Two women pass by a line of trikes. Little do they know about trike patrol and me taking their pictures. Wait a second: the way the cute one looks at me and my lens they know very well and like it. In the most part of Angeles City and the tourist district women don’t like to be photographed on trikes because there is this nefarious website called Trike Patrol depicting all females using trikes as questionable creatures of the night. Of course that’s like saying all women work at night, only. Well, somebody has to get a life here. This image was snapped at 11 am in the morning and everybody was awake, already. Maybe there are some people in the city who have real lives and real jobs they are proud of. … or not. Whatever you believe is fine. Only in the Philippines everybody is right.
Stealing photos without asking is my favorite time waster. Like Police Station 4 in AC. They have their new electric cars and you hardly ever see them working. Well, they do have a lot of work, but not when I show up to shoot a picture in the morning. Luckily AC has very few problems with criminals others than some pick pockets and drunks. The real crimes take place in other parts of the city. One day I was nearing Margaritha Station and some kids were playing me on the street trying to steal my wallet. The Police war nearby (Filipinos call hem “Pulis”) and the street kids backed off. Thanks to the good cops of Angeles City in the Philippines.
Whenever carrying a camera (well one of the professional DSLR size) with me in SM Mall near main gate of Clark I have had security guards lecturing me about this “no photos – this is a private property” shit. It’s payback time. I no longer go and buy in SM anymore. I decided to punish them and go to Marquee Mall instead. Marquee Mall is next to a NLEX exit and has ample of parking. Whenever I walk around there with my camera and take pictures everybody smiles. Nobody complains. Even the girls riding escalators are friendly. They ask, kindly: “Sir, can you take my photo, please?” What a beautiful world. I was so surprised about this friendly attitude to ask about her phone number, email or Facebook account. Well, I will be back at Starbucks. Maybe she will read this post here on WordPress and remember me.
My taxi brought me from Manila airport back to Angeles City. It was an early morning on a Monday. The driver wanted to save 20 Piso on the way back off of NLEX highway fees. I was upset, but used the opportunity to snap up some streetlife scenes, like this shot of two people trying to cross the road on Batangas Street in Balibago. Pedestrians have a hard time in Philippine traffic. They are very scared of vehicles hitting them and even more scared of running into arguements. Sometimes, I am really upset about the drivers who squeeze their way forward without any excuse. Pedestrians should be armed with stones in their hand to become more powerful as most drivers are real cowards who are afraid of their precious cars to be damaged.
Finding places in Angeles City can be challenging. Asking people about a street name and number seldomly yields a solid reply. People know landmarks and they know neighbourhoods. Ask them about Oasis Hotel and they will tell you to drive into a certain direction past a bridge and make a turn to the right on Friendship gate and look for the hotel on the right side just after passing a Korean restaurant. They still find stuff, but it takes time. They probably know the trike dirver on duty, but road signs and not well known. Now, I do know why. People can barely see them. Last week I was looking for Ilang Ilang Street in Clarkview. It was a side street of Don Juico Avenue. Well, I found that sign for Don Juico, but I had to look very closely. Don’t the barangay captains generate income from their taxes to upkeep street signs?
After long search I found some images from the NorthPhilExpo 2011 that took place inside SM Mall. This exhibition about North Luzon was very well visited and highly successful. Too many people and loud music.
These days SM Mall in Clark is noisy and dirty. Not because of being too crowded with Trike drivers, maids, shoppers and employees, but because of construction. Soon SM Clark will be expanding to it’s North side. Stay tuned for my pictorial once it’s new shops are open for public.