaves (at least that’s how one of my friends describe it. lol)
    *Ukay-ukay – used clothes from other countries

  3. awesome post Binch! you did good in Quiapo, if the film thing doesn’t work out then you have a future as a load vendor… 🙂

  4. I shot a commercial there. I went to the scariest washroom I’ve ever been there. Adventures.

    • where here? that scary washroom might be an interesting visual!

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