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The Philippines, January 2019

Manila

Capital of the Philippines.

Saturday, 12th January 2019

Looking back along a very busy road from inside a jeepney. Another white and silver jeepney is following behind. Jeepneys are public transport vehicles (minibuses) typically with seats for around 16 people on two narrow benches. They were originally military jeeps left behind by the US Army after World War II, although other vehicles are now used too. They are a colourful method of public transportation found in Filipino cities.

Tony inside the National Museum of Manila in front of a very large painting. The painting is Spoliarium by 19th century Filipino artist Juan Luna. It depicts the bloody carnage following a gladiatorial fight in ancient Rome. The dimensions of the painting are 4.2 by 7.6 metres.Tony inside the National Museum of Manila in front of a very large painting. The painting is Spoliarium by 19th century Filipino artist Juan Luna. It depicts the bloody carnage following a gladiatorial fight in ancient Rome. The dimensions of the painting are 4.2 by 7.6 metres.

Tony touching a small sculpture of a woman holding a vase.Tony touching a small sculpture of a woman holding a vase.

Tony next to a classical style sculpture depicting a female nude.Tony next to a classical style sculpture depicting a female nude.

Tony in front of a group of female manikins wearing Spanish colonial dresses.Tony in front of a group of female manikins wearing Spanish colonial dresses.

A foyer with classical stone columns inside the National Museum of Manila. The museum is in Ermita District, near Intramuros.A foyer with classical marble columns inside the National Museum of Manila. The museum is in Ermita District, near Intramuros.

Tony in front of steps outside the National Museum. The façade is neoclassical in style.Tony in front of steps outside the National Museum. The façade is neoclassical in style.

Tony in Rizal Park, which is named in honour of José Rizal, Filipino national hero and revolutionary. He was executed by the Spanish in 1896.Tony in Rizal Park, which is named in honour of José Rizal, Filipino national hero and revolutionary. He was executed by the Spanish in 1898.

Tony with a group at the entrance into the historical walled district of Intramuros. The group is a mix of Filipino couchsurfers and their foreign guests. Intramuros means Tony with a group at the entrance into the historical walled district of Intramuros. The group is a mix of Filipino couchsurfers and their foreign guests. Intramuros means “within the walls” in Spanish. It is 0.67 square kilometres (0.26 sq miles) in area. The Spanish began construction of the walls in the late 16th century to protect the city from foreign invasion.

The group passing under a bridge through the walls into Intramuros.The group passing under a bridge through the walls into Intramuros.

On General Luna, this is the closest thing Intramuros has to a main street. The large building in the background houses the Department of Labor and Employment.On General Luna, this is the closest thing Intramuros has to a main street. The large building in the background houses the Department of Labor and Employment.

Tony touching a large rusty old Spanish canon near to the walls.Tony touching a large rusty old Spanish canon near to the walls.

Tony at the fort of Nuestra Señora de Guia within the bastion of Baluarte de San Diego. The fort was built between 1586-1587 and renovated in 1593 to join with the walls of the city. It was destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945. The remains of stone walls can be seen in a large circular pit with railings around the edge.Tony at the fort of Nuestra Señora de Guia within the bastion of Baluarte de San Diego. The fort was built between 1586-1587 and renovated in 1593 to join with the walls of the city. It was destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945. The remains of stone walls can be seen in a large circular pit with railings around the edge.

Tony with the group of couchsurfers in front of the ruined fort. Away in the distance are tall modern buildings of the central city.Tony with the group of couchsurfers in front of the ruined fort. Away in the distance are tall modern buildings of the central city.

Tony with Princess May, his couchsurfing friend from the Philippines.Tony with Princess May, his couchsurfing friend from the Philippines.

Tony and the other couchsurfers eating at a local Filipino restaurant in or near Intramuros.Tony and the other couchsurfers eating at a local Filipino restaurant in or near Intramuros.

Tony on General Luna outside a Spanish colonial-era building. The first storey and roof overhanging the street and painted in green and cream.Tony on General Luna outside a Spanish colonial-era building. The first storey and roof overhanging the street and painted in green and cream.

Tony standing in the main doorway of San Agustin Church. This is the oldest surviving church in the Philippines, completed in 1607. It was recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.Tony standing in the main doorway of San Agustin Church. This is the oldest surviving church in the Philippines, completed in 1607. It was recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

Tony touching a stone carved lion dog (Chinese Fu dog) outside San Agustin Church.Tony touching a stone carved lion dog (Chinese Fu dog) outside San Agustin Church.

View of the Baroque façade of San Agustin Church. A screen in front of the main entrance.View of the Baroque façade of San Agustin Church. A screen in front of the main entrance.

Tony alongside a horse pulling a carriage in Intramuros. The horse-drawn carriage is locally called a Kalesa.Tony alongside a horse pulling a carriage in Intramuros. The horse-drawn carriage is locally called a Kalesa.

Tony leaning on a bicycle outside Casa Manila Museum. The bicycle is made of bamboo. The museum covers the Spanish colonial era of the Philippines and is housed in a 19th century grand house.Tony leaning on a bicycle outside Casa Manila Museum. The bicycle is made of bamboo. The museum covers the Spanish colonial era of the Philippines and is housed in a 19th century grand house.

Tony inside Manila Cathedral in Intramuros district. The cathedral was founded in 1571, but has been rebuilt several times. The present building was constructed from 1954 to 1958, its previous incarnation having been reduced to rubble by the Allied bombardment in 1945 during the Battle of Manila.Tony inside Manila Cathedral in Intramuros district. The cathedral was founded in 1571, but has been rebuilt several times. The present building was constructed from 1954 to 1958, its previous incarnation having been reduced to rubble by the Allied bombardment in 1945 during the Battle of Manila.

Tony with other couchsurfers outside the main entrance to Manila Cathedral.Tony with other couchsurfers outside the main entrance to Manila Cathedral.

Tony and the other couchsurfers outside the ruins of a building at Fort Santiago. The fort was built by the Spanish beginning in 1590. It has a perimeter of 620 metres (2,030 feet) and it is of a nearly triangular form. During World War II the fort was used by the Japanese Imperial Army as the prison. It was badly damaged during the Battle of Manila in February 1945.Tony and the other couchsurfers outside the ruins of a building at Fort Santiago. The fort was built by the Spanish beginning in 1590. It has a perimeter of 620 metres (2,030 feet) and it is of a nearly triangular form. During World War II the fort was used by the Japanese Imperial Army as the prison. It was badly damaged during the Battle of Manila in February 1945.

Tony in a stone-lined tunnel at Baluartillo de San Francisco, part of the defensive walls around Intramuros. These tunnels were used as storage chambers.Tony in a stone-lined tunnel at Baluartillo de San Francisco, part of the defensive walls around Intramuros. These tunnels were used as storage chambers.

View of a water-filled moat and defensive walls at Intramuros.View of a water-filled moat and defensive walls at Intramuros.

Tony with a trail of footprints on the tarmac in front of him. These prints show the last steps taken by José Rizal, Filipino national hero and revolutionary, en route to his execution spot by Spanish firing squad in 1898.Tony with a trail of footprints on the tarmac in front of him. These prints show the last steps taken by José Rizal, Filipino national hero and revolutionary, en route to his execution spot by Spanish firing squad in 1898.

Bronze statue of José Rizal at Fort Santiago. He is depicted holding a book, reflecting the fact he was a writer and poet.Bronze statue of José Rizal at Fort Santiago. He is depicted holding a book, reflecting the fact he was a writer and poet.

View across the Pasig River from near Fort Santiago shortly before in reaches the sea.View across the Pasig River from near Fort Santiago shortly before in reaches the sea.

Again Tony next to the Pasig River. Large boats moored on the opposite side and tall office or apartment blocks beyond.Again Tony next to the Pasig River. Large boats moored on the opposite side and tall office or apartment blocks beyond.

Objects on display inside a tunnel at Fort Santiago, including Lego models of historic buildings.Objects on display inside a tunnel at Fort Santiago, including Lego models of historic buildings.

Lego model of the Church of San Nicolas de Tolentino, which stood in Intramuros before being destroyed by bombing during World War Two.Lego model of the Church of San Nicolas de Tolentino, which stood in Intramuros before being destroyed by bombing during World War Two.

Another lost church built in Lego, this is Igesia de Santo Domingo.Another lost church built in Lego, this is Igesia de Santo Domingo.

Tony in a room with lots of bottles displayed on shelves. Perhaps some sort of art installation?Tony in a room with lots of bottles displayed on shelves. Perhaps some sort of art installation?

View from Jones Bridge which spans the Pasig River from east of Intramuros over to Binondo district, which is known as Manila's Chinatown.View from Jones Bridge which spans the Pasig River from east of Intramuros over to Binondo district, which is known as Manila’s Chinatown.

Tony at the north end of Jones Bridge. In front is an arch over the road decorated in Chinese style marking the entrance to Chinatown.Tony at the north end of Jones Bridge. In front is an arch over the road decorated in Chinese style marking the entrance to Chinatown.

Tony standing in a busy street in Binondo. Another decorative welcome arch in front.Tony standing in a busy street in Binondo. Another decorative welcome arch in front.

Sunday, 13th January 2019

Tony onboard a tram.Tony onboard a tram.

Crowd of people outside the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (also known as Quiapo Church) located in Quiapo district. The basilica is famous for the Black Nazarene, a dark statue of Jesus Christ said to be miraculous.Crowd of people outside the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (also known as Quiapo Church) located in Quiapo district. The basilica is famous for the Black Nazarene, a dark statue of Jesus Christ said to be miraculous.

Tony outside the basilica. The front facade in view with a pair of belfries above. There has been a church here since 1586, although construction of the present basilica began in 1933. It was completed in 1984.Tony outside the basilica. The front facade in view with a pair of belfries above. There has been a church here since 1586, although construction of the present basilica began in 1933. It was completed in 1984.

Inside the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene looking towards the altar. The basilica is crammed full of people.Inside the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene looking towards the altar. The basilica is crammed full of people.

Again Tony outside the basilica with people queuing in the background.Again Tony outside the basilica with people queuing in the background.

View towards the National Museum of Anthropology. The front façade is neoclassical in style, including a row of Corinthian columns across a portico.View towards the National Museum of Anthropology. The front façade is neoclassical in style, including a row of Corinthian columns across a portico.

A group of young people, perhaps practising some sort of martial art, outside the National Museum of Anthropology.A group of young people, perhaps practising some sort of martial art, outside the National Museum of Anthropology.

A rectangular lake containing several fountains in Rizal Park. This historical park was founded in 1820.A rectangular lake containing several fountains in Rizal Park. This historical park was founded in 1820.

Tony in front of an impressive array of fountains in Rizal Park lake. Many people watching around the edges of the lake.Tony in front of an impressive array of fountains in Rizal Park lake. Many people watching around the edges of the lake.

Tony with the Rizal Monument behind. The monument, commemorating national hero José Rizal, was constructed between 1908 and 1913. The monument consists of a standing bronze statue of Rizal, with an obelisk behind, set on a stone base within which his remains are interred. It is located in Rizal Park.Tony with the Rizal Monument behind. The monument, commemorating national hero José Rizal, was constructed between 1908 and 1913. The monument consists of a standing bronze statue of Rizal, with an obelisk behind, set on a stone base within which his remains are interred. It is located in Rizal Park.

Vigan City

A small historical city located on the western coast of the large island of Luzon, facing the South China Sea. Founded in 1572, today Vigan is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site owing to its well preserved Spanish colonial architecture from the 16th to 19th centuries.

Tuesday, 15th January 2019

Travelling along Calle Crisologo, the main old colonial street of Vigan. In view are old colonial-era houses built of stone and wood with souvenir shops at street level. The shot was taken from a kalesa, an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage that locals used to traverse the city in Spanish times.Travelling along Calle Crisologo, the main old colonial street of Vigan. In view are old colonial-era houses built of stone and wood with souvenir shops at street level. The shot was taken from a kalesa, an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage that locals used to traverse the city in Spanish times.

The kalesa passing by a side entrance to St Paul's Cathedral.The kalesa passing by a side entrance to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Still travelling on the kalesa, which is passing a public park. A row of motorcycles parked down the side of the road.Still travelling on the kalesa, which is passing a public park. A row of motorcycles parked down the side of the road.

Outside the Padre Burgos National Museum. This two-storey building dates from 1788 and was the birthplace of Father José Burgos, one of three martyr priests executed by the Spanish in 1872. It became a museum in 1989. Its collections include memorabilia of Father Burgos and his family, as well as archaeological and ethnographic artefacts from the Ilocos Sur region.Outside the Padre Burgos National Museum. This two-storey building dates from 1788 and was the birthplace of Father José Burgos, one of three martyr priests executed by the Spanish in 1872. It became a museum in 1989. Its collections include memorabilia of Father Burgos and his family, as well as archaeological and ethnographic artefacts from the Ilocos Sur region.

Tony sitting on the kalesa outside the Padre Burgos National Museum.Tony sitting on the kalesa outside the Padre Burgos National Museum.

Passing a roadside food stall in the kalesa.Passing a roadside food stall in the kalesa.

Dozens of large clay pots in a haphazard pile in a compound at the side of the road. These unglazed pottery jars are known as burnay and are produced in the local area. Seen from the kalesa.Dozens of large clay pots in a haphazard pile in a compound at the side of the road. These unglazed pottery jars are known as burnay and are produced in the local area. Seen from the kalesa.

Entrance doorway to the Crisologo Museum. This was the ancestral house of Floro Crisologo, an important local political figure, who was assassinated inside St Paul's Cathedral in 1970. The museum's collections include Crisologo family memorabilia.Entrance doorway to the Crisologo Museum. This was the ancestral house of Floro Crisologo, an important local political figure, who was assassinated inside St Paul’s Cathedral in 1970. The museum’s collections include Crisologo family memorabilia.

A roadside souvenir stall outside an old stone house.A roadside souvenir stall outside an old stone house.

Looking out the front of the kalesa along another part of Calle Crisologo. The cobbled street is lined on both sides with historic colonial-era stone houses.Looking out the front of the kalesa along another part of Calle Crisologo. The cobbled street is lined on both sides with historic colonial-era stone houses.

View across Plaza Burgos. The square is named after Father José Burgos and a monument to him stands in front. The memorial is in the form of a decorated stone column.View across Plaza Burgos. The square is named after Father José Burgos and a monument to him stands in front. The memorial is in the form of a decorated stone column.

The main entrance to St Paul's Cathedral, officially known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle. A church was first constructed here in 1641, this was twice damaged by earthquakes, while the third church built here burned down in 1739. The fourth and present-day church was built from 1790 to 1800. It is Baroque in style. The external walls are painted white.The main entrance to St Paul’s Cathedral, officially known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle. A church was first constructed here in 1641, this was twice damaged by earthquakes, while the third church built here burned down in 1739. The fourth and present-day church was built from 1790 to 1800. It is Baroque in style. The external walls are painted white.

Tony outside the entrance to Vigan Cathedral.Tony outside the entrance to Vigan Cathedral.

Looking down the central aisle of St Paul's Cathedral. Rows of pews with the main altar at the far end.Looking down the central aisle of St Paul’s Cathedral. Rows of pews with the main altar at the far end.

An altar along one of the side aisles. It is dedicated to Filipino Bishop Alfredo Versoza who died in 1954. He is venerated as a 'Servant of God', the first stage to possible canonization as a saint.An altar along one of the side aisles. It is dedicated to Filipino Bishop Alfredo Versoza who died in 1954. He is venerated as a ‘Servant of God’, the first stage to possible canonization as a saint.

Tony in front of the main altar of St Paul's Cathedral.Tony in front of the main altar of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Tony in Plaza Salcedo in front of a large rectangular formal pond. This lively plaza is in front of St Paul's Cathedral. It is named after the Spanish conqueror, Juan de Salcedo, who founded the Spanish settlement here in 1572.Tony in Plaza Salcedo in front of a large rectangular formal pond. This lively plaza is in front of St Paul’s Cathedral. It is named after the Spanish conqueror, Juan de Salcedo, who founded the Spanish settlement here in 1572.

Tony sitting by the pond in Plaza Salcedo. The pond contains a dancing fountain, which is turned on every evening.  Also in view is a stone obelisk, which was part of the plaza's original 17th century design.Tony sitting by the pond in Plaza Salcedo. The pond contains a dancing fountain, which is turned on every evening. Also in view is a stone obelisk, which was part of the plaza’s original 17th century design.

Tony in front of large human-size letters spelling out 'Ilocos Sur', which is the name of the province of which Vigan is capital. In the background, part of the Ilocos Sur Capitol building can be seen. It includes neoclassical style stone columns across an entrance portico.Tony in front of large human-size letters spelling out ‘Ilocos Sur’, which is the name of the province of which Vigan is capital. In the background, part of the Ilocos Sur Capitol building can be seen. It includes neoclassical style stone columns across an entrance portico.

The bell tower of St Paul's Cathedral, which stands separately from the cathedral itself. It is 25 metres (82 ft) in height with a weather rooster on top. Tony in the foreground.The bell tower of St Paul’s Cathedral, which stands separately from the cathedral itself. It is 25 metres (82 ft) in height with a weather rooster on top. Tony in the foreground.

Tony sitting on a bench in Escolta's Homey Lodge, holding a small, but heavy clay pot. The item may have belonged to the original owners of the building. Pottery is still made in Vigan.Tony sitting on a bench in Escolta’s Homey Lodge, holding a small, but heavy clay pot. The item may have belonged to the original owners of the building. Pottery is still made in Vigan.

Calle Crisologo Street lit up in the evening. A souvenir shop can be seen opposite. This historic street is closed to traffic during the evening creating a lively atmosphere.Calle Crisologo Street lit up in the evening. A souvenir shop can be seen opposite. This historic street is closed to traffic during the evening creating a lively atmosphere.

Tony with a girl who works at Escolta's Homey Lodge, an old Spanish colonial mansion converted into a comfy guesthouse. It is located directly on Calle Crisologo Street.Tony with a girl who works at Escolta’s Homey Lodge, an old Spanish colonial mansion converted into a comfy guesthouse. It is located directly on Calle Crisologo Street.

Wednesday, 16th January 2019

The following morning, Tony on Calle Crisologo Street outside Escolta's Homey Lodge.The following morning, Tony on Calle Crisologo Street outside Escolta’s Homey Lodge.

Tony in the middle of Calle Crisologo Street.Tony in the middle of Calle Crisologo Street.

Tony stood next to a colourful pedicab outside Vigan bus station. A pedicab is a 3-passenger motorised public vehicle and useful for short distances. An inexpensive mode of public transport. Found in Filipino towns and cities.Tony stood next to a colourful pedicab outside Vigan bus station. A pedicab is a 3-passenger motorised public vehicle and useful for short distances. An inexpensive mode of public transport. Found in Filipino towns and cities.

Tony inside the pedicab.Tony inside the pedicab.