Thursday, January 25, 2007


Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you Quiapo's famous tulay (bridge). No, it's no mere bridge because not only does it allow you to cross from Boredom City to Exciteville, the bridge also is home to Manila's handicraft center - from baskets to shell curtains to custom-made capiz delights. Name it, Quiapo has it. I was here just recently because I had to bring some Thai guests. This is a far cry from Chatuchak, of course. You wouldn't even want to make a comparison, but Quiapo has the thrills!

My first and only connection to Quiapo started with DVDs (mostly the hard to find ones) but that ended years ago. Once in a while, i'd find myself lost in its streets when on a lookout for something unusual (during days when there's nothing usual to do). I'd visit the Church of the Nazareno (which, by the way, is celebrating the quatercentenary of the image's arrival to Manila from Mexico), then end up buying medallions for a collection that I also stopped long ago because it was freaking my Mom (if miniature Sto. Niños with penises don't freak you out, I don't know what else will).

My next visits would then focus on the herb concoctions that abound near the church. Only in the Philippines would you be able to buy abortifacient oils next to a major church, a pilgrimage center at that. These oils - hidden behind leading tags like "Pamparegla" (to induce bleeding) can be had any time of the day, all days of the week.

These days, my interest in Quiapo is focused on less morbid stuffs. My new favorite is what many interior and event designers now fondly call as Ils-de-Tuls or "ilalim ng tulay" (under the bridge). Here you can get so many stuffs, be it for business purposes or gifts to foreigner friends.

Make it a business to visit this place at least once in your life.

Four kinds of shells make up this wonderful clock.

'Nay ko! Here's something you can use to scare burglars away. Thailand and Japan have their own versions too.

Coin purses. We've been doing this "footprint" design for decades!

These corner chandeliers would look great when lighted at night. Like the purses, these designs haven't been updated in decades.

When under the bridge, watch out for the occassional vehicle passing through.

Under the bridge. Ilalim ng tulay. Ils de tuls.

Detail. Art deco motifs

For picky buyers, you can always enjoy the airconditioned comforts of Balikbayan Handicrafts. Same products, only better and thrice as expensive.

If you go straight, you'd end up in Carriedo.

A rather ugly bunch of dolls. Sorry!

Hand-painted roosters. Lovely, lovely pieces.
Philippine handicrafts galore!


Lakbay Pilipinas said...

this is one of the best travel blogs ive ever seen.... I want to invite you share / post your travel blog and get a chance to win prizes...



Thanks, Lakbay Pilipinas. It is honor enough to be invited. :-)

toni said...

Very nice photographs!! You have quite the eye! :)

Blog-hopping here. Found you through Selina's!

Ferdz said...

Wow! Thank you for taking us on a virtual tour of the Quiapo. Perfect place nga yan to get cheap handicrafts. I like the rooster shots

tutubi said...

may nakita ka ba Kris for sale there? di yung actress/showhost ha?

i wanted to buy a muslim kris sword for a collection :)

Senorito<- Ako said...

You are very creative with the camera. I love the kapiz shots ! Good eye!

Your shots are always properly exposed colors are vivid and images are sharp. Do you sharpen you images via photoshop or in-camera ?

The close up shots are terrific as well. Somebody knows what the 'flower button' does. :)

Citizen of the World said...

Toni, thanks for visiting!

Tutubi,wala pong kris sa Quiapo. Sa Marawi, marami ako nakita pero nasa museums na lahat.

I'd ask around.

Senorito, salamat po. I photoshop most of the time. Wala talaga akong alam sa use ng mga dials sa camera ko, hehe. Tsamba lang lahat yan!

Ferds, welcome back po! Salamat at blogger ka na ulit.

ben c. said...

Came across your blog just now, after looking for Park N Fly. It's good we have blogs like these. Congrats!

You may also wish to visit IndioSign: - a blog on redesigning Pinas

Dex said...

i was browsing through pages searching for some photos about Philippine handicrafts. I saw someinteresting photos in your blog. Would it be okey for you if I will one of your photo here. I will provide a link to your site in return.