Tag Archives: iloilo city

Tonight the Street is Ours

What is this post about, you may ask. Well, it is about things that happen on the streets of Iloilo City when the sun tucks itself over a thick blanket and wearily says good night.

So yeah, only the sun sleeps. There is enough reason why this blog got its title.

I work in an international company and adjusts with clients timezone from time to time. For three months I have been working from 9pm till 6am. However, this week I’m scheduled to come in, 1pm till 10pm. Alright, you don’t need to know about my life, I’ve said pretty much A LOT about it on this blog.

With that being said when I went out of the office, this welcomed me.

Yes, crappy phone photo. Also, you’re not allowed to pause and get a better angle. It is basically saying “hey snatchers take my phone”.

For those who dont know where Iloilo City is, it’s one of the Philippines premiere cities, where all the laid back people are. It is Philippines very own “City of Love” all because the people here speak in a loving manner. (Call me, it’s about the accent actually). My city is more like California-ish and Seattle-ish altogether.

At ten o’clock, traffic stops, and the traffic rules stops along with it. You can have all the streets all you want and sometimes to some extent. No really, it is safe walking on the street than off the street. I’m not dropping some bad comment about my city but the state of a sidewalks safety is pretty much the same on all cities all over the world.

You can pretend that pedestrian lane does not exist. No “I’m like The Beatles on The Abbey Road” feeling here, it’s more of “Long live anarchy” thing. You feel like a punk raping the rules.

The angle should give you a perspective of where I was standing. Yes on the middle of the street. And clearly I am safe. During mornings/rush hours, you can get stuck for 20 minutes on this street.

If you are feeling a little bit like a guerrilla artist, all Banksy and stuff, you can paint a big peace and love sign on the traffic sign without someone bothering your artistic and rebellious frenzy. In fact there has been over-dosage of graffitis all over the city as of late. And yes, by the way it is still illegal over here.

If you want to take a walk at night time, you risk being mugged not by humans (mostly) but by stray dogs. The city does have like an impound station where these poor things are being taken to but the owners are a little bit irresponsible, you can barely call them owners anymore.

And if ever nature calls you, this will help.

I don’t know how this little rest room works. But yes, you can take a leak inside it if your bladder is being a bummer.

The beauty of the night street whether its in a sleepy or a bustling city is the odd liberating feeling it gives people. During my above eighteen year old years, I have walked a lot of streets at night time and I can’t recall feeling sad and stressed. It even stimulates creativity. Creepy as it sounds I sometimes make up ink blot images from the shadows that posts and buildings cast.

All fun happens at night, it seems. Next time I’ll take a walk , I’ll bring a better camera to capture them.

PS: Downside of night time shift, you lose precious two minutes searching for your keys inside your bag.

I needed a treasure map and a flashlight to find my keys.

Ruptured VII: Beers, Bands and More Bands

While everyone in Manila is confused of what concert to watch, Anthrax or Switchfoot.

If you live in a city away from the mecca where international bands hold huge concerts, rock music is kept alive through traditional battle of the bands. Ruptured is a proud and loud yearly event organized by Upsilon Phi Sigma and is sponsored by Manila Beer and Coca Cola. April 30 is a fateful Saturday night of men in black band and frat shirts, bottles of beer (and Coke), growling kids who looked like lost Brokencyde members, pale rocker chics and a lot of sweats. Fans from all walks of rock gathers.

I was avoiding a personal tone on this but the beer still is in my head and I cant write straight. Hangovers and writing dont go together. But thats another blog.
Fifteen bands with two songs each battled it out for the affirmation of the judges and to rock the boredom off of the sleepy nine o’clock crowd. If you’ve been to a lot of shows like this you dont expect anything but repeat performances. Which actually surprises me since all the bands didnt bore me. Yes, there were still the customary styles attempting to impress the crowd but it all appeared entertaining to me for both positive and negative reasons. Probably, the best song of the night is Story of the Years ‘Till the Day I Die’ done smoothly by Breach of Fate. It may lack the splendid difficulty of any heavy metal song but it was dilevered effectively for whoever listens to it could connect. It is more important than the incomprehensible death growls of those head spinning heavy metal bands with Satanic names. On the hand the worst song of the night was a cover of a cover, a screamoer Misery Bussiness by some kids who’s band name is a rip off of As I Lay Dying and We the Kings, they smartassly named their band, We Lay Dying. It’s not just their name but they sound like a combination of those two bands too. They just need more polishing, good choice of songs and a better bandname. I talked to one of the judges, he gave them high score because they have four vocalists which is fairly not an easy thing. While the bands that won cheers was Lip Curse because of their growling chic vocalist and the all chic metal band Mara Clara because of their clever band name.  Overall, most bands have potentials including the fifteen year old kid who sung(or screamed rather) the Imbue No Kudos and Valley of Chrome songs.

The crowd was patient and responsive enough considering the waiting they did for the show to start.
What is magical about rock concerts is that ritual they do when the bands start to play heavy metal, they gather in front of the band,  bang there head endlessly and exchange sweats by rubbing their body against each other.  It’s sort of like a secret brotherhood thing.  Which is somehow amusing.  

Hopefully there are more events like this.  Rock music needs more help because Lady Gaga is taking over the world.

PS:  Justin if you happen to see this, thanks for the photos, I know you’ll let me use them without permission. :)

Confrontration with Pollution: An Earth Day Reflection

The air stinks with a hundred tons of freshly degraded wastes. It’s not really suffocating except it would be a precautionary to not breath, almost instinctively. Aside from the stagnant pond of floating waste it should’ve been a nice view. Mangroves grow healthily, and the seawater close by is miraculously, still blue. Our task is to take .01 percent of the wastes, thats how far a group can accomplish considering the stench of that place.

It is a small village in the slums of Iloilo City.  People breathe that rotten smell almost everyday of their lives.   The waste filled seashore is the playground of little kids.   It’s where they live.  It is sad.

But what’s sadder about the situation? Organizations go there to clean the place. The people who live there would only stare at them if not go on with chatting with each other or playing billiards. No apparent effort was done by the people concerning the cleanliness of the place. If there is, no bags, shoes and other undistinguisable garbage would scatter under their tall huts. A lot of people have offered help, I dont like thinking that they have unwittingly tolerated the people. When you see a place like that, you wont believe that hope still leaves there that might be what those individuals are trying to revive.

I have been to a number of Earth Day activities but mostly not a coastal cleanup on that area, that is actually being done regularly by a number of student organizations. That was the first time I encountered the evils of pollution face to face. It is like a monster eating the development of a place and also its people.